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A Christmas to Remember


Make this next Christmas a magical and meaningful time. Here are some of the 

origins and meanings of the symbols which appear each year at Christmas.





   A Wreath:  A wreath of evergreens with four candles, two red and two white. One candle is lit before the evening meal on the first Sunday in Advent, or four Sundays before Christmas. This candle is extinguished after the meal is finished. The second Sunday evening two candles are lit and so on until on the fourth Sunday and on Christmas Eve all four candles are lit. I love a set of 4 vanilla pillar candles of various heights set on a plate, then surrounded with a decorated Christmas wreath. Make sure you have a plate which is glass or metal to catch the drips. Current Catalog has a metal wreath wooden door hanger (Item #061288) and a magnetic metal door hook (Item #061356). Both items are very useful and can be stored easily the rest of the year. 


Wreath Candle




Angels: As the shepherds were abiding in the field the night Christ was born the angel told them of the birth of Christ in nearby Bethlehem.


Apples: Because of the presence of animals in the stable when Christ was born, juicy apple cores are given to the animals on Christmas in some countries.

    Bambino: Symbolic of the baby Jesus. The most famous "bambinos" in art are the swaddled infants in terra cotta medallions, varied in form and expression, made by A. Della Robbia and designed by Brunellesehi, in A.D. 1419 in Florence, Italy. 


The Christmas Crocodile

5 out of 5 stars The perfect Christmas present! Book! Not crocodile :), September 1, 2000

Crocodiles do not conjure up images of a well-behaved pet! Alice Jayne sure tries to convince her eccentric family to keep a "puppy eyed" crocodile she finds under the Christmas tree. Our sympathy immediately goes out to the Christmas Crocodile who really "didn't mean to be bad." He sure gets into trouble in this book.

From page one, get ready to laugh at the adorable antics and pictures of less than amused family members. If the "Cat in the Hat" had been found under the Christmas tree, even he could not have created this much chaos! After gobbling down just about everything (a water bottle, candy canes, a Christmas roast, pumpkin pie, twenty-nine crumpets on the kitchen counter, a box of pralines, one fruitcake, five golden oranges, the left stove top burner, and a plate of ginger star cookies), the family locks the crocodile in the back room. They then retire for the evening.

What happens next can only be told by Bonny Becker and illustrated by David Small. We have copy which says: "For Alexia, Season's Eatings!" signed by Bonny Becker! This is a magical book from start to finish. You don't want all this fun to ever end...and you know...it might just being again. Don't peak at the last page! This is the perfect gift for any child at Christmas time. They will enjoy reading it all year long.


     Beach: So, what do people do who live in sun-drenched Africa and Australia? When I lived in Africa, we headed to the beach for two weeks in December or went camping. In Australia, you might find everyone down at the beach enjoying a meal of prawns, oysters, crayfish or lamb. This would be followed by a Christmas pudding. Traditionally, the Christmas tree is put up 14 days before Christmas and taken down 14 days after the holiday. It is often decorated with koala and kangaroo ornaments and some fake snow to evoke memories of Christmases in England. It is quite different to have Christmas in warm weather and I think I now prefer snow! It is just so much more fun to be eating a hot meal and to be looking out the window with the snow falling. 


  Bells: Two thousand years before Christ was born, bells were used in the Orient for joyful as well as sad occasions. Since Christ was born they have been used in many countries to announce his birthday. They are used to announce the hour of twelve on Christmas Eve in Spain. In some places bells chime as the "Golden Star" procession is moving. In other countries, Saint Nicholas carries a bell in one hand and switches in another. Santa Claus' reindeer wear sleigh bells. Chimes proclaim the entrance of Christmas in some places in America. During the Middle ages, young men would run through the streets ringing bells to celebrate each of the Twelve Days of Christmas, which was declared a religious holiday in Europe in 567. It lasted from December 25th to January 6th. After the 1700s, the luxury of the long holiday disappeared, and now Christmas is celebrated for only one day. Well, some of us celebrate for at least two days!  


The Bells of Christmas


I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play.

And mild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

And thought how, as the day had come

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And with the sound the carols drowned

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

If was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stone of a continent.

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead; nor doth He sleep!

The Wrong shall fail.

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, goodwill to men!"




Love, Santa: A different kind of Christmas Story

Operation Santa Claus, November 7, 2004

The first thing I did when I got home was unpack my letters and put them on top of my desk so they could breathe. Then I steamed some spinach in a warm filtered-water mist, read a book, and went to sleep. Then at four o'clock the next morning, I woke up in a cold sweat. I had gone from being an independent single woman to being the sole provider of Christmas for three innocent children. What had I been thinking? ~Sharon Glassman

Sharon Glassman instantly captured my attention with her modern journal about her adventures that lead up to the first entry on December 22nd at 2 A.M. Not the time of day one expects to find anyone at a post office. However, the all-night main Manhattan post office on Thirty-third Street and Eighty Avenue is where we find the author waiting in line, observing her surroundings and taking the opportunity to chat with a hockey player with a French accent and irresistible smile.

Sharon Glassman's writing style is witty, modern and deliciously entertaining. Santiago Cohen's art really captured my attention and helped to give the story an additional dimension of merriment.

Sharon Glassman may well be the Bridget Jones of Christmas although the focus is much more on shopping and the story focuses on buying gifts for children. The "wish lists" to Santa are letters sent to the post office from families in need. Sharon finds herself interested in three letters and then wonders what she was thinking. She only has a few days to find the presents and get them shipped in time for Christmas.

As she recounts her own Christmas history, you can see why her desire to transform herself into a "Lace-Clad Girlfriend of Christmas" overtakes her and leads her to her dream Christmas party. She also takes us along for her Christmas shopping trip that may inspire your own Operation Santa Claus dreams.

In her search for the perfect presents, she realized how specific the children's wishes are and that a castle, a football and a down jacket will take her on some interesting shopping trips. I loved her description of New York and how her pro-Noel family camped out on a red-and-green plaid living room couch to watch holiday television specials.

If you are wondering how you could give the gift of Christmas to children or adults across America, Sharon's heart-defrosting story will give you ideas about how you can find similar volunteer efforts.






72 Easy-to-Make Paper Snowflakes, November 22, 2006

"You can use the same patterns many times. Photocopy or trace the patterns rather than cutting them out so you can use them many times. You can also photocopy your patterns smaller or larger so you have a variety of snowflake sizes for decorating."

Snowflakes for all seasons is a pattern book to delight the imagination and give children a fun project for the holiday season or any holiday during the year. The snowflakes are not only for Christmas, but also include:

New Year's
Valentine's Day
President's Day
St. Patrick's Day
Fourth of July
Fun Favorites - Teddy Bears, Football, Ferris Wheel, Pinwheel and many more...

To create each snowflake you follow the folding instructions and then use the pattern at the base of any page where you find a snowflake you love.

Snowflakes can be used to decorate presents, packages, scrapbooks, invitations, Christmas trees or even the holiday table any time of the year. Buy a few glue glitter pens to decorate the snowflakes or glue and glitter to match any seasonal theme.

~The Rebecca Review


The Night Before Christmas Books


Page 2 of Christmas Symbols & Traditions

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