Most people, particularly kids often doubt the authenticity of Santa Claus! Well, our dear Santa is indeed real. Santa or Saint Nicholas was the patron saint known for his generous nature. This holy man was orphaned at an early age and was brought up in a monastery. With age he took up the position of a bishop. He made a mark for himself for his generous nature. In fact, there are innumerable tales related to his generousness.
With time, the European community has come up with the concept of St. Nick and personalized it to make it their own. It is because of this reason why we at times find changes in Santa’s appearance. However, one thing that stays consistent in all is his gift giving nature.
It is often considered that Christmas festivities that do not include the nativity misinterpreted the meaning of Christmas. But then, St. Nicholas being a religious man lead his life as per the holy scriptures of the time and it is only because of this that the nativity and Santa hold parallels.
The birth of Lord Jesus in itself shows God giving us in only son…an eternal gift indeed. In addition to this, three wise men also came with gifts to welcome the newly born Jesus Christ.
Although, St. Nicholas is no more with us, we still find in presence in Santa. So, the next, time your kid asks you whether Santa lives or not, be bold enough to answer a “yes”.
The word “Christmas” comes from the phrase “Christ’s mass,” which refers to a religious service devoted to the celebration of Christ. The main purpose of this holiday is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, which marks the one of the central events to the religion of Christian traditions: God coming down to earth and taking human form to atone for the sins of humanity.
Churches hold a Midnight Mass, or service, on the night before Christmas, where they are told the story of Mary, Joseph and the birth of Jesus. They sing Christmas hymns and other Christmas songs. Most people do not attend church services on Christmas day, as they are usually busy with family celebrations and feasts.
Many churches hold Christmas pageants, or plays, where children perform the story of Jesus’ birth. Nativity scenes, which are made up of either statues or actual people, portray Jesus in the manger surrounded by Joseph, Mary, the Wise Men and barn animals, and are often found in front of churches during December, or as decorations in homes with small figurines.
How to decorate home on Christmas
Now that you have a somewhat fair idea about Christmas and its history, let us now proceed towards the joy of celebrating Christmas. And guess what? The first thing that you need to focus on when it comes to Christmas celebration is the decoration. Going in for a home décor is pretty simple if you know from where to make a move. Make sure to start early with your planning and prepare a list of your wish list. The earlier you start off with this list, the better deals you are likely to come up with. When it comes to purchasing your Christmas decorations, you need to focus on the fundamentals such as the ornaments, lights as well as Christmas trees. Next, you need to focus on the accents as well as finishing touches. Some of the stuffs that you can purchase when it comes to decorating home include- string lights, Christmas tree, garland/tinsel, wreaths, paper snowflakes, themed home accents, pillows, quilts, throws, hand as well as dish towels, tablecloths, tools for storing and securing decorations, supplies or ornaments for designing and painting your house, ribbons, strings, tape, scissors, a ladder for wreaths and lights outside, a hole punch, newspaper and plastic bins, candles, nut crackers, candy games, candy canes, stockings and nativity scenes.
First and foremost you need to come up with a plan. Determine how much decoration you would like to go in for and the exact time that you may devote for the same. If you are on a tight budget, start small. Generally when it comes to decorating the outside and inside of the house, less is more. You need to strategize the rooms as per their priorities. For instance, you will have to start with your front hallways because it’s the first room that your guests and family will notice the moment they step into your house.
Opt for a Christmas tree so as to decorate your indoors. You may use string lights, tinsel, and ornaments for decorating the tree. Wrap tinsel and garlands around the staircase banisters. Outside you may hang one or more wreaths on your front doors so as to add to its charm! You may also place electric candles on the window panels.
Last, but not the least, you need to concentrate on the finishing touches. You may put decorative items such as Nativity scenes, stockings, and nutcrackers on display by hanging them over the fireplace. You may also hang Christmas cards in the room and place mistletoe above the door frames. You may also use candy canes for decorating garland and trees as well as filling glass jars or vases.
How to decorate office on Christmas
When it comes to Christmas décor, why leave behind your office? Adding only a couple of Christmas decorations will enhance the overall mood of your office. Let us now take a look at the different tips that tricks using which you can decorate your office.
To begin with, you need to have a chat with your supervisor about decorating your workplace on Christmas because there may be some rules and regulations about office décor as some of your decorative ideas may turn out to be hazardous. Once you have a discussion with your supervisor and he agrees to your proposal, you need to have a talk with your co-workers. You need to inform them about the kind of decorations you are using and ask them for their suggestions as well. For instance, some of your colleagues may get along well with the idea of a stuffed Santa Claus hanging in the hall but then wont find it good enough to have a baby Jesus on their desk. After all, you need to decorate your workplace keeping in mind the religion and rights of other people.
Now, comes the real part- check out some of the great office decorating ideas that you may count on this Christmas-
Why not make an office snowman? Don’t you think that’s a great idea to proceed with? Collect all shredded office papers and use them for stuffing two to three white pillows. Next, you need to sketch on some eyes, use a pencil for crafting a nose and use paper clips for drawing on a mouth. Additionally, you need to also come up with your creativity so as to use the resources of your office as your decorative items.
Role of Christmas tree
Christmas trees hold a prominent position when it comes to Christmas celebrations. The history of these trees is as old as 1510. The first Christmas tree that was decorated was at Riga, Latvia. It is true that there are multiple stories as to how these trees came into existence; Germany is the only country that was connected with the origin of these trees.
It is believed that when some Pagans made up a plan for sacrificing a kid below an oak tree, it was St. Boniface from Germany who prevented the act by cutting the tree down. However, when he cut the tree down, he found a fir tree beneath the oak tree. Boniface announced it as a holy tree whose branches pointed out to the heaven.
Another story of the nineteenth century claims that Prince Albert was the man behind the origin of the Christmas trees. When Prince Albert and Queen Victoria came to England soon after tying the knot, Christmas celebration was in full swing. He decorated a fir tree as a part of the Christmas celebration. As the Englishmen were in favor of the Queen, they adopted the custom of tree decoration on Christmas.
Some people also believe that the concept of Christmas tree decoration was introduced by Martin Luther. During the eve of Christmas (1500 AD), Martin Luther was sitting in a reclined position along the snow covered woods. It was at this point of time that he was captivated by a bunch of small evergreens. The branches of the fir trees were covered with snow and shined in the moonlight. No sooner than he walked back to this house, he set up a small fir tree indoor so as to narrate the same marvelous story to his kids. He used glittering candles for decorating the tree in honor of Lord Jesus.
The evergreen nature reflects the triumph of life over death. Staying evergreen is in itself a divine quality which manifests immortality. It is also believed that Christmas trees have the power to defeat the ill spirits of winter. It is common belief that by bringing in a Christmas tree in your house you are in a way paving your way towards good luck. Christmas trees symbolize the fact that the light of spring will overcome the darkness of winter.
On Christmas, you will find people placing Christmas trees at prominent locations and decorating the same using toys, color papers, food as well as candles. The credit of Christmas tree decoration perhaps goes to the Romans. They were the first to decorate the trees using metal bits so as to show respect to the Sun God. In 1990s, greeting cards, popcorn strings, cotton, pictures, glass balls and candies were used for Christmas tree decoration. Today, Christmas trees are decorated using a combination of Halloween décor items as well as Christmas tree décor items.
In simple words, the Christmas tree forms an integral part in Christmas celebrations. Although there are some trees that go dry during the wintry months, it is the fir tree that stays green and fresh, this is again a manifestation of its holiness!
Today Christmas ornaments (i.e. the decorative items that are generally made of metal, glass, ceramics or wood) are used to decorate a Christmas tree. These ornaments take different forms, starting from the highly artistic ones to the simpler ones. You may use the Christmas ornaments year after year in stead of purchasing them every year.
Similar to a Christmas tree, there are a couple of stories related to Christmas stocking as well. For instance, there was a generous nobleman whose wife had expired because of a disease thereby leaving his daughters in dismay. This person had lost all his wealth in unnecessary inventions and as a result was compelled to shift to a peasant’s cottage. The daughters too had a tough time cleaning, cooking as well as sewing. When the time came for his daughters’ marriage, the father turned all the more depressed. This was chiefly because he had no money for their dowries. One night the daughters has washed their clothing and hung their stockings close to the fireplace to dry. That same night, St. Nicholas who was aware of the nobleman’s worry stopped by his house and too three small bags of gold out from this pouch and threw them down the chimney so that they fall straightway to the chimney. The next morning, when the daughters woke up, they saw small bags of gold in their stockings. The nobleman could marry off his daughters with the help of St. Nicholas’s gifts.
Children round the world continue this tradition of hanging stockings and waiting in anticipation of Santa to come! In some countries, people follow almost the same customs, but with a slight variation, for instance, in France, the kids place their shoes by the fireplace whereas in Holland, kids fill their shoes using a carrot and hay for the horse of Sintirklass. Similarly, in Hungary kids shine their shoes prior to putting them close to the window sill or door. Italian kids leave their shoes out before the night of Epiphany and wait for La Befana, the good witch. In Puerto Rico kids put flowers in tiny boxes and place them under their beds for the Three Kings’ camels.
Even a few years back, it was customary to receive small items such as fruit, nuts and candy in the Christmas stocking, but of late these gifts have been substituted by more expensive gifts in most of the homes.
The word “carol” has been derived from the French word “caroler” implying dancing around in a circular motion. However, with time, the word covered a broader perspective and included lyrics and music.
Most of the conventional Christmas carols revolved around joyous themes. But then, Protestant Oliver Cromwell banned them in England together with other carols. It was only during the Victorian age that the carols regained their lost fame. As religious observances in England and the United States were closely associated with the popularity of Christmas carols grew in both countries in the nineteenth century. Many Christmas customs are pretty recent like reindeer and Santa Claus and in no way have any association with Christmas carols.
Music of Christmas
Christmas music includes a variety of genres of music essentially performed during the Christmas season. Music formed an early feature of the Christmas season as well as its celebrations. The earliest litanies, chants as well as hymns were in Latin. It was during the thirteenth century when the Christmas music came into prominence. Some of the famous music that can be played on Christmas includes-
- "Away in a Manger"
- "Angels We Have Heard on High"
- "Coventry Carol"
- "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella"
- "Deck the Halls" (Deck the Hall)
- "The First Nowell" (The First Noël)
- "Ding Dong Merrily on High"
- "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
- "Gabriel's Message"
- "Good King Wenceslas"
- "God rest you merry, gentlemen" (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen)
- "Here We Come A-Wassailing"
- "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
- "I Saw Three Ships"
- "The Holly and the Ivy"
- "In dulci jubilo"
- "I Wonder as I Wander"
- "It Came upon the Midnight Clear"
- "In the Bleak Midwinter"
- "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming"
- "Joy to the World"
- "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"
- "O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)"
- "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
- "O Holy Night (Cantique de Noel)"
- "Once in Royal David's City"
- "Sussex Carol (On Christmas Night)"
- "Silent Night"
- "Up on the House Top"
- "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
- "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
- "We Three Kings of Orient Are"
- "What Child Is This"
- "Wexford Carol"
- "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks"
Christmas pictures and Wallpapers
Take a look at the Christmas wallpapers and pictures and you are sure to get into the mood of Christmas celebrations. There are different symbols associated with Christmas celebrations and you can choose any that best suits your needs. In fact, opting for Christmas wallpapers is perhaps the best way through which you can make the most out of your Christmas celebrations even if you have a hectic work schedule at your end. Apart from using the Christmas wallpapers as symbols, you may download them so as to use them as display screens on your cell phones. Pictures in different categories depict the different shades of the celebrations and you’ll get a chance to view all these on the Christmas wallpapers. Some of the themes around which Christmas wallpapers and pictures revolve are as follows-
- Ornament Favors
- Christmas Garden
- Christmas Prayer
- Christmas Lights
- Christmas Traditions
- Christmas Stars
- Christmas Song
- Christmas Wallpaper
- Holiday Wreath
- Christmas Carols
- Nightmare before Christmas
- Santa Reindeer
Sending and receiving Christmas greetings are a holiday tradition which keeps us in the festive mood. The tradition of exchanging Christmas greetings is as old as 1700s. When you send a Christmas greeting card to a person it means a lot to him/her and is quite likely that they would treasure them for years to come. Next, don’t forget to write the names of the recipients on the cards. E-cards are yet another option through which you can convey your Christmas greetings to your loved ones. Sending a Christmas greeting card also means that you value your relation or friendship with the recipient.
You may also go in for handmade Christmas cards for the special person in your life, your family members and best friends. Though preparing these cards is a time consuming job but then, they add a personal touch to your message. Coming up with homemade cards is an ideal way through which you can engage your kids in something creative activity.
Custom imprinted and personalized verses add elegance to your Christmas cards. With the advent of the digital photos, you can now order personalized holiday cards easily. All you need to do is opt for online photo printing websites, select your card style and upload your photo…your personalized Christmas greeting is ready! Make sure to send your cards during the first or second week of December so that the recipient gets it on time. This is generally a remarkable gesture that will help your friends and family members know how much you love and care for her. You may also send Christmas cards to business associates as it helps you with an opportunity to blend a time honored corporate tradition together with a specific style of your personal company. Photo Christmas cards are ideal for professional purposes and offer striking network marketing scopes.
Christmas gifts and gift ideas
Apart from Christmas greetings, the tradition of exchanging Christmas gifts is equally important on Christmas. It’s an ideal time when you will find people hopping from one shop to the other in search of the perfect gifts for his/her family and friends.
The history of Christmas gifts dates back to the fourth century A.D. – the time when Saint Nicholas or more commonly Santa Claus existed. But then, when it comes to purchasing gifts for your near and dear ones you need to first consider the age group as well as the personality of the recipient. For instance, the gift that you choose for your child will in no way work for your mom and vice versa. Let us now take a look at the different Christmas gift ideas that you can come up with this Christmas-
Christmas gift ideas for kids
When it comes to purchasing gifts for kids you don’t have to always resort to expensive options. Instead you can come up with innovative ideas such as cookies and candies and prepare them at home. Your kids are sure to love these delicacies and cherish them. You may also decorate Christmas baskets and stuff them with chocolates, candles and ginger bread. Gadgets and computer games also make great gifts for your kids. Games, toys and candies make favorite gifts for kids. In addition to those included above, some of the other gift options that you can count on are as follows-
- Alarm clocks
- Build your own car kit
- Gimmicky cameras
- Fairy lights
- A remote controlled helicopter
- Ice cream maker
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Kitchen set
- Playmobil kits
- Racing car tracks
- Slipper socks
- Trolley case
- Electronic learning toys
- Zodiac chart
- Christmas gift ideas for men
Are you fed up of gifting neck tie and socks to your husband, brother or father on Christmas? If that’s the case then you can count on some of the options included below-
- Handheld game console device
- Tickets to a bungee jump
- Tickets to spend a weekend in Las Vegas
- Leather computer chair
- Tickets to an NFL game
- Brewing kit
Coin counting jar
You don’t have to always indulge in huge extravagances so as to come up with unique Christmas gifts for men. Instead, you need some planning and thought so as to come up with creative ideas. It is only a matter of knowing as well as understanding what makes a man tick!
Homemade personal gifts for Christmas
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to indulge in huge extravagances so as to come up with Christmas gifts. If you have the creative bent in you then you are sure to come up with great gifts but at a feasible deal. After all, your near and dear ones won’t blame you just because you didn’t break the bank so as to buy an expensive gift for them. There are innumerable things that you may purchase at a reasonable price which are equally useful and memorable.
Homemade Christmas gifts add a personal touch to your message and makes the recipient know how much you love and care for them. With a bit of creativity on your part together with some frugal and savvy shopping for raw materials, you may finally come up with something touching.
Christmas gifts for women
When you want to shop for a Christmas gift for women, the first thing that you need to focus on is how to see the smile on their face. Sentimental gifts are extremely special and are sure to melt your woman’s heart. Jewelry tops the list when it comes to choosing sentimental gifts. Remarkable figurines may also be special, particularly if there’s some special meaning or message behind it. Music boxes may be romantic, fun and inspirational. There are many men who prefer showering their beloved with multiple gifts. Whether you go in for one or more, the idea behind the concept of gift exchange is one- to make her know how much you love and care for her. However, before you choose any gift for your beloved, make sure that you are well aware of her likes and dislikes. Come up with gifts that she has been eyeing for sometime.
Christmas is a time for innumerable social events. At this hour, you’ll find people involved in the act of merry making. Christmas parties are stuffed with songs, competitions, games and dances. But then, a Christmas party for kids is pretty different from a Christmas part for adults.
Kids love to dress up; hence when you are planning for a Christmas party at your place, don’t forget to arrange for a fancy dress competition. Theme based parties also work well for kids and you can go in for themes like a Christmas light theme, Christmas candy land theme to name a few. On the flip side, when it comes to planning a Christmas party for adults, you can arrange for a quiz contest for entertainment. Additionally, you can also arrange for dance parties and gift games.
Any festive occasion or celebration is incomplete without sumptuous delicacies and Christmas is not an exception as well. On Christmas day, you will find families organizing a gala dinner party at home. Friends and family members form an integral part of these parties. If you too are interested to host a Christmas party at your home then some of the dishes that you can come up with include-
It is true that experimenting with food recipes is a great idea to come up with innovative recipes, but then, when it comes to Christmas, the traditional food menu cannot be missed out on. Some of the traditional yet special dishes that you can prepare this Christmas include-
- Chicken gravy
- Roast turkey
- Christmas cookies
- Potato pie
- Corn casserole
- Ginger bread
Christmas vacations and packages
Christmas is an ideal time when you can take a long break from the hustle bustle of city life and go out on a vacation. Now when it comes to choosing an exotic holiday destination, you need to start with your planning well in advance. Different people have different tastes when it comes to choosing a location. Say for instance, some find England an ideal destination to visit on Christmas whereas others resort to the USA or France. You need to choose Christmas vacation packages considering your taste and budget.
Let us first take a look at the all inclusive Christmas holiday packages-
The online world floods you with all inclusive Christmas holiday packages. These packages include anything and everything starting from accommodation, airport transfers to sightseeing facilities. Additionally, these packages also provide special theme vacations like the ski or beach vacations. With plenty of options by your side, you may go in for any that suits your requirements. Some of the well known packages that you can count on include-
- Christmas Cruise Holidays
- Christmas Vacation in Rome, Italy
- Christmas Vacation Package for Vermont Inn
- Christmas Holiday in London
- Christmas Holiday Package for The Helmsley Park Lane
- 3 Night Christmas in Bali
- Break in Cap Juluca in Anguilla
- Christmas Vacation in Chateau on the Lake, Branson, Missouri
- Christmas Party at Dolphin Bay Resort
On the flip side, if you are all set to beat the winter blues then you may come up with packages that have been exclusively designed for the chilled months. For instance, the Spanish Canary Islands are known for their warm winters and you’ll find innumerable accommodations here so as to plan your stay. Some of the other destinations that you may go in for include- Marmaris, Kusadasi, and Bodrum in Turkey. Similarly, if you are somebody who enjoys snowy Christmas celebrations, then Norway, Canada and England are ideal destinations to plan your trip to. Some of the special packages listed under this category are as follows-
- Egypt Vacation Packages
- Snow Ski Package
- Turkey Holiday Packages
- Winter Sun Vacations
- Discount Christmas Holiday Packages
You don’t have to indulge in much extravagance so as to plan your trip on Christmas. Even if you are on a tight budget, you can always count on the cheap Christmas travel packages. These packages have been exclusively designed for helping you with maximum fun and comfort but at feasible prices. Some of the cheap holiday packages that you can count on are as follows-
- Christmas Holidays in Spain
- Discount Christmas Packages for Turkey
- Cheap Christmas Vacations in Bali
- Cheap Christmas Holiday Packages for Florida
- Cheap Christmas Holidays in Egypt
- Christmas Vacations in Phuket
- Vacations in Majorca
- Christmas Vacations in Malta
When it comes to choosing a holiday package for Christmas, you need to keep in mind a couple of things. To begin with, you need to consider your overall budget for the trip. You need to consider the duration of trip and the overall expenses involved in the same. If you are eyeing on an all inclusive holiday package, make sure that it offers accommodation booking, sightseeing facilities and airport transport facilities.
Christmas travel packages come in different prices. The prices can be ascertained as per your travel requirements. In addition to the list of holiday packages included above, some of the other packages that you can go in for include-
- Caribbean holiday packages
- Walt Disney holiday packages
- Australia holiday packages
- South Africa holiday packages
- Bethlehem holiday packages
- Denmark holiday packages
To sum up, the festival is celebrated with much magnificence and grandeur and is believed to be an ideal time when the entire world basks in the glory of merriment. So, enjoy the jingling of bells, the light snow and above all the festive spirit and have a blast this Christmas.