Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ideas From the Past for Christmas Time! ~ Southern origin of SANTA CLAUS!

Christmas will be here before we know it,and hopefully we don't all have the urge to go buy the most expensive things money can buy.I try hard each year not to go in debt for anything.At the same time my family enjoys homemade and handmade items so we usually spend several weeks in advance working on those one of a kind items made purely out of love.
It does not take long to find some really good ideas online too.The wonders of the 20th century,i like the internet best i think,,lol,,info at your fingertips..in your own time ...always available,well mostly anyway,,lol....
christmas brings out a joyous,lighthearted spirit for most of us.We are reminded (if you ever fogot) of Jesus coming down to this earth several thousand years ago.As a tiny baby,at the mercy of the world..just for you and i.how wonderful! Such love...Unconditional love...
We see mistletoe and candy canes in the homes with nativity scenes and santa claus all around town.My grandson's call him,ho ho ho..lol..love to watch the wonderment of holidays through the eyes of children..so magical! smells of pumpkin pie and gingerbread.This weekend we will go riding on the dirt road and find our tree.We wait until both grands are with us and my son and his fiancee are going as well..We enjoy looking for that special one each year.(make sure you have permission to do this) ;) ..otherwise it may not be a happy time..lol...I know most of the landowners in my area have no problem with a family looking for a tree.In a couple years we will some to share..
Thinking on the simplistic way i believe Christmas should be,I will soon be adding a few ideas,crafts,handmade goodies and recipes we like to do.i am also going to add some ideas and crafts i found online that we may use this year as well!!! always looking for fun ways to have ''family time''..
This very christmas could be the most memorable one for your child,grandchild,friend,stranger.Makes it a little more special huh...!

~~~~~~~~~~SOTHERN ORIGIN OF OLD SAINT NICK!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HERE is the best one i found.i wanted to share and thanks to the author,Kathryn Lively..visit the page here.. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

These days we read so many articles detailing the origins of various Christmas traditions - the placement of a ornamental tree inside the home, egg nog and other culinary delights, and the Christian adoption of the season to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Many would be surprised to know, however, that a number of seasonal traditions actually have their origins in the Civil War era.

During this tumultuous time of brother against brother, the holidays were still celebrated (mainly in the South) with the hope of a swift conclusion to the conflicts that divided our nation for many years. It is said, too, that the states were split on the issue of celebrating the holiday as much as they were on subjects that led to the war in the first place. Being that the nation was young, this generation grew from a Puritan time where celebrating Christmas was considered sinful, due to the roots of many traditions being steeped in paganism that the early Christians sought to suppress. It wasn't until the early nineteenth century when US states finally legalized the holiday – the first three being Alabama, Lousiana, and Arkansas.

These days, we might catch a glimpse of traditions we observe now in the Christmas scenes in Gone With the Wind and other movies depicting the time. They, however, only tell part of a story. Here follows just a short list of Christmas mainstays and traditions that evolved from this time in history.

Santa Claus

While the legend of Santa Claus has its roots in a much earlier time – reaching as far as the origins of Christianity itself – it is the modern depiction of this jolliest of elves that saw its creation in the mid-nineteenth century with Thomas Nast. Nast, a widely-known cartoonist of the day (arguably credited with being the father of the modern-day political cartoon), created the visage of Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly around 1863. The billowing white beard, nose like a cherry, and wide-girthed figure bearing a sack full of toys soon became synonymous with the secular aspects of the holiday. These days, contemporary depictions of St. Nick do not stray from Nast's original vision.

Christmas Carols

Did you know that many of the songs we sing during this joyous occasion had originally been written during the darkest time of our nation's history? Indeed, one could argue that some Christmas carols are actually the forerunners of the modern day protest song, as some carols penned in this time were actually thinly veiled commentary on the war. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," written by minister Edmund Sears, touches upon the desire for peace during this time, while Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" contains strong anti-war sentiment. Of course, one likely doesn't sense this because the more blatant verses of Longfellow's poem are omitted in the traditional carol we sing today. By contrast, Phillips Brooks' "O Little Town of Bethelem" touches on the hope for peace in the aftermath of conflict.

Care Packages

While the troops were out to war, it was not uncommon for a soldier to receive gifts while at battle. Barrels of food and drink, warm clothing, and trinkets from home were especially prized and brought a modicum of cheer to an otherwise dismal situation. One could easily liken these gestures to traditions we hold today in sending care packages to our men and women overseas.

From the songs we sing to the icons we identify, one would be surprised to know how the Civil War influenced our contemporary observance of the Christmas season.

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