As little children we are told of Santa Claus and get excited each year to think he is watching and we try our very best to be good little boys and girls. Seeing a child’s excitement Christmas morning when presents appear under the tree and the cookies they left out the night before are eaten and milk has vanished. Somewhere along the way as we grow into young adults, the mystery of Santa disappears and we stop believing. Why is this? Why do we let this magic of Christmas disappear?
I was speaking to my Grandson recently and learned he no longer believes in Santa and I was crushed. What about the Spirit of Christmas? He looked at me confused. We talked for a while about what Christmas means and why we give gifts. In our family, we believe in Jesus Christ and we celebrate his birth on December 25th. (Christmas!). This my grandson is clear about, but the spirit of Christmas is the magic that as kids, Santa brings. As adults, there is so much more to it. This is where “Santa” transitions into the “Spirit of Christmas”. This young time in our lives and into our adult years is when we learn, and many times we forget, what all of the little traditions at Christmas are really for. Why do we do all the things we do this time of year? Santa is a great way to start telling small children about all of the traditions of Christmas, but let’s not forget to transition this wonderful belief to a more adult understanding as our kids grow. Don’t let them lose the Spirit of Christmas, instead help them develop it into a magical feeling that they can lean on year round.
The Colors Red and Green
The color red is used at Christmas to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross. Green is another popular color at Christmastime signifying everlasting light and life. Romans decorated their houses with evergreen branches during the New Year, and the fir tree symbolized life during the winter. There is also a legend that when Jesus was born in the dead of winter all the trees around the world shook off the snow to reveal new shoots of green.
Bells are rung during Christmas to proclaim the arrival of the season and to announce the birth of Christ.
The Candy Cane
This treat represents the shape of a shepherd’s crook. Jesus, often referred to as the Good Shepherd, was born on Christmas. His birth was God’s way to bring lost lambs back to the fold. The red stripe represents blood, Christ’s sacrifice, and the white stands for his purity.
The wreath is a circular, never-ending symbol of eternal love and rebirth. Holly also stands for immortality and cedar for strength. Today the wreath symbolizes generosity, giving, and the gathering of family.
Gifts and a Bow
The men who brought their gifts to honor the birth of Jesus inspired the concept of giving gifts during the holiday. A ribbon is tied around a gift to represent how we should all be tied together in bonds of unity and goodwill during the holiday season.
The Christmas Tree
Regarding the birth of Jesus, the Gospel of John records, “Light has come into the world.” Jesus himself said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” Surely, it is appropriate that our Christmas celebration be filled with light as we celebrate Jesus, the “light of the world.”
And what about Santa Claus himself? here did the idea of “Santa” come from?
A Brief history of Santa Claus
Santa Claus was a real man. He lived about 400 years after Jesus. He was the Bishop of a church. He loved Jesus. Bishop Nicholas had a friend that had 3 daughters, but they could not get married because their father did not have the money for their dowries.So late one night, in secret, Bishop Nicholas threw 3 bags of gold into their living room. The bags landed in socks that were drying by the fireplace(thus the tradition of stocking hung by the fireplace). Later the Catholic Church made him a Saint, thus Saint Nicholas. The Santa Claus that we know today in America is a result of Clement Moore’s poem, The Night Before Christmas, written in the mid 1800’s.