Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas is hard



The past few days have been very hard for me. Alot of tears shed. Alot of memories...we use to go as a family to a tree farm and he would cut the tree down, this year we went to a store and picked one out. We use to sit together at night after the dk's were in bed and look at the tree. I am glad last year I bought all new ornaments so I don't have to remember the memories associated with each ornament.

This year I am going to concentrate on this Christmas on the true meaning of Christmas. Something I think won't be associated with memories because I am Catholic, he was not.

Christmas Tree

The modern Christmas tree was likely born in the 8th century, when St. Boniface was converting the Germanic tribes. The tribes worshipped oak trees, decorating them for the winter solstice. St. Boniface cut down an enormous oak tree, that was central to the worship of a particular tribe, but a fir tree grew in its place. The evergreen was offered as a symbol of Christianity, which the newly converted Germans began decorating for Christmas. The pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind,which is in Christ Jesus. All the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven


Santa Claus

Patron saint of children and sailors, Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Asia Minor. He was famous for giving gifts to children. His feast day, December 6, became a children's holiday in Holland, where he is known as Sint Nikolaas. English colonists in New York (previously the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam) called him "Santa Claus" because they couldn't pronounce the Dutch name. The English began celebrating the feast day on Christmas. Santa Clause symbolizes the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December. We are Not to worship Santa Clause, but learn of the Giving Nature he represents. Santa Clause gives gifts, just like the greatest gift we have ever received: Jesus Christ. We give gifts to others in thanks for the Greatest Gift God Gave us, "Jesus

In addition to the tradition of Saint Nicholas, the three Wise Men gave gifts to the baby Jesus, starting the Christmas gift tradition.



Holly

One of the most popular Christmastime accoutrements, holly has sharp edges, symbolic of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus at his crucifixion. The red berries represent blood.



Candy Cane

Some scholars believe a confectioner developed candy canes to represent Jesus. The shape of the "J" was for Jesus, or the shepherd's staff. The white color symbolized purity, while the red stripes indicated blood. Peppermint is similar to hyssop, the Middle Eastern mint mentioned in the Bible.



STAR.

The star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise.



Candle.

It symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness." It use to be that candles were placed on the Christmas tree. I prefer LED lights...safer and use less electricity. I still light candles throughout my house, especially during the Christmas season and during prayers.



ANGEL

The angels heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men." I always had an angel on the top of my tree. This is the first year I have a star.



BELL

As the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.



POINSETTIAS

One legend has it that a young Mexican boy, on his way to visit the village Nativity scene, realized he had no gift for the Christ child. He gathered pretty green branches from along the road and brought them to the church. Though the other children mocked him, when the leaves were laid at the manger, a beautiful star-shaped flower appeared on each branch. The bright red petals, often mistaken for flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant


The Twelve Days of Christmas Song

According to Snopes.com this is false...but I still think it is neat and wanted to post it.

~The 'partridge in a pear tree' means there is only one God and is also symbolic of Jesus (see Luke 13:34).

~The 'two turtle doves' are the Old and New Testaments.

~The 'three French hens' are the three Persons of the holy Trinity or the three virtues: faith, hope, and love, though according to Ace Collins' book "Stories of the Best Loved Christmas Songs", they represent the expensive gifts of the Wise Men: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

~The 'four calling birds' are the Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; or their Gospels.

~Five gold rings' are the first five books of the Bible, or the Pentateuch.

~Six geese a-laying' refer to the six days of the Creation.

~Seven swans a-swimming' are the seven sacraments and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

~Eight maids a-milking' are the eight Beatitudes.

~Nine ladies dancing' are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.

~Ten lords a-leaping' are the Ten Commandments.

~Eleven pipers piping' are the eleven faithful Apostles.

~Twelve drummers drumming' are the twelve doctrines in the Apostles' Creed.

2 comments:

Barb, sfo said...

Your tree is lovely. And your idea to focus on the meaning of Christmas and all the wonderful symbols that we have surrounding this very holy day is a good one, I think.

May Jesus and the Holy Family bless and comfort YOUR family this year.

Angela Messenger said...

Jennifer - I did not know that about the bell!

I think your focus on the true meaning of Christmas will help you this season. God bless you.