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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa Claus; Father Christmas; Saint Nicholas; Sinter Klass

Meaning of Christmas ~ Part Three (final)

No matter what name you use, children all over the world, especially in North America seem to associate him with Christmas, often confusing him for the reason of celebrating Christmas. I have been wondering if it is mainly in North America that commercialization has somehow morphed Santa and Christmas together, or if it’s a worldwide epidemic? Would love to hear from readers outside of NA about how they celebrate the gift giving that occurs at the same time as the celebration of Christmas.

History tells us that St. Nicholas was born in 280 AD ~ a wealthy man who travelled the world helping those less fortunate. A Christian priest, who later became a bishop, eventually he would be named the patron saint of children, sailors, Russia and Greece. Being a humble man he would do his good deeds cloaked in the darkness of the night, so recipients would not learn his identity. By end of the 1400s, St Nicholas was the third most beloved religious figure, after Jesus and Mary.

In the 1500s people in England stopped worshipping St Nicholas and favored more another gift giving figure Father Christmas. Over the centuries, St. Nicholas' popularity grew, and people being people repeated stories about this great man and eventually the stories evolved to the modern day association with children. The name Santa Claus was derived from the Dutch Sinter Klass pronunciation of St. Nicholas. Early Dutch settlers in New York (once called New Amsterdam) brought their traditions of St. Nicholas. As children from other countries tried to pronounce Sinter Klass, this soon became Santa Klass, which finally evolved to what we call today, Santa Claus. The old bishop's cloak with miter, jeweled gloves and cozier were soon replaced with his red suit and clothing seen in other modern images.

Christmas is the celebration of God’s (as we call him in my part of the world) precious gift to us. Santa Claus or Father Christmas, as the name I first came to know him by ~actually is symbolic of ancient and modern day giving to others in “need”. So, I’ll leave you with this when did a DS; IPod; designer hand bag /shoes (ok I know ~ I’m not going to cast stones into my own glass house here..lol) or the latest “It” item go from a want to a need?
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How have we as educated, hard working individuals go from celebrating all that we have, to celebrating WANTING needing more? And somehow justifying the accumulation of disposable things instead of helping and giving to others in the true meaning of giving the basic needs ~ food, shelter, clothing, love and care and the small token gift?
For those who have followed all three parts of the Meaning of Christmas, thank you and thank you for your wonderful comments, I was starting to wonder if it was my ABI that was making me question things. I’m happy to read that many of you out there feel the same; there is a place for both Santa Claus and the celebration of Christmas, so let’s celebrate both in the true spirit of their respective origin .

So, make your lists for Santa Claus (I know I will) .. just remember the difference between WANT and NEED. To give in the TRUE MEANING of the season ~ give to those less fortunate. And certanily to celebrate the gift God gave us, all his Children ~ to learn to be good to each other, have faith and believe!!

You can read Part One here and Part Two here.

14 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your sweet visit to my site...such a pleasure.
    Wishing you much J*O*Y and happiness
    ............Rosie.............

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  2. Beautiful, and so true. You have this amazing way, through your experiences, of reminding us of what matters most in life. You help keep me grounded and I love you for that.

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  3. Great series! It certainly has given everyone some food for thought!

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  4. What a wonderful series and so well put!
    Hope you had a super weekend my friend and that the anticipated snowfall missed your neck of the woods!

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  5. Beautiful blog!

    Found you on the Sunday Blog Hop! I’m your newest follower! http://aworldofcrafts.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your posts were so well written. Yes there is aplace for santa and our Lord and Savior Jesus! Thanks for reminding all of us! Hope you have a fantastic day my fried!
    XO
    Jessica

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  7. Sadly enough, it's down South too! Can you believe it, in the south??LOL

    I have yet to hear ONE commercial/anything on tv/radio that mentions anything about Jesus/Reason for the Season/Christ.....it's all Santa...Santa...Santa. :(

    It makes me sad b/c some families won't teach their children and then it's a downward spiral....they won't pass it to their children. Children learn what they live!

    Great post my sweet sweet friend! I hope this day finds you feeling well....XO

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  8. such and beautiful and informative piece! Merry Christmas!

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  9. Hey!
    I don't know if you got my email, but I'm apparently your mitten swap partner from Life of Meg?

    There was a mix up of my email, so it's late but if you're still interested in swapping comment on my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dearest Celia,

    From Candice, I arrived here and first read 'about' you and got quite touched by your journey! This blog is very special as you speak of Sinter Klaas (correct spelling) from my childhood. Having come to the US when I was 32, that's my memory of gift giving and it was mainly for the children. But I was shocked the first time here in the US that they start in November, decorating like it is Carnival and way too commercial. They ruined my old perception of Christmas; the beautiful religious Feast with the family as center for being together. A good meal, of course but not the entire hocus pocus. Especially after having worked as International Consultants in South India and living for 3 years in Indonesia it turned me off even more. Knowing what true POVERTY means it makes one sick. Contentness is the true recipe for happiness. Being content with what you already HAVE. Bet that is far more than most people on this planet! There is this race, this urge for people following the WANT, this GREED that destroys families; relationships and on and on. Learn from our 4-legged furry babies. They know true happiness and demand very little in return for their unconditional love! We rescued a beautiful feline from being killed in Acapulco at the hotel we stayed. Paid for her shots and brought her on the plane home. Surprise she was pregnant and we kept all her 5 babies! We had already one from the humane society. Sad ending is that the mama cat that I LOVED so much has been kidnapped. At least, we did everything and never found any sign. We came back from Church and she was gone. I've been depressed more than from anything else; it hurt. But life goes on and one day we will meet again.
    Okay, so glad that I found you and I admire the new YOU. However painful it is for having shed your 'old' skin like a caterpillar but the beautiful butterfly is taking flight and you possess qualities that others never will have...
    Lots of LOVE + big hug xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dearest Celia,

    From Candice, I arrived here and first read 'about' you and got quite touched by your journey! This blog is very special as you speak of Sinter Klaas (correct spelling) from my childhood. Having come to the US when I was 32, that's my memory of gift giving and it was mainly for the children. But I was shocked the first time here in the US that they start in November, decorating like it is Carnival and way too commercial. They ruined my old perception of Christmas; the beautiful religious Feast with the family as center for being together. A good meal, of course but not the entire hocus pocus. Especially after having worked as International Consultants in South India and living for 3 years in Indonesia it turned me off even more. Knowing what true POVERTY means it makes one sick. Contentness is the true recipe for happiness. Being content with what you already HAVE. Bet that is far more than most people on this planet! There is this race, this urge for people following the WANT, this GREED that destroys families; relationships and on and on. Learn from our 4-legged furry babies.

    ReplyDelete
  12. They know true happiness and demand very little in return for their unconditional love! We rescued a beautiful feline from being killed in Acapulco at the hotel we stayed. Paid for her shots and brought her on the plane home. Surprise she was pregnant and we kept all her 5 babies! We had already one from the humane society. Sad ending is that the mama cat that I LOVED so much has been kidnapped. At least, we did everything and never found any sign. We came back from Church and she was gone. I've been depressed more than from anything else; it hurt. But life goes on and one day we will meet again.
    Okay, so glad that I found you and I admire the new YOU. However painful it is for having shed your 'old' skin like a caterpillar but the beautiful butterfly is taking flight and you possess qualities that others never will have...
    Lots of LOVE + big hug xx

    ReplyDelete

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