IT’S CHRISTMAS – PART 2

Posted: November 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Last week we looked at how corporate America had adopted a politically correct stance to maximize profits instead of continuing with traditions that have been with us since the beginning of our country. We also discussed how some corporations have broken with this philosophy and provide goods that represent the Christmas Holiday for what it was meant, a religious holiday engrained in the history of our great nation. This week I discovered another national chained store that provides products that represent the true meaning of Christmas. Dollar tree has bare nativity stables and you can then purchase individual porcelain figures of the nativity to decorate as you like. Of course I jumped on it and told the cashier that she could put it all in one bag. She meticulously wrapped each piece and said these would not be broken, not on her watch. A quiet change is beginning to take place that will shift our nation back to a more tolerant place to live, a place that is similar to the country that our founding fathers envisioned.
Last week I identified that we would look at how certain traditions of our Christmas holiday season have entered into our countries history and legacy. The following are a few more. We will continue looking at this wonderful experience until we celebrate this holiday on December 25th.
For generations we have hung stockings for Santa to leave a gift. This has ranged from fruit to small toys to jewelry as some jewelry stores have marketed this tradition. Of course if a child has been naughty they would get coal. So where did this tradition begin? In many countries it was traditional for a father to give a dowry to a potential husband for his daughter. Normally this consisted of money or jewelry. This is still practiced in many countries of the Middle East and India. The legend goes that a father had three daughters but no dowry to give. One night St. Nicholas dropped one bag of gold through the open window. The next night he returned and left a second bag. On the third night the father waited by the window to see who was so generous. Since St Nicholas did not want to be discovered he dropped the gold from the top of the chimney. As luck would have it the man had hung his sox from the mantle to dry them. The gold fell into the sox and that is how we began to hang stockings on the fireplace mantles.
Christmas card giving is another part of our Christmas tradition. As nice as wishing someone a Merry Christmas is to both the giver and the receiver; a Christmas Card is even more special. While we have moved away from religious cards due to availability at the stores we are now beginning to see a resurgence of these cards. A religious significance was not originally identified when the first cards came into existence. The first Christmas cards were distributed in 1843. In that year Sir Henry Cole had 1,000 cards printed and then hand painted and delivered through the mail service. The first mass produced Christmas cards were adorned with flowers and birds adorned in pastel colors. These cards more resembled Easter cards than Christmas cards. While the original one thousand cards seems like a large quantity, today Americans send almost two billion cards to celebrate the most popular holiday in America.

Let’s close our Christmas trivia by looking at one of my favorite traditions. Where did the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe come from? It started in England. Any girl kissed under mistletoe would be married in a year, or at least that is the way the folktale goes. The origin of the special values of mistletoe goes back to Frigga, the Norse goddess of love. The Norse were a hardy people that populated Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Scandinavia and were also known as the Norsemen or Vikings. As the story goes Frigga’s son Balder said that he had dreamed that he would die. Frigga received a promise from everything that lived on earth that they would not harm her son. Since Mistletoe grows on tress and never touches the ground mistletoe had not made the promise. A god named Loki made an arrow from mistletoe and killed Frigga’s son Balder. Eventually Balder returned to life and the mistletoe was dedicated to Frigga. Her tears of joy fell on the mistletoe and became the white berries of the plant. From that point the mistletoe and other plants that remain green all year has been a symbol of life and love.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. During this festive and joyous period of the year please take a moment to be thankful for our young men and women who have volunteered to sacrifice several years of their lives to keep America free and go to the aid of those that are being abused around the world.

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