Christmas around the world

I just love Christmas the lights and music, Baby Jesus in the manger. In my house he is the reason for the season as for many.  It all makes me thing what I am blessed for..Christmas makes me think of family and how I want to hold traditions close. As I get more involved with my families heritage I want to try foods and all from where my families roots are and I have a few staples in my cook book but I love to find new ones. I found a web site  SOO COOL! It breaks down countries and the main Christmas cookies from there! So check that one out and bake up some fun with the kiddos and talk of where your roots are and be proud.

Some Christmas information I found all over some good things here to talk about with kiddos, because Christmas is not just Presents there are reasons the traditions started that we do now. Very interesting stuff.

Did you know that the word Christmas is from an old English term Cristes maesse (Christ’s Mass),even from an older time than that is was, Yule, from the Germanic root geol.  Funny now a days sometimes it turns into the modern X-mas , which I personally do not like . Just find the X somewhat offensive..That’s just me.

Here is some other languages how they say Merry Christmas:

English: Merry Christmas, Yule, Noel
Eskimo: (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Croatian: Sretan Bozic
Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun
Chinese: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
German: Fröhliche Weihnachten
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
French: Joyeux Noël

Did you know that traditionally Christmas is not a single day but a prolonged period,(Yes I love it) normally from 24th December to 6th January. This included New Years, So to increase values of Christmas. This news supports my theory to make my hubby let me leave my tree up till at least the 6th. He wants it down the day after New Years-Grinch!

Giving of Christmas cards is one that we all do. Now with more of the family picture with a postcard saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. The original act of sending Christmas cards with a greeting to family and friends was initiated by Sir Henry Cole in England. The year was 1843 and the first card was designed by J.C.Horsley. He reproduced it for commercial use printing about 1000 copies and he sold them in London.

We cannot forget Christmas gifts, the reasons for sugarplums dancing in the kiddos heads and them watching out to be better for goodness sake or at least the few days prior to the Big Guy’s coming down the chimney!
There are allot of varied roots of where this custom started. There is many stories of St.Nicholas, there is the tradition of Magi giving gifts to baby Jesus, the Roman custom of giving gifts of good luck to children during Saturnalia. There are vary different days of importance when to give gifts depending on culture like the following:

6th December – in memory of St. Nicholas
24th December – Christmas Eve
25th December – Birthday of Jesus
1st of January – the New year
6th of January – The Epiphany, day of the Three Wise men, the Magi

Did you know there was a real St. Nicholas? I got this info from St. Nicholas web site it is a very interesting read so check it out.

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Of course we cannot froget the elves who helped Santa. This started more in Northern Europe with Father Christmas needing help.  But, it is mostly by the Scandinavian tradition. Where they believed in a number of gnomes
These tales of gnomes can be traced back as far as pagan times, when they pretty much everyone believed in house gnomes who would guard the homes against any evil. They knew gnomes as mostly benevolent creatures but they has a terrible streak if they felt they were not treated nice. They wore grey clothing with red caps. The idolization of gnomes still stayed even with Christianity taking over Europe. Many of the tales and traditions told of gnomes were fixed in writing in 19th century with some artists they eventually created the Christmas gnomes who we today know as Santa’s Elves.

Some elves like in Finland are not as well with the kiddos because they are scared by “tontut” who watch through the windows to see if they are on their best behaviour the year round. I remember when my daughter first realized that Santa was “watching” her she said Momma that is creepy, I had to laugh cause yea kinda creepy if you think of it. But hey if it keeps the little ones in line for at least Christmas week, that is hopefully one holiday stress parents everywhere wont have to deal with.

Momma says: Thanks John Lennon for this one:
And So This Is Christmas;
And What Have We Done?
Another Year Over;
A New One Just Begun;
And So Happy Christmas;
I Hope You Have Fun;
The Near And The Dear Ones;
The Old And The Young.

Christmas around the world

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