Saint Nicholas was a real person. He was a kind bishop who brought presents to children and people in need.
Thus, it must have been the start of Santa Claus. As a Christian, the reason for the season is the birth of our Christ child, baby Jesus, the savior of the world.
We teach this to our children. So how can the figure of Santa Claus and the birth of baby Jesus coincide in this beloved holiday?
Saint Nicholas helped people in need. That is what we are taught to do. Santa Claus is a kind man who brings love and happiness to others. The teachings of Jesus want us to do just this. Help our neighbors.
We just don’t want to go overboard with the materialistic part of Christmas. We want to teach our children the true meaning of Christmas and the true spirit of the season.
George Matthew Adams is quoted as saying, “Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years . . . Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.”
Just as Santa Claus is associated with Christmas, so are many other symbols. An angel also stands as a symbol of Christmas. An angel, Gabriel, told the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. Many families place an angel at the top of their Christmas tree.
Make your own angel with your children out of a pine cone, paint, an one-inch wooden ball head, some wide lace, yarn, a pipe cleaner and glue.
Paint the pipe cleaner a color you choose, maybe gold, silver, white. This will serve as the angel’s body.
Allow the paint to dry. Then glue the wooden ball onto the pointed side of the pine cone.
For the wings cut out two pieces of lace about 6 inches each. Put the gathered edges together and pinch them in the middle. Tie where the pinch is with a piece of pipe cleaner. Glue the wings on the back of the body.
Using paint or markers, put a face on your angel. Glue on the hair (yarn). Add a small circle of pipe cleaner as the halo.
(Idea source: familycrafts.about.com, although I have made this before).
The Christmas Gift Poem
It isn’t the flowing ribbons,
Draped and curled with extra care,
Or the fine and fancy bows
Tied with ornamental flair.
It isn’t the label on the box,
The sum of money spent,
Or anything that shows the length
To which you obviously went.
The beauty of a Christmas gift
Cannot be seen at all.
For the loveliness of giving
Is a feeling, grand and tall.
It’s the genuine offer of love,
The yearning to make a connection,
A show of honest gratitude,
A display of sincere affection.
The web site www.share-christmas.com shared this wonderful Christmas poem.
Christmas is a giving heart, but it is a giving heart of love and gratitude.
“Buone Feste Natalizie” an Irish gaelic “Merry Christmas!”