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*CHRISTMAS* Home Page
Christmas time is here
Santa's on his
and lots of love
Filled up in his
Watch the magic
are in sync
Moving now with
so much speed
They travel in a
Don't forget the
Hot cocoa will
Top it off with
He never will
'Tis the season
he loves best
Just because of
one and all
May all your
~Francine Pucillo(c)~IN KEEPING WITH
WE ALL WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT
WE WANT FOR THIS
MERRY CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR!!!!
Sammy's Wish - Peace on Earth and lots to eat
Simba's Wish - Lots of Love, Hugs and Kisses for all
and more going out doors
Meowmie's Wish - Love and Peace to Everyone
THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS
Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
No one knows the exact date of Christ's birth, but most Christians
observe Christmas on December 25. On this day, many go to church,
where they take part in special religious services. During the Christmas
season, they also exchange gifts and decorate their homes with holly,
mistletoe, and Christmas trees. The word Christmas comes from Cristes
maesse, an early English phrase that means Mass of Christ.
The story of Christmas comes chiefly from the Gospels of Saint Luke
and Saint Matthew in the New Testament. According to Luke, an angel
appeared to shepherds outside the town of Bethlehem and told them
of Jesus's birth. Matthew tells how the wise men, called Magi, followed
a bright star that led them to Jesus.
The first mention of Christmas
The first mention of December 25 as the birth date of Jesus occurred
in A.D.336 in an early Roman calendar. The celebration of this
day as Jesus's birth date was probably influenced by pagan(unchristian)
festivals held at that time. The ancient Romans held year-end celebrations
to honor Saturn, their harvest god; and Mithras, the god of light.
Various peoples in northern Europe held festivals in mid-December
to celebrate the end of the harvest season. As part of all these
celebrations, the people prepared special foods, decorated their
homes with greenery, and joined in singing and gift giving. These
customs gradually became part of the Christmas celebration.
In the late 300's, Christianity became the official religion of
the Roman Empire. By 1100, Christmas had become the most important
religious festival in Europe, and Saint Nicholas was a symbol of
gift giving in many European countries. During the 1400's and 1500's,
many artists painted scenes of the Nativity, the birth of Jesus.
The popularity of Christmas grew until the Reformation, a religious
movement of the 1500's. This movement gave birth to Protestantism.
During the Reformation, many Christians began to consider Christmas
a pagan celebration because it included nonreligious customs. During
the 1600's, because of these feelings, Christmas was outlawed in
England and in parts of the English colonies in America. The old
customs of feasting and decorating, however, soon reappeared and
blended with the more Christian aspects of the celebration.
The custom of giving gifts to relatives and friends on a special
day in winter probably began in ancient Rome and northern Europe.
In these regions, people gave each other small presents as part
of their year-end celebrations.
In the 1800's, two more Christmas customs became popular--decorating
Christmas trees and sending Christmas cards to relatives and friends.
Many well-known Christmas carols, including ``Silent Night" and
``Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," were composed during this period.
In the United States and other countries, Santa Claus replaced Saint
Nicholas as the symbol of gift giving.
The celebration of Christmas became increasingly important to many
kinds of businesses during the 1900's. Today, companies manufacture
Christmas ornaments, lights, and other decorations throughout the
year. Other firms grow Christmas trees, holly, and mistletoe. Many
stores and other businesses hire extra workers during the Christmas
season to handle the increase in sales.
The word Xmas is sometimes used instead of Christmas. This tradition
began in the early Christian church. In Greek, X is the first letter
of Christ's name. It was frequently used as a holy symbol.
*History of Christmas thanks to the WorldBook.com.
Merry Christmas from Sammy, Aurora, and Simba
MORE CHRISTMAS STUFF
The Story of the Birth of Christ Jesus as
found in the Holy Bible, in the book of Luke.
About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken through-
out the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was the governor
of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his hometown to be accounted for.
So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in
Judah, David's hometown, for the census. As a decendant of David he had
to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancee, who was pregnant.
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth
to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped Him in a blanket and laid Him in a
manger, because there was no room for them in the hostel.
There were shepherds camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches
over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory
blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid.
I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for every
body worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is
Messiah and Master. This is what you are to look for: a baby wrapped in a
blanket and lying in a manger."
At once the angel was joined by huge angelic choir singing God's praises:
"Glory to God in the heavenly heights; Peace to all men and women on earth
who please Him."
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the shepherds talked it over. "Let's
get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has
revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby
lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the
angels had said about this child. All who heard the shepherds were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.
The shepherds returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything
they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!
~ Luke 2:1-20
It was a simple scene that first Christmas – a rough room, a young couple, and
nothing but a feeding trough to put the child in. It was probably quite cold
and with family far away there was little help. Not exactly the Hallmark moment
we like to show in Christmas pageants. And yet this rustic scene marked the
greatest event in the history of mankind.
God's Son became human and came to earth to save us. God had promised to send a
Messiah, one who would save His people. He could have easily burst on the scene
as a full grown man, a seven foot warrior with fiery eyes and arms of steel. This
was what many people were looking for, but it wasn't how God did it. He arrived
in the arms of a young girl. He was, as another of our authors put it "a very
small package, wrapped in rags, given from the heart of God. The perfect gift."
God gave His only Son to die in our place so that we, in all our brokenness, could
know forgiveness. He came so that we could know what love feels like, real love –
love that never leaves, love that never disappoints, love that is never betrayed.
He sent His Son into a sad world to bring us hope.
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OTHER CHRISTMAS PAGES BELOW:
Christmas in the Heart
Christmas-The Two of Us
All Warm and Fuzzy
Christmas Manger Scene
Waiting for Santa
Night before Christmas
Christmas-Three Wise Men
Oh Holy Night
Christmas Welcome page
12 Days of A Kitty's Christmas
Rockin around the Christmas Tree
Merry Little Christmas