Wednesday, May 27, 2020 10:35:04 AM

Christmas 2008 Onwards



 Christmas in Australia 

It is very different if a hot climate. We still like the hot traditional Christmas Dinner, with Ham, Turkey, Prawns, Lobsters, & Pork with the crackle and all the hot roast vegetables and gravy. However we also have salads, fruit salad or Pavlova , so we tend to dish up hot and cold. I make the pudding  in the cloth and rum sauce. Presents are opened up after midnight Mass or as we usually go to Mass the evening before we open our presents are then opened when we arise in the morning of Christmas Day. We now surround ourselves with our children and friends. We can't go wrong with that combination. My Christmas Village photo.

We set up two Christmas trees. Click here Purple Tree and Green Tree.

The weather here in Sydney is generally very hot and humid and some thunder storms have often come in the afternoon. We have late lunch that takes us nearly to tea time and then just have cold meat & salads left over from lunch.

Real Christmas Bush I have not found successful here in Australia. Although I would like nothing more than to smell a real bush like the ones grown in the Northern Hemisphere. The trees grown here are just not good enough so I have large white one artificial tree. Jacqualine decorates it the first weekend in December and we pull it down the first weekend after the New Year. As I am a lover of the Victorian Era, I love to have plenty of those decorations on our tree. Angels also play a big part of my house and so they are everywhere.

The Date of Christmas 

The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 originated in the 4th century. The Catholic Church wanted to eclipse the festivities of a rival pagan religion that threatened 
Christianity's existence. The Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god, Mithras during this time of year. Although it was not popular, or even proper, to celebrate people's birthdays in those times, church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Although the actual season of Jesus' birth is thought to be in the spring, the date of December 25 was chosen as the official birthday celebration as Christ's Mass so that it would compete head on with the rival pagan celebration. Christmas was slow to catch on in America. The early colonists considered it a pagan ritual. The celebration of Christmas was even banned by law in Massachusetts in colonial days. 

Mistletoe &   Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids 
used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They would gather this evergreen plant that is parasitic upon other trees and used it to decorate their homes. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins. Instead, church fathers suggested the use of holly as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery. 

 are native to Mexico. They were named after 
America's first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. He brought the plants to America in 1828. The Mexicans in the eighteenth century thought the plants were symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem. Thus the Poinsettia became associated with the Christmas season. The actual flower of the poinsettia is small and yellow. But surrounding the flower are large, bright red leaves, often mistaken for petals. 

  Christmas in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and coloured paper. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter's night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was not widely used in Britain until the 19th century. It was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans in the 1820's. 
  Xmas: This abbreviation for Christmas is of Greek origin. The word for Christ in Greek is Xristos. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ's name, 
"X" in place of the word Christ in Christmas as a shorthand form of the word. Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ's name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook "Xmas" as a sign of disrespect. 


In the late 1800's a candy maker in Indiana wanted 
to express the meaning of Christmas through a symbol made of candy. He came up with the idea of bending one of his white candy sticks into the shape of a Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols of Christ's love and sacrifice through the Candy Cane. First, he used a plain white peppermint stick. The colour white symbolizes the purity and sinless nature of Jesus. Next, he added three small stripes to symbolize the pain inflicted upon Jesus before his death on the cross. He added a bold stripe to represent the blood he shed for mankind. When looked at with the crook on top, it looks like a shepherd's staff because Jesus is the shepherd of man. If you turn it upside down, it becomes the letter J symbolizing the first letter in Jesus' name. The candy maker made these candy canes for Christmas, so everyone would remember what Christmas is all about. 

 The original , St. Nicholas, was born in Turkey in the 4th century. He was very pious from an early age, devoting his life to Christianity. He became widely known for his generosity for the poor. But the Romans held him in contempt. He was imprisoned and tortured. But when Constantine became emperor of Rome, he allowed Nicholas to go free. Constantine became a Christian and convened the Council of Nicaea in 325. Nicholas was a delegate to the council. He is especially noted for his love of children and for his generosity. He is the patron saint of sailors, Sicily, Greece, and Russia. He is also, of course, the patron saint of children. The Dutch kept the legend of St. Nicholas alive. In 16th century Holland, Dutch children would place their wooden shoes by the hearth in hopes that they would be filled with a treat. The Dutch spelled St. Nicholas as Sint Nikolaas, which became corrupted to Sinterklaas, and finally, in Anglican, to Santa Claus. In 1822, Clement C. Moore composed his famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nick," which was later published as "The Night Before Christmas." Moore is credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly fat man in a red suit. 

The above information supplied here was found at
The Wilstar Holiday Page  and was written by Jerry Wilson.

What a joy it is each Advent season as the familiar carols return to our worship services and to our hearts!  Each brings with it not only fond memories but timely lessons for instance, the subtle message of "Silent Night."  In 1818, in the tiny village of Oberndorf, a band of strolling players from a nearby village put on a simple drama of the Christmas story. In the crowd of spectators was a young priest, Father Mohr, who recently had been appointed to the parish. He was deeply moved by the sincerity of the performance, and at its close he climbed alone to a small mountain overlooking the village. There he opened his heart to the wonder of the Christmas story and his senses to the beauty of the night. 

In 1818, in the tiny village of Oberndorf, a band of strolling players from a nearby village put on a simple drama of the Christmas story.  In the crowd of spectators was a young priest, Father Mohr, who recently had been appointed to the parish.  He was deeply moved by the sincerity of the performance, and at its close he climbed alone to a small mountain overlooking the village.  There he opened his heart to the wonder of the Christmas story and his senses to the beauty of the night. 

The result has proved to be one of the world's favourite Christmas hymns:
    Silent night, holy night,
    All is calm, all is bright
    Round yon virgin mother and child.
    Holy infant, so tender and mild,
    Sleep in heavenly peace,
    Sleep in heavenly peace.

Like Father Mohr, let's take time this Christmas season for solitude.  Let's pause to feel the reverence and awe of silent contemplation, heavenly peace. ~from "Advent:  A Calendar of Devotions for 1987" by Mary Lou Carney

If Every Day Were Christmas by Edgar DeWitt Jones
If the spirit of Christmas were with us every day...some revolutionary events would occur: 
Selfishness would die a death of starvation. 
Avarice would be hung higher than Haman. 
Foolish pride would go down in crushing defeat. 
Senseless strife and silly bickerings would shame each other to death. 
The prayer of Jesus for the unity of His followers would be answered. 
Racial animosities would be drowned in a sea of brotherhood.  
War, with all its horrors, its brutality, its devilishness, would be an utter impossibility. 
"Peace on earth" would become a glorious reality.

The First Gift of Christmas by Jon Gilbert  

The first Christmas Gift ever given, wasn't bought in a  shop,
And it wasn't encased in gay wrappings
With a bright ribbon bow on the top.
The first Gift of Christmas was given
In a manger lowly and bare,
And a blanket was the lone wrapping
Of this Gift so priceless and fair.
God gave the First Gift of Christmas,
A most Holy and Wonderful One,
When He looked down in mercy and goodness
And gave us the Gift of His Son!
Experience the Christmas markets in Europe.

My Fruit and Nut Bars or Stained Glass Christmas Cake or Bishops Christmas Cake

RECIPE & photo and My Christmas Pudding RECIPE & photo.

Some Links

How Stuff Works Christmas North Pole Net My Christmas Hints Lights Near My Home