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Hello friends 🙂 I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday! Well, you may have figured out my hint last week. Last weekend the family loaded up to take pictures in the park…..the WHOLE family. Yes, it was my bright idea for us to drag along the cat, the dog, and the guinea pig….and they’re all wearing Santa hats. 🙂 These are on our Christmas cards.
It was a comical experience….okay a bit stressful too. Chester, our cat, was ticked and Snowball, our guinea pig, was freaking out. Tessa, our dog, was picture perfect. And then there’s me, Chris, and Michael, our lil man. Mom was our photographer.
I used four pics for our cards because I couldn’t choose. Chris & I decided not to do this next year!
This photo attempt failed. Snowball was not having it.
The Naval Museum had a Victorian holiday special. We got in free and we learned all about the Victorian roots of Christmas traditions. There were free cookies and coffee. It was fun.
The guys really loved looking at the old ships and cannons.
Michael and I aboard the “Water witch”.
Chris and Michael in front of the mast.
Tons of historical information.
Inside one of the displays. I wish we had visited while I was writing my book. Emmanuel, my main character, spends a lot of time on a ship.
The Captain’s Quarters
We learned that the Christmas tree was made popular in America and Britain because Queen Victoria’s family had one. People wanted to imitate the royal family. Also we get the tradition of Christmas cards from Queen Victoria’s family. We learned how Saint Nick evolved into the Santa image we see today. We don’t do the Santa thing here but Michael did learn who Saint Nicholas was. Many of my friends do elf on the shelf and they can be very creative.
My main issue with Santa is his God qualities….all knowing, omnipresent, eternal. The elf on the shelf idea at least takes one of those away, making Santa more human. He’s no longer all knowing. I don’t have a problem with make believe. In our case, Michael knows the difference between pretend and real. I pretended to be a leprechaun during Saint Patrick’s Day. The “leprechaun” left a green obstacle course in the living room. Michael had to find the pot of gold. It was good fun and Michael knew it was me. I respect my friends choices and I really like that the elf takes Santa down a notch. We really enjoyed the movie “Arthur Christmas”. It took away the immortal aspect by making Santa a generational job that gets passed down. So if you do Santa, then I’d recommend looking into elf on the shelf and movies or books that humanize him.
Any who, there’s a lot to wade through when picking holiday traditions. Many things started pagan but have changed into something completely different. Certain things are not as pagan as they’ve been made out to be….their roots going back to the early church. We learned about some of these traditions during the hanging of the greens at church.
I know Jesus was not born on December 25th. Most likely he was born in the fall. I posted articles about that a couple of months ago when we celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. Still, Christmas is a lovely time when people from all over celebrate Christ’ birth at the same time. Christmas carols talking about Christ’ salvation are played on secular radio stations and many people get into the spirit of giving. That’s beautiful and we take advantage of the Christmas cheer. Intent matters.
Here’s an interesting article about Christmas traditions:
This cleared up my thoughts that Christmas (Christ- Mass) had to do with Catholic Mass. It gives the actual meaning of the word mass, which means “to send”. Another thought…when we were learning about Victorian traditions the guide talked about the fuss over the name x-mas. X-mas is an abbreviation for Christmas that goes back hundreds of years. The letter X in the Greek actually stands for Christ. The priests would use X as an abbreviation since they had to write the word a lot. So no worries, X-mas is not a new fangled idea that takes Christ out of Christmas.
Michael and the other children had a poinsettia procession and we learned the meaning behind the lovely plant. The red leaves represent Christ’s blood.
Decorating of the Crismon tree. I had never heard of this tradition. The ornaments (crismons) are all white and each one represents a Biblical truth or a Christian tradition. The kids helped decorate.
All of the decorations in our church have deeper meaning. There’s a reason we have seven Christmas trees.
There are crowns in each window. I can’t remember why. I’d have to look at my booklet.
Anywho, we’ve enjoyed learning the names (titles) of Jesus during Advent. Also, Michael has read a joke to us each night and that’s fun. We’ve read Christmas stories, watched Christmas movies, eaten Christmas food, and seen Christmas lights. It’s all good ;).
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
PS: I found the list of symbols. It’s not as detailed as the presentation was but you get the idea.
Evergreen branches- God’s everlasting love for us.
Lights- Jesus is the light of the world.
Red Spirals- pointing to Heaven, we are reminded that the blood that He shed provided the path to our eternal home.
Red berries- represent the sweat drops of blood Jesus shed in the garden.
The Christmas tree- represents the cross and God’s love for us.
Majestic Crown- He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Emmanuel. God with us.
Oh, also we learned that the evergreen was a symbol of victory for the Romans. So early Christians put it up in their house to symbolize the victory we have through Christ.