Posts filed under 'Christmas'
Christmas, celebrated the world over has a long and interesting history. Here are a few more facts about Christmas from wence it began
• The story of Jesus Christ’s birth is told in New Testament’s gospel of Saint Luke and Saint Matthew.
• Some Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s coming on January 6, the Epiphany, when they believe he was baptized.
• Church officials, “impressed with the ritual’s symbolic bringing back of light into the world,” claimed the date of December 25. Roman Emperor Constantine officially recognized it as the celebration of Jesus’ birth in the 4th century A.D.
• The song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” refers to the 12 days between Christmas and the Epiphany.
• The word Christmas comes from the Old English Cristes maesse, which means Christ’s mass.
• The Middle Ages marked the origin of many traditional Christmas symbols such as the Yule log, holly, and caroling. The burning Yule log (Yule comes from the Scandinavian jol or jul which means “jolly”) symbolized the time in which bonfires raged to “beckon the reappearance of winter’s holy light.”
• The word Xmas is sometimes used instead of Christmas. In Greek, X is the first letter of Christ’s name.
• In the early 19th century, German and Dutch Protestant immigrants resurrected the Christmas holiday to its original status. St. Nicholas also gained prominence during the Victorian era.
• In 1969, the Roman Catholic church dropped St. Nicholas’ Feast Day from its calendar because his life is so unreliably documented.
• The German word Christkindl, which means Christ child, eventually turned into Kriss Kringle.
• Santa Claus generally was depicted as an elf until 1931, when Coca-Cola ads portrayed him as human-sized.
• Rudolph didn’t become Santa’s ninth reindeer until 1939 when an advertising writer for the department store Montgomery Ward created him.
Sources: Encarta 96 Encyclopedia, World Book, Encyclopedia Britanica
Check out the Holiday Tips and Ideas for the History of Santa Claus, Origins of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and more here: http://www.edenflorist.com/articles.php?tPath=7
Order your holiday flowers at Eden Florist & Gift Baskets Online or by phone 954-981-5515
December 15th, 2009
Here’s some more Christmas Facts, Symbols and History
This abbreviation for Christmas is of Greek origin. The word for Christ in Greek is Xristos. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ’s name, “X” in place of the word Christ in Christmas as a shorthand form of the word. Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ’s name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook “Xmas” as a sign of disrespect.
Read the Origins of Christmas here: http://www.edenflorist.com/article_info.php?articles_id=14
The Candy Cane
Candy canes have been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until around 1900 that they were decorated with red stripes and bent into the shape of a cane. They were sometimes handed out during church services to keep the children quiet. One story (almost certainly false) that is often told about the origin of the candy cane is as follows:
In the late 1800′s a candy maker in Indiana wanted to express the meaning of Christmas through a symbol made of candy. He came up with the idea of bending one of his white candy sticks into the shape of a Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols of Christ’s love and sacrifice through the Candy Cane. First, he used a plain white peppermint stick. The color white symbolizes the purity and sinless nature of Jesus. Next, he added three small stripes to symbolize the pain inflicted upon Jesus before His death on the cross. There are three of them to represent the Holy Trinity. He added a bold stripe to represent the blood Jesus shed for mankind. When looked at with the crook on top, it looks like a shepherd’s staff because Jesus is the shepherd of man. If you turn it upside down, it becomes the letter J symbolizing the first letter in Jesus’ name. The candy maker made these candy canes for Christmas, so everyone would remember what Christmas is all about.
The original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, was born in Turkey in the 4th century. He was very pious from an early age, devoting his life to Christianity. He became widely known for his generosity for the poor. But the Romans held him in contempt. He was imprisoned and tortured. But when Constantine became emperor of Rome, he allowed Nicholas to go free. Constantine became a Christian and convened the Council of Nicaea in 325. Nicholas was a delegate to the council. He is especially noted for his love of children and for his generosity. He is the patron saint of sailors, Sicily, Greece, and Russia. He is also, of course, the patron saint of children. The Dutch kept the legend of St. Nicholas alive. In 16th century Holland, Dutch children would place their wooden shoes by the hearth in hopes that they would be filled with a treat. The Dutch spelled St. Nicholas as Sint Nikolaas, which became corrupted to Sinterklaas, and finally, in Anglican, to Santa Claus. In 1822, Clement C. Moore composed his famous poem, “A Visit from St. Nick,” which was later published as “The Night Before Christmas.” Moore is credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly fat man in a red suit.
Read the History of Santa Claus here: http://www.edenflorist.com/article_info.php?articles_id=16
Order your holiday flowers at Eden Florist & Gift Baskets Online or by phone 954-981-5515 or 800-966-3336.
December 13th, 2009
Mistletoe and Holly
Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They would gather this evergreen plant that is parasitic upon other trees and used it to decorate their homes. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins. Instead, church fathers suggested the use of holly as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery.
Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They were named after America’s first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. He brought the plants to America in 1828. The Mexicans in the eighteenth century thought the plants were symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem. Thus the Poinsettia became associated with the Christmas season. The actual flower of the poinsettia is small and yellow. But surrounding the flower are large, bright red leaves, often mistaken for petals.
The Christmas Tree
The Christmas Tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and colored paper. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter’s night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was not widely used in Britain until the 19th century. It was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans in the 1820′s.
Is there someone in your family that you just have trouble getting the right gift for? If so, check out Heidi’s Top Ten Gifts for the Hard to Please ~ http://www.edenflorist.com/article_info.php?articles_id=22
December 11th, 2009