FUN FACTS ABOUT CHRISTMAS AND THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Did you know that the first Christmas was celebrated all the back in 336 in the month of December on the day of the 25 in the time of the first Christian Emperor of Rome a Roman Emperor by the name of Constantine.  A little while later Pope Julius I declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated all the time on December 25 every year.

The beginning of the Christmas Tree traditions started just like a lot of our other traditions in Germany.  It started back in the 16th century when both Christians brought trees that was decorated into their homes.  The evergreen fir tree has been used to celebrate winter festivals both Christian and pagans for thousands of years.  Pagans used it more during the winter because it makes them think that spring was coming.

Pope John Paul in 2004, made the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ because this was ancient custom which he exalts the value of life, as in the winter what is the evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and remains Christians of the “tree of life”  Genesis 2:9 a image of Christ a supreme gift of God to humanity.

The first Christmas tree to came out of England credit was given to Prince Albert a consort of Queen Victoria in 1840 but it was actually Queen Charlotte the German wife of George III who actually put the tree in the Queen’s Lodge Windsor in December of 1800.  Legend states that a religious reformer by the name Martin Luther invented the Christmas tree.  But this is a story for another day and I promise to tell you about Charlotte very soon.

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CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS

When I was growing up Christmas used to be one of my favorite times of the year especially going to by grandparents house in Scotland to their dairy farm which was a lot of work but we had fun too. My grandparents had an old fireplace that we would hang our stocking on and we would decorate the whole with garland, old ornments from different generations. Every year we would get new ornments to put on our real Christmas tree which we went to cut down.

My Grandma would start cooking some things at least two weeks before we needed to because we always baked cookies and homemaked things for our neighbors. Grandma always said it gave the neighborhood of a more family feel. Now days your lucky if you know your neighbor’s name or how many live there.

My brother and I moved into the place that we are in now in 2007 and I know my neighbor on the right of me because his wife before she died use to come visit all the time, then I know the neighbor two trailers over and across the street because he used to live with us before he married the girl across the street and now we know her and her Mom before her Mom died two years ago. That is all for my block and then of course I know about two other people in the park too that is it. It isn’t because I’m not trying to be friendly it is because people don’t want to be bother anymore because they have their own lives and families or have better things to do besides be socialable. I’m not really complaining about my neighbors and how they feel it’s just hard sometime to understand what I remember with what we have today.

One time I think it would be so cool to go back to the time when I was a kid and have a funfilled Christmas that could take away all my lastest memories of the past several years with loss of friends and family members. I’m not sure if it would be the same but hey it would be nice to time travel back just once to see.

Life is hard enough without having added stress from Christmas that is all about greed, commerialism, and too much grief. I love Christmas not because I am going to get presents but because God gave his only son to save us all and I think sometimes we as people forget that. Not all the time just sometimes. So let’s be a little more friendier to your neighbor and maybe help the the nursing home in your area with the people who would love to write letters but can’t because of health reasons, or some other reason. Give of yourself and I bet it will make you feel happier then you have been in a long time.

God bless you all. Merry Christmas and I hope you have a joyous New Year. Love all of you very much Kat.

CHRISTMASES OF MY YOUTH!!

When I was growing up I spend a lot of time at my great grandparents and my grandparent’s dairy farm for the weekends during school, all summer when school was out and every holiday but on Christmas and Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. My grandpa believed that if you were going to do something than it was worth doing it right the first time. Grandma believed that every child would learn how to cook and it didn’t matter to her if you were male or female. One of my male cousin could cook almost as good as my grandma.
One of my favorite Christmases that I remember I think I was about 6 years old and Grandpa was outside in the barn feeding the animals (horses, pigs, and goats) when he noticed that I was standing in the doors of the barn and he asked me what I needed and I said nothing I was just watching you feed the animals. Grandpa told me to go into the house and help both grandmas in the kitchen so I did. My grandma Ruby told me that I could break the green beans for the casserole and I had a big batch of them to do so I did that. After that was done I got up to give them the beans they paid me no attention at all so I climb under the cabinet which sat in the middle of the floor when they needed there and moved against the wall when not in use. Anyway in the kitchen beside my grandma Ruby, Nana, Aunt Betty, Nancy, Gloria, and Brenda they were all talking at the same time about a little bit of everything from food to decorating the Christmas tree because never did our tree out at the farm until about a week before Christmas that is when my grandma and grandpa would make sure our stockings was up and my grandma and Nana would start baking cookies for old Saint Nick. My grandpa Raymond had a wagon that we would put hay and put blankets on top of the hay so we wouldn’t get stuck and he would take us for a sleigh ride then after the ride was over grandma would have hot chocolate with marshmallows. Then we all get ready for bed and my grandparents together would start reading “The Night Before Christmas” they would make it last for a couple of days it was great.
We would have a week worth of cooking and running around like a chicken with our head cut off (my grandma, aunts and cousins) to get stuff done. The tree would get decorated and of course we would have to talk about every ornament that went on the tree where it came from how long we had and who made it if it was homemade.
Then when Christmas morning came we would all run down stairs and we would sit in the living room and my grandpa Max would give each of a present then he would take on until there was no presents left under the tree then last but not least my grandma Louise would give us our stocking and they would be overflowing with different things such as jacks, crayons, writing pads, pencils, pens and small things like that.
Then we would sit down to Christmas dinner and we would all say what we were thankful for and also talk about what are resolutions might be but that was for the older children. I miss those Christmases and Thanksgiving holidays but I’m really glad to have had that to measure my Christmases and other holidays too.