Christmas to me
I always remember Christmas as a child
because it was my favourite time of year. My mum would bring 2-pillow case down from upstairs, 1 for my brother and 1 for
me. She would always put an apple and orange in the bottom of the case because she always said "Santa may bring you lots of
sweets but I’m making sure you get your goodness". We’d then go to bed because Father Christmas wouldn’t
come until all the children went to sleep and I always remember that as a child being said by my mum and in books and movies.
I tried to stay awake every year so I could
hear the reindeers on the roof but it never happened because I always fell asleep no matter how long I managed to stop awake.
It was something that always amazed me Father Christmas always knew I was awake and that’s why I couldn’t hear
anything. When we got up in the morning to my surprise I always had a pillowcase full of lovely toys and sweets from Santa.
Even now Christmas is my favourite
time of your because I love the food that comes with it, trimming the tree and the films of yester year, one of which is ‘Wizard
of OZ’ I’ve always enjoyed sitting down to that film because it’s just like a fantasy and real life all
rolled up in one.
Find out more about Christmas below...
There is a lot of controversy and confusion in people's minds over Christmas and its meaning both in our personal
lives and in the world.
Some people feel it is an exclusively Christian holiday, holding no special meaning for them. Others believe it is nothing
more than a feeding frenzy for the free market and an excuse to get people to open their wallets at every turn. Others take
the viewpoint that it is a holy day that is cheapened and diminished by all the garish festivities. Yet few, if any, when
really pressed, are willing to give up the Christmas holiday, in spite of their ambivalent feelings. The reason for this is because of the real meaning behind the Christmas
season. A meaning that we all somehow psychically feel even though our own intellect doesn't fully comprehend what all the
fuss is about.
That hidden meaning is that Christmas
is the festival of the human heart. It is a time of year when the entire universe conspires to raise the vibratory level of
consciousness on earth to one of peace and love toward one another and us. This season resonates to the sweet, childlike innocence
that resides in all of us. A time when the heavenly forces inspire us to shift our focus away from fear and towards one of
joy, and healing. The Christmas festival emphasizes this
shift in two ways; one is the rebirth of the soul and the second is the return of the light to earth. Even before the rebirth
of Christ that centres around our modern day Christmas festival, as far back as recorded history, in fact, these two themes
of rebirth and light have emerged again and again during this time of year.
It is as if Divine Consciousness
moves forward year after year, during the darkest season, to bring us back to light. Yet even knowing the true meaning of the Christmas season is not enough to convince some people of its
importance. "Peace! Goodwill! Humbug!" they cry just as Scrooge did in the famous Dickens fable. "These are nice ideas but
no more than a fantasy. I feel no peace. No goodwill!" Yet
there is a way to feel this vibratory shift. There is a way in which your own heart can experience the love and light pouring
into the earth's vibration from Divine Source. That way is to participate in the rituals of the season. No matter who you are, your heart cannot resist the beauty of an ornamented Christmas tree or the
glow of a mysterious menorah. Cynicism gives way to the celebration when carefully preparing holiday sweets or stringing colourful
lights around the entrance to your home. Any heart warms to a rousing rendition of "Joy to The World" or the sensuous smell
of roasting chestnuts on a crisp winter's eve.
Sadness leaves when carefully
choosing gifts to delight and surprise those you love. The heart feels rich and fulfilled as you wrap them in gay paper and
bows. For just a while, through partaking of the whim and richness of the season, life takes on an extraordinary hue, one
of sweetness and safety. Something psychic and healing happens to our hearts as we enjoy the layer upon layer of these sensual
seasonal delights. These rituals open the heart chakra and allow us to feel and express the innocence and beauty of being
a child of the universe. Each occasion we create to
feel the vibrations of Christmas helps raise the consciousness of the planet and return it to balance. For every person creating
joy, there is one less person in pain. These are the ways
to experience the vibrational shift toward light that occurs during this season. But there is one more thing you can do to amplify this experiences a thousandfold.
That is to enter the season of Christmas
with the intention of being a personal messenger of light and love, and celebrate in the name of service to Divine Consciousness. Nothing transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary more directly
than the intention to do what ever you are doing with the desire to serve higher power. When we celebrate the season with such an intention and desire, we not only experience Christmas . .
. we actually become Christmas: an agent of rebirth of the soul and brings of light. Therefore, the best gift you can give to yourself and the world during this holiday season is a cup of spiced cider,
a delicious Christmas cookie, a round of jingle bells, and the gift of love. So be it.
History of the christmas tree.
Many legends exist about the origin
of the Christmas tree. One is the story of Saint Boniface, an English monk who organised the Christian Church in France and
Germany. One day, as he travelled about, he came upon a group of pagans gathered around a great oak tree about to sacrifice
a child to the god Thor. To stop the sacrifice and save the child's life Boniface felled the tree with one mighty blow of
his fist. In its place grew a small fern tree. The saint told the pagan worshipers that the tiny fir was the Tree of Life
and stood the eternal life of Christ.
Another legend holds that Martin Luther, a founder of
the Protestant faith, was walking through the forest one Christmas Eve. As he walked he was awed by the beauty of millions
of stars glimmering through the branches of the evergreen trees. So taken was he by this beautiful sight that he cut a small
tree and took it home to his family. To recreate that same starlight beauty he saw in the wood, he placed candles on all its
Yet another legend tells of a poor woodsman who long ago met a lost and hungry child on Christmas Eve. Though
very poor himself, the woodsman gave the child food and shelter for the night. The woodsman woke the next morning to find
a beautiful glittering tree outside his door. The hungry child was really the Christ Child in disguise. He created the tree
to reward the good man for his charity.
Others feel the origin of the Christmas tree
may be the "Paradise Play." In medieval times most people could not read and plays were used to teach the lessons of the bible
all over Europe. The Paradise Play, which showed the creation of man and the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden,
was performed every year on December 24th. The play was performed in winter creating a slight problem. An apple tree was needed
but apple trees do not bare fruit in winter so a substitution was made. Evergreens were hung with apples and used instead.
Another story comes from Germany about spiders and
Christmas trees. Long ago families allowed their animals to come inside and view the Christmas trees on Christmas Eve. Because
the Christ Child was born in a stable, they felt that the animals should take part in the Christmas celebration. But spiders
weren’t allowed because housewives didn't want cobwebs all over everything. Of course the spiders were unhappy about
this, so one year they complained to the Christ Child. He felt sorry for them and decided that late at night He would let
them in to see the trees. The excited spiders loved the Christmas trees and all night long they crawled about in the branches,
leaving them covered with webs. On Christmas morning the housewives saw what the spiders had done. But instead of being angry,
they were delighted. For in the night the Christ Child had turned all of the cobwebs into sparkling tinsel. And even today,
tinsel is often used to decorate Christmas trees to add that same sparkle the Christ Child gave the cobwebs long ago, in Germany.
True meaning of Carols.
Carols - The word comes from the ancient Greek
chorus, which means "dancing in a circle," and from the Old French word Carole, meaning "a song to accompany dancing." Originally
the carol was not associated with Christmas and was not even a religious song.
In early medieval times the Church did not encourage
the singing of carols, believing that Christmas should be celebrated in a solemn way and that carols were linked to pagan
festivals. The Church eventually relaxed its attitude, and the fifteenth century saw a great increase in the writing and singing
of Christmas carols. "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is our earliest carol, from the twelfth century.
It was not until the nineteenth century
that many of the older carols were rediscovered and set to music.
The Legend of Mistletoe:
For it’s supposedly mystical power
mistletoe has long been at the centre of many folklore. One is associated with the Goddess Frigga. The story goes that Mistletoe
was the sacred plant of Frigga, goddess of love and the mother of Balder, the god of the summer sun. Balder had a dream of
death that greatly alarmed his mother, for should he die, all life on earth would end. In an attempt to keep this from happening,
Frigga went at once to air, fire, water, earth, and every animal and plant seeking a promise that no harm would come to her
son. Balder now could not be hurt by anything on earth or under the earth.
Balder had one enemy, Loki, god of evil and he knew
of one plant that Frigga had overlooked in her quest to keep her son safe. It grew neither on the earth nor under the earth,
but on apple and oak trees. It was lowly mistletoe. So Loki made
an arrow tip of the mistletoe, gave to the blind god of winter, Hoder, who shot it, striking Balder dead. The sky paled and
all things in earth and heaven wept for the sun god. For three days each element tried to bring Balder back to life. He was
finally restored by Frigga, the goddess and his mother. It is said the tears she shed for her son turned into the pearly white
berries on the mistletoe plant and in her joy Frigga kissed everyone who passed beneath the tree on which it grew.
The story ends with a decree that who should
ever stand under the humble mistletoe; no harm should befall them, only a kiss, and a token of love. What could be more natural
than to translate the spirit of this old myth into a Christian way of thinking and accept the mistletoe as the emblem of that
love which conquers Death? Its medicinal properties, whether real or imaginary, make it a just emblematic of that Tree of
Life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations thus paralleling it to the Virgin Birth of Christ.
Christmas Cake Recipe
Still a child at heart
The Legend of Holly:
The plant with its shiny
green prickly leaves and red berry has come to stand for peace and joy, people often settle arguments under a holly tree.
Holly is believed to frighten off witches and protect the home from thunder and lightning. In West England it is said sprigs
of holly around a young girl's bed on Christmas Eve are supposed to keep away mischievous little goblins. In England, British
farmers put sprigs of holly on their beehives. On the first Christmas, they believed, the bees hummed in honour of the Christ
Child. The English also mention the "he holly and the she holly" as being the determining factor in who will rule the household
in the following year, the "she holly" having smooth leaves and the "he holly" having prickly ones. In Germany, a piece that
has been used in church decorations is regarded as a charm against lightning. Other beliefs included putting a sprig of holly
on the bedpost to bring sweet dreams and making a tonic from holly to cure a cough. All of these references give light to
"decking the halls with boughs of holly."
The sacredness of holly, however, finds a pagan origin. The
Druids believed that holly, with its evergreen look keeps the earth beautiful when the sacred oak lost it leaves. They used
to wear sprigs of holly in their hair when they went into the forest to watch their priests cut the sacred mistletoe.
Holly was the sacred plant of Saturn and was used at the Roman Saturnalia festival to honour him. Romans gave one another
holly wreaths and carried them about decorating images of Saturn with it. Centuries later, in December, while other Romans
continued their pagan worship, Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus. To avoid persecution, they decked their homes with
Saturnalia holly. As Christian numbers increased and their customs prevailed, holly lost its pagan association and became
a symbol of Christmas.