Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Magic of Christmas

This is my first year on facebook, and i have been saddened reading about how children are either being told Santa Claus isn't real, or they're beginning to question the legend of Santa Claus at earlier ages. I think the latter is being caused by the former. First of all, Santa is based on a real person...

Saint Nicholas was born to wealthy christian parents in the third century. His parents died while he was still very young. Obeying Jesus' words to sell all you have and give the money to the poor, Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. Saint Nicholas is known as the patron and protector of children.

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds.
One story tells of a poor man who had three daughters. In those days, a father had to offer his daughter's prospective husband a dowry. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry...and without dowry's, these young women were likely to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, a bag of gold appeared in their home, on three different occasions--which provided the needed dowries. the bags were tossed through an open window and are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left by the fire to dry. That's where we get the custom of hanging stockings at Christmastime.

Saint Nicholas died December 6th, which is why many celebrate St. Nicholas day on that day each year. During my time as a part-time nanny for a German family in Mobile, Alabama, I learned about the tradition of Saint Nicholas day--it's one I would like to keep with my future children. Kids put their shoes outside the door while they sleep on December 6th. During the night, Nicholas comes and fills their shoes...candy if they were good, rocks if they were bad...one of my kids that I kept got rocks in one shoe and candy in the other one year! I guess he was half good/half bad! :)

As christians, we all know the true reason for the season. Jesus. But Jesus if about a gift. God gave Jesus to the world so that we could know Him and spend eternity with Him. And because I am a christian, and I love Jesus, I believe Christmas is about giving...whether it be a gift of love or of a toy. And Santa fits right into that category...

plus...What's childhood without a bit of make believe and magic? I have to commend my parents, Bob and Regina, were all about the magic of Christmas. This is the truth! I believed in Santa Claus until I was a teenager! Yes, you probably think i'm a dork...But everytime I started to doubt, something would happen on Christmas eve! One year I heard elves run down the hallway! I'm not kidding! It sounded like little people, and lots of them, running! Then one year, I heard reindeer on the roof! If that's not enough to make you believe, I don't know what is! And one year...on Christmas Day, we found sleigh marks in the yard! It was amazing!

But of course, we always had the nativity in the house--and always talked about JEsus and the gift He gave us!

I say all of this to say--enjoy the magic of Christmas! And let your children enjoy it, too! Because, we only get one childhood! And if you have the imagination and the means...make this Christmas a little more magical for them. And for yourself!

I can only hope somewhere a child is hearing reindeer on the roof, or bells, or even elves in the hallway. :)

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