We seem to be sending our kids the wrong idea about Christmas.
Like we do with many things, we side tracked away from the the Birthday of Jesus to St Nick so stores could profit.
And why did St Nick give presents to the poor?
He was touched by God to do good deeds for the less fortunate. He was touched by the idea of the three wise men who searched far and wide till they found the new born babe in swaddling clothes lying in a manger surrounded by animals and hay, bringing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense. They saw something special in a child from a poor family. They saw spiritual greatness, love and hope for the future of mankind. Their gifts were nothing compared to the glory of God in the highest, this child represented to them.
St Nick believed in the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit and because of this, he was deemed a Saint. People might not have known who he was but they knew of his goodness and the charity he showed to those less fortunate. St Nick was a man of mystery. His existence was based on faith as our belief in God is based on faith.
We, from our generation, remember lots of cookies, to give as gifts this time of year. Pop corn strewn on a string to hang on the tree. Home made candies and chocolates also hung on the tree. Candles are now replaced by lights but they must have emitted an extraordinary halo around the tree at night adding to the splendor and magic of this holiday. Outside the snow would glisten like diamonds under a starry sky Many people dressed up a tree in their back yard for the animals to nibble on. Further south where it was warm the tradition continued and people designed their own ways to celebrate and kids would be introduced to joy and God through gifts of kindness .
Lots of families made personal gifts in preparation for this big event of birth. This was a time of year to give something personal to a loved one, to show how much their birth meant to them. The three wise men began a tradition of gift giving which was followed up by St Nick and thus the birth of Christmas, as we know it, was initiated, to brighten and enlighten the eyes of children all around the world.
Every year we'd make something special with the year written on it. A painted bulb , an egg or some gold and silver paper design for the tree. An angel would sit on top of the tree or a star. Underneath we'd have the nativity scene we so gently pack to keep for the following years. We'd go to church and bring presents to place under the tree for the needy.
So the above song rings in bells of hope that we can bring back the true meaning of Christmas into perspective, the way it was meant to be and if you are looking for gifts to buy, support your community. Buy a person a gift card for a hair cut or an oil change or a good restaurant, support your cobbler, dry cleaner, local wine maker, butcher, knitting/quilting shop, dressmaker, etc... Once they close down or move, they will be missed.