Nativity is the name given for the day of Jesus’ birth, the full filling of the prophecy. In the Roman calendar of 336 AD, the first mention of Dec. 25 honoring Jesus is written. I believe this was about the time Christianity became fully organized. What do you think?
St. Nicholas is the forerunner of the imaginary man we call Santa Claus. He lived from 270 AD until 343 AD, and was known as the wonder worker. In Europe, St. Nicholas Day is a festival for children and is very popular, especially in Holland. St Nicholas’ Dutch name is “Sinter Klaas.” St. Nicholas learned of three sisters in a poor family who had no dowry, so he filled three stockings with gold and gave one to each girl. And the girls got married! Somehow that began the use of stockings hanging on the fireplace mantel full of gifts for children. That’s how I heard it! What do you think?
About 1809, the Dutch name for St. Nicholas was translated in English to Santa Claus. In 1822, an Episcopal minister, Clement Clarke Moore, wrote a poem for his children and named it “An account of a visit from St. Nicholas.” Remember “T’was the night before Christmas?” Later, in 1881, a Thomas Nast gave Santa his present red suit with white fur trim and also his long white beard, black boots, his workshop at the North Pole with elves and his wife, Mrs. Claus. In 1870, the United States federal government declared Dec. 25, a national holiday. Christmas is for everyone — a midwinter holiday for schools, businesses, banks and the post office — a Christian holiday. What do you think?
Rudolph and the reindeers
The norm was eight reindeer, and you all know their names don’t you? Then one foggy night the ninth reindeer came into existence. Guess who! Yes, in 1939, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer came into our lives, written by Johnny Marks. I was 19 years old at the time, and it took the country by storm; two and one half million copies were sold. In 1949, Gene Autry recorded the song and it sold two million records. As you know, Rudolph was an outcast because of his red nose. But then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa could not see to drive his sleigh. Rudolph with his red nose helped Santa deliver his gifts. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer will always be with us. What do you, think?