Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas Legends

Christmas Legends

Christmas is truly a global celebration. Christmas is a time for beloved traditions that are treated with respect year after year; it’s a time of hope for the future and recalling of Christmas past. Although the traditions and foods associated with it vary with climate, culture, country, the spirit of the celebration surpass all such differences. Christmas is a time for families, fun, and festivities. Every year more than 400 million people celebrate Christmas around the world which makes Christmas one of the world’s biggest religious and retailing merriment. Christians celebrate Christmas day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial event. Christmas has different historical roots in different societies. The passage of time has carried on tales of legends which have almost become icons representing Christmas treasures for the season. Christmas legends explain the truth behind the existence of various important aspects such as Santa Claus, the Christmas bell, and Christmas tree etc. All these Christmas legends are grand donors to a global celebration observed differently by different cultured people. Few of these Christmas legends are explained below.

Christmas Myths

Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a jolly man with red robes having long white beard. The real name of Santa Claus is Nicholas, born 2000 years ago to wealthy parents in a small village in the country Myra, today called as Turkey. Nicholas' parents died while he was yet a boy. Nicholas went to his village priest, confessed his sins and expressed his desire to help the poor. He wished to become a priest. But the priest knew Nicholas lacked the education necessary to become a priest. During this time Bishop of the church passed away and the authorities were guided by heavenly messenger to select the first person named Nicholas to walk through the doors of church and Nicholas had his miracle and was named the youngest bishop of the church ever on record. St. Nicholas became the champion of children and the needy; he was legendary for his kindness and generosity. And his legend only grew as the centuries passed.

Christmas Tree
There are many myths about the Christmas tree but one of the first written references to a Christmas tree was made in 1605, where a visitor in Germany reported seeing a tree decorated with apples, colorful candies, roses and thin wafers. Over the years many different things were used to decorate Christmas trees. As the world moved into the 1900's, many trees were decorated with strings of popcorn, greeting cards and pictures, glitters, candy wrapped in color papers, glass balls.

Candy Canes
According to legend, a candy maker represents the holy Christ’s life. Candy has to be hard to represent the church being built on solid rock. Because Jesus is known as the Shepherd, it was formed in the shape of a shepherd's staff and turning it upside down, it represents the letter "J" for Jesus. The three small red stripes represented the Jesus suffering on his way to the cross. The one large red stripe represented the blood Jesus shed as payment for our sins. The white stripes represented the sinless nature of Christ.

Christmas Bell
People gathered to seek the blessings of the newborn Jesus. A little blind boy wanted to meet the baby Jesus but couldn’t find his way; he later heard the tinkling of a cow’s bell. And he followed the tinkling bell to meet the holy Jesus.

24 comments:

  1. The Legend of the Christmas Stocking

    "The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
    In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there"

    There was a kindly nobleman whose wife had died of an illness leaving the nobleman and his three daughters in despair. After losing all his money in useless and bad inventions the family had to move into a peasant's cottage, where the daughters did their own cooking, sewing and cleaning.

    When it came time for the daughters to marry, the father became even more depressed as his daughters could not marry without dowries, money and property given to the new husband's family.

    One night after the daughters had washed out their clothing they hung their stockings over the fireplace to dry. That night Saint Nicholas, knowing the despair of the father, stopped by the nobleman's house. Looking in the window Saint Nicholas saw that the family had gone to bed. He also noticed the daughters stockings. Inspiration struck Saint Nicholas and he took three small bags of gold from his pouch and threw them one by one down the chimney and they landed in the stockings. (If you're looking to re-create this story for your own children, we found some really cool stockings at personalcreations.com.)

    The next morning when the daughters awoke they found their stockings contained enough gold for them to get married. The nobleman was able to see his three daughters marry and he lived a long and happy life.

    Children all over the world continue the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings.

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    1. The Dutch Theory

      Some say the Dutch introduced the Christmas stocking to America. It was told that during the 16th Century, children in Holland would leave their clogs by the hearth filled with straw for the reindeer (or "donkey").

      A treat for Santa was left in the house near the fire. In return "Sinterclass" would leave the children treats. Later the clogs would become stockings, and the Saint known to all would become "Santa Claus."

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  2. Several legends claim the fir is one of the trees from the garden of Eden. One says the fir is the Tree of Life whose leaves shrank into tiny needles when Eve plucked the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life did not bloom again until the night Christ was born.
    Another legend claims that Adam carried a twig of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil with him from the garden. This twig later became the fir which was used for the Christmas tree and the Holy Cross.

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  3. The Christmas Legend of Abraham Lincoln
    He never wrote a song, a poem or even a declaration about Christmas. But Abraham Lincoln's astute recognition of the growing importance and influence of Christmas in American culture went far in not only establishing Christmas as a National Holiday but also in winning the Civil War.

    Norman Rockwell: American Christmas Legend
    The story of the American Christmas of the 20th century was masterfully told without words by iconic American artist Normal Rockwell. This article explores the Christmas works of the American Christmas legend.

    Robert L. May and the Mythical Beginnings of Rudolph
    The story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has morphed almost as much as the story of his creation. This article tells of Robert L. May's experience in creating a Christmas Legend -- and in becoming one himself.

    The Story of Black Peter
    The sinister side of St. Nicholas is carried out by a character named Black Peter. His job was to either hand out treats...or punishment. Interestingly enough, Black Peter is still a part of Christmas celebration in many areas of the world today.

    The Snow Maiden
    In a story line familiar to Christmas fans, this Russian legend of a young girl is belowed by millions and celebrated in film and in song.

    The Tale of La Befana
    Though similar to Russia's Baboushka, Italy's La Befana is a gift bringer with a style all her own. This is her sad and poignant story.

    The Legends of Nature at the Nativity
    Talking animals? Flame beating birds? All of nature it seems was there by the manger when Jesus was born. And they had a lot to say.

    The Christmas Spider
    Santa Claus as Spiderman? A tale from German folk lore, explained here for the masses of home work doers out there who have requested this information.

    The True Story of Santa Claus
    Santa Claus was a man and he is very real. This is his true story.

    The Magi
    They came without really knowing why. They traveled to a strange land, stood beforean evil and murderous dictator, and paid humble homage to an Infant King. Who were these wisemen of old? Why did they do what they did? A fascinating tale of mystery, adventure, magic and the evil designs of a jealous king.

    The Legend of Baboushka
    A noble visitor on a cold night caused the old woman to make a decision she would regret for the rest of her life. Read this old Russian folk tale of a Gift-Bringer named Baboushka.

    Puritan Humbugs and a History of Christmas Bashing
    They wore buckles on their shoes and were every bit the rigid pilgrims we make them out to be. In fact, Christmas-bashing was quite the trend in the days of the first Thanksgiving. This article tells the grim tale of why they cast Christmas aside and how we nearly lost it forever during the Puritan era.

    Joseph, Mary and Jesus
    The story is one we repeat each Christmas throughout life. "And lo, the shepherds were abiding their fields by night". We can practically recite these phrases from memory. And yet, behind the story and the legend - and some say, the myth - lies the compelling story of real individuals in a most unique circumstance.

    The Kings of Extravagance
    Christmas in times of old was the center of a power struggle between the Church and the Monarch. To the Church, it was a holy day. To most kings, it was a day of riotious revelry designed to endear the masses to the monarch. This article tells of this power struggle -- and how Christmas today bears to marks of both parties who kept it central in their struggle for control.

    The Legend of the Boar
    A boar is a wild pig -- large, ugly and not very friendly. It's image is about as far removed from the twinkle of Christmas lights as you can possibly get. However, in a land not so far away, the boar's head is faithfully remembered each Christmas and is a big a tradition as eggnog, Santa and Christmas trees combined. A great story and a must read.


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    1. Wow the last legend really impressed me ^^)

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    2. Before elves and eight tiny reindeer, St. Nicholas had a much more menacing assistant. Named Black Peter, this companion was the physical opposite of St. Nicholas. Tall and gaunt with a dark beard and hair, Black Peter was associated with the punitive side of Christmas. Traditionally St. Nicholas would hand out presents to good children, while it fell to Black Peter to dole out coal (and sometimes knocks on the head) to children who misbehaved.

      Black Peter, or Zwarte Piet in Dutch, began in Holland in the 15th century. His dark appearance is supposed to suggest a Spaniard, a reflection of Spain's occupation of the Netherlands at the time. Black Peter was also associated with pirates, a common threat to naughty Dutch children was that he would take them to a pirate's hide out and beat them. He was often represented holding a large stick for this purpose. The large bag that he held was rumored to be used for stuffing children in for the trip back to Spain. At the time "Black Peter" was a euphemism for the devil, and it was thought that St. Nicholas, being a representative of God, had beaten the devil and made him his servant. Thus it fell to Black Peter to hand out the punishments, while St. Nicholas dealt with the more pleasant sides of Christmas.

      While the Dutch St. Nicholas has always been represented in much the same way, similar to the original saint in long robes with a staff, tall mitre hat, and white beard, Black Peter has been depicted in many different ways. Originally a stereotypical Spaniard in pirate garb, due to the political situation in Holland at the time, his later incarnations would also reflect popular politics. In the nineteenth century, at the height of imperialism, he was alternately portrayed as an Indian and an African in traditional dress. Rather than the devil that had been made a servant of St. Nicholas, Black Peter was now thought to be a slave who had become the willing servant of St. Nicholas. Many of the illustrations took on racist symbolism, often showing Black Peter in shackles and tattered garments. Peter's job was to remove the hay and carrots from the shoes that had been left by children underneath their chimneys, and to drop candy and gifts in their place. If the children had been bad, Peter wouldn't remove the hay and would leave a rod in place of a gift.

      In parts of central Europe like Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, the character of Black Peter was a more like a monster, with horns, long hair, and a red tongue. He was known by a variety of names: Klaubauf, Krampus, Grampus, Bartel. St. Nicholas sent naughty children to him to be beaten.

      Nowadays there is still not one universal image of Black Peter, but he has lost his large stick and is usually dressed in a Renaissance page style costume with short pants, stockings, and a cap with a large feather. He has not lost his connection to Africa; he is still always portrayed by a person in blackface, and often wears gold earrings.

      The character gained popularity in the twentieth century and St. Nicholas's and Black Peter's annual arrival in Holland became more elaborate. During World War II, it was thought that the tradition would be suspended, until Canadian soldiers offered some of their tanks to use for the purpose. It didn't seem to make sense to have more than one St. Nicholas. So on one of the tanks rode St. Nicholas and one Black Peter, while multiple Black Peters rode on the other tanks. The tanks, with Canadian soldiers at the helm and Black Peter sitting on the back, traversed the countryside, handing out candy and gifts to children who waited by the roadside. The practice of more than one Black Peter stuck and has continued since then.

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  4. The Legend of Baboushka

    The legend of Baboushka is about an old and lonely woman who is considered to have started the tradition of giving gifts to children. Baboushka, which means 'grandmother' or 'old woman' in Russian, lived in a big house, safe and warm. However, she led a very lonely life with no company, friends or neighbors. Only the sound of travelers passing in their carts and the animals grazing nearby could break the monotony of her existence, these being her only solace. She would provide food to the animals and birds and offer a resting place to weary travelers.

    When winter came, and winter in Russia is long and dreary, these little comforts would also fade away. Even the birds, that she would leave crumbs for, would desert her for warmer climes, leaving the old woman sad and lonely, wishing and praying for company. It was on one such winter night, when she was trying to sleep, that she heard a noise steadily growing louder - voices and grunts - and she knew there are no humans or animals for miles around, what with the entire earth being blanketed in snow. Before long, she heard a loud pounding at her door and she rushed to open it, thinking that it must be a cold and famished traveler only to find three large horses with three noblemen dressed in, she thought, some of the finest and richest clothes that she had ever seen.

    Baboushka invited the men inside but they declined. Instead, they invited her to travel with them, to Bethlehem, where they were bound, they said, to find and welcome the child who would be the king of Jews and lead mankind to salvation. Since, it was night and the winter harsh, the old mother asked the strangers to alight and spend the night her house so that they all can leave in the morning but they declined, saying that they do not want to get delayed, and set off. Later that night, she thought of the three men and the strange tidings they bore about the child who would be the king. She felt sad at rebuffing their invitation and so, then and there, she decided to meet the Child.

    She gathered some trinkets to gift him and set out in the cold dark night. But, as luck would have it, despite travelling far and wide she could find neither the boy king nor the travelers. Legend has it that the old mother is looking for the boy king to this day and that whenever she meets a child she presents him/her with trinkets and continues on her search. Thus, from her, originates the custom of giving gifts to children on Christmas, no doubt to continue the pious work of Baboushka.

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    1. Well, I had found this legend quite interesting and decided to find out what people think of it. Some ideas surprised me. They say the following: 'It is a nice legend about "babushka", but the sad thing is that this legend is not Russian and not known in Russia.
      Try to find the source of this "Russian Christmas legend", and you will fail. I suspect it was some book, published in pre-revolution Russia, which translated Italian traditional story to russian. Somehow somebody in US suspected this was a traditional Russian story and retold it as Russian one.' Really confused...

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  5. The Legend of the Boar

    The Crest of the City of Bradford depicts a boar's head sat on top of a well. The legend of the boar originates from Mediaeval times and has become part of local folklore.

    Legend has it that there was a ferocious boar that lived in a wood on the outskirts of Bradford, and frequently drank from a well in the wood. The boar terrorized the populace and caused much damage to land and property; so much so that the Lord of the Manor offered a reward for anyone brave enough to slay the boar and bring its head to the Manor House.

    A hunter took up the Lord's offer, and lay in wait near the well, ready to catch his quarry and thereby claim his reward. The boar duly arrived, and was shot by the hunter, who cut out the boar's tongue as proof of his victory and set off for the Manor House.

    A little time later, another hunter who had heard of the Lord's offer, was passing through the woods and saw the slain boar lying near the well. Thinking of the reward, he cut off the boar's head and he too set off for the Manor House. Arriving there before the true victor, he claimed his reward for having disposed of the ferocious creature, but was unable to account for the boar's absent tongue.

    Soon afterwards, the first hunter arrived and explained how he had despatched the beast - showing the boar's tongue as evidence of his veracity - and received his rightful reward; a plot of land called Hunt Yard just outside the town.

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  6. The Story Of Rudolph

    Rudolph, a reindeer, was different from all other reindeers because he had a big, shiny red nose. Every other reindeer used to make fun of him and called him 'Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer'. No need to say how embarrassing this was to poor Rudolph! His family also disliked him and this deepened Rudolph's depression. He spent a lonely life with no friends and acquaintances and because other reindeers never let him play with them, he always played with snowman. One Christmas Eve, Santa got ready for his annual world tour, with his flying sleigh and eight most handsome reindeers including Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Vixen. That year, a thick fog engulfed earth, making it impossible for Santa to locate chimneys and distribute gifts. His eyes searched for help and suddenly, he spotted Rudolph with his red, shiny nose. Santa asked Rudolph whether he could help the convoy locate chimneys and distribute toys. Rudolph readily agreed and guided Santa safely to chimneys despite the bad weather, rain, fog, snow and sleet. Rudolf didn't pull the sleigh; he guided the other reindeers who pulled Santa's sleigh. After this incident, Rudolph became popular among his community and moved to North Pole to live with Santa, his elves and other reindeers.

    The Carol
    Now, the story of Rudolph is one of the most popular Christmas carols all over the world. The lyrics of this carol are as mentioned below.

    Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
    had a very shiny nose.
    And if you ever saw him,
    you would even say it glows.

    All of the other reindeer
    used to laugh and call him names.
    They never let poor Rudolph
    join in any reindeer games.

    Then one foggy Christmas Eve
    Santa came to say:
    "Rudolph with your nose so bright,
    won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

    Then all the reindeer loved him
    as they shouted out with glee,
    Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
    you'll go down in history!

    Hope you liked the story of the little Rudolph and how he became a hero. The moral of this story is that there is great strength in every weakness; you just need to look deeper.

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  7. The Little Angel on the Top of the Christmas Tree!

    One particular Christmas season a long time ago, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip but there were problems everywhere. Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule. Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mom was coming to visit; this stressed Santa even more.

    When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out at heaven knows where. More stress.

    Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys. So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hid the liquor and there was nothing to drink.

    In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the coffeepot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was made of. Just then the doorbell rang and Santa cussed on his way to the door. He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

    The angel said, very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas Santa. Isn't it just a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Isn't it just a lovely tree? Where would you like me to stick it?

    Thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the tree.

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  8. The Legend of the Robin's Red Breast

    A little brown bird shared Bethlehem's stable with the holy family. One night as the family lay sleeping, she noticed their fire was going out. So she flew down from the rafters and fanned the fire with her wings throughout the night in order to keep the baby Jesus warm. In the morning, she was rewarded with a red breast as a symbol of her love for the newborn king.


    The Legend of the Christmas Rose

    When she came to the manger to worship the baby Jesus, a little shepherdess began to cry because she had no gift for the king. As each tear fell to the ground a beautiful white rose sprang from it. Delighted, the shepherdess gathered the roses into a bouquet and presented them to the baby. When Jesus touched the roses, a beautiful pink tinge appeared on the petals.


    The Legend of the Holly Wreath

    A young orphan boy was living with the shepherds when the herald angels appeared announcing the glad tidings of Christ's birth. On the way to Bethlehem, the child wove a crown of holly branches for the newborn king. But when he lay it before Jesus, the crown looked so unworthy that the little shepherd became ashamed of his gift and began to cry. Then the Christ Child reached out, touched the crown, caused its leaves to sparkle shiny and green, and turned the orphan's tears into scarlet berries.


    The Legend of the Lamb's Woolly Coat

    A lamb named BaBa lived in the stable at Bethlehem. One night as the holy family slept, BaBa crept up to the manger to watch the baby sleep. While she watched, BaBa noticed how thin the infant's blanket was and that he was shivering from the cold. Filled with love for the child, BaBa warmed him with her own body throughout the night. When Jesus touched her rough, shaggy coat, it was transformed into a beautiful soft wool coat.


    The Legend of the Donkey's Bray

    After hiding in Egypt for some years, Joseph decided to move his family back to Nazareth. During the night they camped along the side of the road. One night while they slept, their donkey heard the soldiers' horses coming from afar. Afraid that the soldiers were coming to kill Jesus, the donkey neighed to wake Joseph. He neighed and neighed, again and again, but his voice was just too soft to wake the sleepers. Finally, as the soldiers approached, the donkey prayed for a loud voice to wake the family. When he neighed again, he was rewarded with the loud bray such as donkeys have had ever since.


    The Legend of the Rosemary

    When Jesus was born, the rosemary was just a plain green plant without fragrance or blossom. One day as the holy family traveled to Egypt, Mary stopped to wash some of the baby's clothes in a stream. Looking about for something to hang the little garments on to dry, Mary chose the rosemary bush and hung Jesus' clothes upon it. As Mary gathered the dry clothes together, she blessed the rosemary with blue flowers to match the color of her own cloak and a spicy fragrance as a remembrance of Christ's garments.

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    1. Rosemary is a plant with extensive holiday traditions, symbolism, and legends. Associated with remembrance, friendship, and fidelity, rosemary was used extensively during the Medieval Period. An altar decorated with rosemary imparted special blessings and protection to the worshipers. Floors of churches and homes were strewn with the herb. The traditional boar’s head for the Christmas feast was decorated with rosemary.

      Two rosemary legends relate directly to the Christmas story. Rosemary flowers were originally white. One day during the flight to Egypt, Mary draped her blue cloak over a rosemary bush. The rosemary flowers turned blue and the whole plant took on the lovely color and fragrance of Mary’s cloak.

      In a similar legend, Mary dries the baby Jesus’s clothes on a fragrant bush after laundering. The plant’s name, rosemary, and its blue flowers are in remembrance of its humble service to the Holy family.

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  9. The Legend of the Camel's Hump

    In order to visit the newborn king, the three wise men traveled with a caravan across many miles of desert. Traveling as quickly as they could, to reach the baby before the star departed, they neglected to carry enough water for both man and beast. The wise men asked the camels to travel without water until the end of their journey so they might reach the baby in time. The camels were agreeable and raced across the desert without rest or water. When they finally reached the stable, the camels worshipped the baby and thanked God for giving them the strength for their waterless journey. Drinking their fill from the stable's trough, the camels were rewarded with humps to keep them from thirsting in the desert.


    The Legend of the Christmas Bell

    The shepherds gathered quite a throng in Bethlehem as they journeyed to meet the newborn king. A little blind boy sat along the side of the town's road and, hearing rumors of the angel's announcement, he begged the traveler's to lead him to the Christ child. No one would take the time. After the crowd passed and the streets grew silent, the boy heard the faint tinkling of a cow's bell in the distance. He thought to himself, "Perhaps that cow is in the very stable where Christ lies," and followed the bell to the stable. There, the cow led the boy to the infant Jesus.


    The Legends of la Bafana and Babushka

    The legend is told of a grandmotherly old woman (la Bafana in Italy) (Babushka in Russia) who refused to go out into the cold night with the shepherds to visit the baby Jesus. In the morning, she prepared a basket of gifts for the child and visited the stable only to find it empty. Since that day, she has traveled the world, peering into each child's face seeking to find the Christ. At Christmas time she leaves gifts for every child always hoping one of them will be the Christ.


    The Legend of the Poinsettia

    In one village in Mexico it was customary for each person to place a gift on the altar of the church for the baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. One Christmas an angel told a small child to take some dried up weeds he'd found along the road to the church for the baby. When the child placed the weeds on the altar, they turned into the first poinsettia. Since then the flower has been called "The Flower of the Holy Night" or "Flor de la Noche Buena".


    The Legend of the Holly Bush

    One night as the holy family was fleeing to Egypt, Joseph heard the soldiers riding behind them. Since there were no rocks or caves to hide in, the family hid beneath the branches of a holly bush. Normally, the bush would not have offered much shelter since it had lost all its leaves in the fall. But that night the holly miraculously pushed forth its leaves and grew sharp thorns to hide the family. Since then the holly has borne leaves all year long.

    Another legends states that the holly used to have white berries. But when the crown of thorns was woven of holly branches and placed on Christ's head, the blood which trickled onto the crown turned the berries red.

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    1. Poinsetta
      According to a Mexican legend, a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo were so poor that they had nothing to take as a gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene set up in the village church during the Christmas festival. They were sad and distressed and while on the way to the church to attend the service, they decided to gather a handful of common weeds as a gift to Christ and made them into a small bouquet.

      Touched by their sincerity and devotion and the courage with which they took their humble gift to the church, despite of the teasing of other village children, an angel took pity on them and blessed them. Maria and Pablo quietly placed the green plants around the manger with all the heart and to everybody's surprise, a miracle happened then and there. The green top leaves turned into bright red petals, making beautiful star-like flowers. All who witnessed the scene were touched by the kindness of the great Lord and devotion of the children.

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  10. The Legend of the Christmas Balls

    A little street boy in Bethlehem had no gift for the newborn king so he juggled for the baby and made him laugh. That is why we hang balls on the Christmas tree - to remember the laughter of God.


    The Legend of the Cobwebs

    One Christmas Eve when the Christ child came to bless the Christmas trees, he noticed that the tree in one home was covered with cobwebs, drawn by curious spiders. When he blessed the tree, Jesus turned the cobwebs into beautiful strands of gold and silver garland.


    The Legends of the Christmas Tree

    Several legends claim the fir is one of the trees from the garden of Eden. One says the fir is the Tree of Life whose leaves shrank into tiny needles when Eve plucked the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life did not bloom again until the night Christ was born.

    Another legend claims that Adam carried a twig of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil with him from the garden. This twig later became the fir which was used for the Christmas tree and the Holy Cross.

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  11. The Plantings
    Santa delivers presents under the "Christmas Trees" every year for all the children around the world. Because not everyone lives near a place that they can go and cut down their own Christmas tree, Santa arrange for a commercial Christmas tree farming to begin in back in 1901 to help him by growing trees, cutting them down and selling them to people for Christmas.

    This planting tradition has caught on and sometimes people will buy live trees for Christmas, decorate them and then after Christmas they replant them in their yards or around their homes. This then not only makes the yards and landscape around their house look nice, but it also save the trees.

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  12. Santa's Long Journey
    Santa checks his list to make sure that all the children's names are on it and that all the presents are packed.

    First Santa and his reindeer have to make sure that their ready to go. Santa checks the sleigh and make sure that all the reindeer have eaten enough to make this long journey, they can't stop off at Mc Donalds you know! Santa makes sure he has all the directions to everyone homes.
    Santa starts out from his home at the North Pole where all the elves and Mrs. Claus live along with Santa and the reindeer. Here is where all the letter come to from all around the world. Santa has to have helpers to gather the mail to make sure everyone's letter gets to him. Thank goodness that we don't have to depend on just the U. S. Mail any more. Santa has the Internet!

    As Santa starts off on the Journey he has some pleasant scenery to view and here are some sights he like the best.

    Close to his take off sight he usually can see some polar bear just "hanging out". Santa lives around some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, just a short few minutes away. When Santa arrives at twightlight, the children are already asleep and are dreaming of all the presents and candy that they will get when they wake up in the morning.

    Santa arrives on your roof top and makes sure that his list is correct and that all the presents are in his bag. As he starts down the chimney with his bag of presents on his shoulder, he slips down the chimney and makes sure that he fire is not burning as to not hurt him. As he reaches the bottom and climbs out of the fireplace, Santa makes sure that everyone is asleep and he is quite as a mouse as he put the present under the tree and fills the stacks.

    If your house does not have a fireplace don't worry Santa is pretty slick, he finds a way in, because Santa is "cool".

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  13. The Homecoming
    The homecoming is again one of the best-written North Carolina Christmas classic legends, revolving around Spencer’s mountains. The tale of the book talks of a snowy Christmas Eve at the time of depression. A family of nine waits anxiously in the Virginia Mountains for their father to return from his job. The oldest son of the family goes out in the search of his father while his other brothers and sisters kept vigil.

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  14. The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Christmas Story of Giving

    Long ago, in a far off land known today as Turkey, there was a boy named Nicholas. Nicholas was a person who created numerous miracles and accomplished many good deeds. As a teenager, Nicholas inherited a vast fortune, but he had no idea what to do with it. Wanting to help those less fortunate than himself, Nicholas set out to make the wishes of others come true. While Nicholas knew the townspeople needed his help, he was also aware that they were very proud people, so Nicholas decided to help his friends secretly.

    Each night, Nicholas would disguise himself and deliver such items as food, clothing and money to the people of his village. Of all the townspeople, Nicholas felt the closest bond with one specific family. In this family, there were three daughters. Sadly, the family was very poor and the father felt much pain over the fact that he could not afford the weddings of each daughter. In his desire to help the family, Nicholas left a bag of gold on the father's doorstep as the wedding of the oldest daughter was near. Upon discovering the money the next morning, the family was very happy!

    When it was time for the second daughter to get married, Nicholas again visited the family. He threw another bag of gold into the family's chimney. The family greatly appreciated the individual who was providing them with such a great fortune, but they had no idea as to who this person could be. As the third daughter's wedding neared, the father decided to stand guard so that he could identify the kind person who had created such happiness for his family. On this visit, Nicholas tossed the bag of gold through an open window. Upon hearing the bag of coins land on the floor, the father chased Nicholas until he caught up with him.

    Nicholas was embarrassed and did not want the father to make his identity known to the townspeople. The father promised to keep the secret, but was so grateful for the kindness of young Nicholas that he could not keep the secret no matter how hard he tried. Soon the entire town knew that Nicholas was the person responsible for the wonderful events that had occurred in their town.

    Every December, Nicholas took it upon himself to reward all of the boys and girls who had been good throughout the year by secretly delivering presents to them. All these years later, Nicholas is still remembered for his kindness, generosity, and undying love for children. In honor of Nicholas, many countries throughout the world provide children with gift bags in December on Saint Nicholas' Day.

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  15. Holly

    The reverence for holly is believed to have originated with the Druids whom some say wore sprigs of the plant in their hair as they went into the ancient oak groves to obtain their sacred mistletoe. In Rome, holly was a sacred plant of the god, Saturn, and during the winter feast of Saturnalia, Romans gave each othe holly wreaths and adorned pictures of Saturn with its branches. All sorts of powers were attributed to it; it supposedly frightened off witches, protected the home from lightning and assured peaceful dreams if hung on the bedpost.

    With the growing influence of Christianity, it became associated with Christ's 'Crown of Thorns' (In Scandinavia, it's known as the Christ Thorn). According to legend, the original holly berries were white, and it was Jesus's blood that left them with the permanent red stain. Yet another legend tells of a orphan boy living with the shephards when the angels announced Christ's birth. He wove a wreath of holly for the child's head, but seeing what a poor gift it was, began to cry. The legend says when Jesus touched the wreath it began to sparkle and the boy's tears turned into the scarlet berries. (Notice the similarity to the poinsettia legend of Maria and Pablo below)

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  16. Legend of the Christmas Thorn
    In ancient times, soon after the Christ's death, Pontius Pilate persecuted Joseph of Arimathea. Thus, he had to flee from Jerusalem, the Holy Land. The only possessions that he carried with him was the Holy Grail (the dish from which Jesus drank during his Last Supper) wrapped in a snow-white samite cloth and a staff cut from a white-thorn bush. He wandered for miles through thick forests and dreadful topography until he reached Gaul. There, Apostle Philip who was working to spread Christianity gave him refuse. One night, Joseph dreamt of an angel who asked him to go to Britain and spread the message of Christianity there, especially to King Arvigarus. The angel also told him that he should build the first Christian church at the place where a Christmas miracle will come to pass.

    Like a faithful and humble servant of God, Joseph told about his dream to Apostle Philip and took leave from him along with eleven chosen followers. They sailed across to Britain and met the King. King Arviragus welcomed them and gave them Avalon, also known as the Happy Isle, Island of Apples, Isle of the Blessed or Ynis-witren, Isle of the Glassy Waters, to build an altar to their God. It was very beautiful and peaceful, full of apple orchards and soft green grass. Gentle sea and water lilies made it look even more paradisiacal. It was on Christmas Eve that that Joseph and his companions reached the Isle of Avalon.

    The isle had a steep hill called Weary-All. At the top of the hill, Joseph thrust his thorn-staff into the ground and to everybody's surprise, it put forth roots, sprouts and buds and burst into white and fragrant flowers, just the miracle the angel had predicted about. Thus, it was here, the church was made and it was known as Glastonbury Abbey. In the chapel, the Holy Grail was placed. It is said that since then, the thorn staff flowers every Christmas and every Spring. Another legend connected to a place says that when a puritan tried to cut down the sacred tree, he was blinded by a splinter of the wood even before he could fulfill his desire.

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  17. Legend of the Christmas Thorn
    In ancient times, soon after the Christ's death, Pontius Pilate persecuted Joseph of Arimathea. Thus, he had to flee from Jerusalem, the Holy Land. The only possessions that he carried with him was the Holy Grail (the dish from which Jesus drank during his Last Supper) wrapped in a snow-white samite cloth and a staff cut from a white-thorn bush. He wandered for miles through thick forests and dreadful topography until he reached Gaul. There, Apostle Philip who was working to spread Christianity gave him refuse. One night, Joseph dreamt of an angel who asked him to go to Britain and spread the message of Christianity there, especially to King Arvigarus. The angel also told him that he should build the first Christian church at the place where a Christmas miracle will come to pass.

    Like a faithful and humble servant of God, Joseph told about his dream to Apostle Philip and took leave from him along with eleven chosen followers. They sailed across to Britain and met the King. King Arviragus welcomed them and gave them Avalon, also known as the Happy Isle, Island of Apples, Isle of the Blessed or Ynis-witren, Isle of the Glassy Waters, to build an altar to their God. It was very beautiful and peaceful, full of apple orchards and soft green grass. Gentle sea and water lilies made it look even more paradisiacal. It was on Christmas Eve that that Joseph and his companions reached the Isle of Avalon.

    The isle had a steep hill called Weary-All. At the top of the hill, Joseph thrust his thorn-staff into the ground and to everybody's surprise, it put forth roots, sprouts and buds and burst into white and fragrant flowers, just the miracle the angel had predicted about. Thus, it was here, the church was made and it was known as Glastonbury Abbey. In the chapel, the Holy Grail was placed. It is said that since then, the thorn staff flowers every Christmas and every Spring. Another legend connected to a place says that when a puritan tried to cut down the sacred tree, he was blinded by a splinter of the wood even before he could fulfill his desire.

    ReplyDelete