Tag Archives: christmas

What does Christmas mean to you?

Chaos? Spending too much? Eating too much? Parties? Family get-togethers? Arguments? Magic? Children? Loneliness?Nativity-Scene

The list is endless.

Christmas means something different for everyone.

Christmas is a celebration, not of commercialism, but the birth of Jesus.

For me, Christmas means hope.

Hope – that the world will eventually become a better place.

Hope – that new beginnings will lead to a bright new day.

Hope – that I will find my way again.

What does it mean to you?

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The humble sprout!

It’s a bit like Marmite.brussels

You either love ’em, or hate ’em.

They are forever associated with Christmas, frequently ridiculed (after all you need to start cooking them in April so they are ready in time for Christmas) and despised.

But why?

What is it about the humble little sprout, that makes people gag at the mere thought of them?

Personally, I LOVE them.

You?

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

SC has a book about Christmas, full of stories, traditions and carols, and amongst them is the true meaning of the carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”.12 days

It is thought this carol was written for the early Roman Catholics in England at a time when they were forbidden from openly practising their religion (between 1558 and 1829, as it happens, although there is no real evidence for this of course!). The carol was created so that children could secretly learn about the Christian faith whilst just seemingly being taught a song.

The words in the carol are like a secret code, with each object relating to some belief of the Christian faith.

So, here goes:

  • “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” – where ‘true love’ signifies God, the true love of the world and ‘me’ being the Christian (man or woman) who receives Gods presents;
  • Partridge in a pear tree – Jesus;
  • Two Turtle Doves – the 2 books of the bible – Old and New Testaments;
  • Three French Hens – the Holy Trinity – the 3-in-1 – God, the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit;
  • Four Calling Birds – are the 4 Gospels in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John);
  • Five Gold Rings – are the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch or the Book of Moses or the Torah;
  • Six Geese-a-Laying – represent the 6 days it took God to create the world (if you believe that of course!);
  • Seven Swans-a-Swimming – are the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit which are – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord;
  • Eight Maids-a-Milking – are the 8 Beatitudes Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount – Blessed are the poor, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness – and not a cheesemaker amongst them (for all you Monty Python fans!)
  • Nine Ladies Dancing – are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, where the fruit symbolises the 9 visible attributes of a true Christian life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control;
  • Ten Lords-a-Leaping – the 10 Commandments;
  • Eleven Pipers Piping – are the 11 faithful apostles of Jesus;
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming – are the 12 points of the Apostles’ Creed, this is what is generally said in church as the Nicene Creed.

From a mathematical standpoint, if you add all the presents given up you get a total of 364! 1 less than a whole year!

Which means that if the religious meaning is true and true love represents God – then He loves you every day!

May you all have a truly wonderful Christmas full of peace, love and happiness.

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Christmas Hell

Going to have a wee bit of a moan, about the not-so-sunny side to Christmas.Nativity-Scene

Christmas is supposed to be a time for celebration.

But what of?

It surely isn’t celebrating the endless queues, pushing and shoving or the last-minute panic buying on what the media inform us is the retailer’s annual busiest day of the year!

Why is it that year in, year out Christmas becomes less of a celebration of peace, love and hope, and more a blind alleyway leading to stress, anger and bankruptcy?

We get stressed out worrying that we haven’t bought enough food, or presents, or the right presents for the kids so they can keep up with their friends. All that pent-up stress gets released during the annual Christmas row about 11 o’clock as you have realised you didn’t put the sprouts on in April and therefore they won’t be done in time! And we spend so much on food and presents that we end up paying for this 1 day for the next 12 months!

Is the UK the only country in the world (clearly of those that celebrate Christmas) that has scenes of pandemonium and people queueing at 6 o’clock on Christmas Eve morning (or even last thing before they close) to get into the supermarket or the shopping mall for those ‘last minute essentials’?

IT IS ONE DAY IN THE YEAR – the shops are closed for at least 1 day, at most 2!

Why the sudden onrush to buy things like they are going out of fashion, or you are stocking for a  2 month siege?

In December, for the media at least, it seems that the run up to Christmas is all that happens in the world. As every day is this years busiest online shopping day, or busiest retailers shopping day, or busiest weekend buying day, or busiest day when men go shopping, or I could go on.

But is it only in the UK? Is it like this in other countries, say France, or Canada?

Or is it because, like most things, we, in the UK, do it to excess?

We over-eat, over-drink and over-buy (just in case some long-lost relative you haven’t seen or spoken to for the last 12 months suddenly turns up, uninvited on your door-step)

Talking of over-buying, why do we write Christmas cards to people who we haven’t seen or spoken to in the last year. If we haven’t bothered to keep in contact – it’s not difficult these days, with email and Facebook, and yes, I know it takes two – why bother writing a card, promising to keep in touch or meet up, when the next thing you will do is remember to write another card to them 12 months hence? It’s just an observation.

And Secret Santa – not even going there!

Also, why is it that in Soapland you can never have a happy Christmas? It’s always doom and gloom, someone dies, someone breaks up, another gangster fight breaks out!

I know things like this happen in reality, and at Christmas, but we don’t really want to be reminded whilst we’re having a ‘wafer thin mint’ after saying that we couldn’t eat another thing and lounging on the sofa, exhausted from eating too much!

And yes, I know soaps are supposed to be real-life based , but I think that idea went out the window a long time ago, so therefore why can’t everyone for once have a happy Christmas!

Another mince pie, anyone?

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Am I alone in thinking that the true meaning of Christmas has been well and truly forgotten?Nativity-Scene

If you’re truly honest with yourselves, how many of you sit down after Christmas Lunch and think “Thank God that’s over for another year!”

Christmas today seems to start at the end of August, when big stores put in their Christmas shops, we are bombarded by messages of “only 150 shopping days to go”, and the closer to Christmas we get, the less pleasant people become – everyone focusses in on themselves and their own needs. It’s as if brain cells wither as we rush around like headless chickens, and rather than the season of goodwill to all men we become ignorant, arrogant and rude.

For example, at the beginning of December I went to a local supermarket at a reasonable time (9:30), and the car park was already one in one out! People seem to think that it is OK to literally park anywhere, and town resemble zoos.

Why do we do it? The only people who seem to benefit from Christmas nowadays are those in the retail trade, and the credit card companies.

It’s the best time of the year for family feuds and bust-ups. I don’t know about your supermarkets, but where I live it’s like people are buying for a siege or feeding the five thousand – the shops are only closed for 48 hours at most. In January the first thing we do, after all that self-indulging and gorging, is join a gym or weight-watchers to lose the weight, only to put it back on the following Christmas. And, by using credit cards, we end up paying for Christmas all year.

Christmas is not about how much you spend, or whether you get a better present than your best mate. It’s about hope and love.

I’m not going to get all religious, but we should remember that underneath the turkey, mince pies, christmas cake, wine, beer, presents, et al Christmas is, at its root a religious festival celebrating the birth of a baby symbolising hope.

I found this, which I think sums up what Christmas should be very nicely:

A week before Christmas I had a visitor.

I was getting ready to go to bed, when I heard a noise outside.

I opened the door and to my surprise Santa was standing there.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

But Santa was SAD and he had tears in his eyes.

 “TEACH THE CHILDREN!” he said.

I was puzzled! What did he mean?

In a flash he produced a miniature toy bag.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN!” he said again. “Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that Christmas nowadays has forgotten!”

He reached into the bag and pulled out a FIR TREE.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – the Fir Tree is evergreen, symbolising the everlasting hope of mankind. Its needles point upwards towards heaven.”

Then he reached into his bag and pulled out a STAR.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the star was a heavenly sign of PROMISES fulfilled long ago. The shining hope of mankind.”

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the candle symbolises that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great LIGHT we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.”

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the wreath represents the real nature of LOVE. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.”

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that I, Santa Claus, am a symbol of the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.”

He then brought forth a HOLLY LEAF.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the holly plant represents IMMORTALITY. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Saviour. The red holly berries are the BLOOD shed by Him.”

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable GIFT.”

Santa then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE.

 “TEACH THE CHILDREN – that this cane is the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane symbolises that we are our brother’s keeper.”

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Saviour’s birth. The angels sang “GLORY TO GOD in the highest, on earth PEACE and GOODWILL towards men – ALLELUIA!”

Suddenly, I heard a soft tinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell represents GUIDANCE and RETURN.”

Santa looked back and was pleased.

I saw the twinkle was back in his eye.

He said, “REMEMBER, TEACH THE CHILDREN the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me at the centre, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD.”

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