Christmas Nuggets 🎁

Welcome to the first part of Christmas Cafe! Today, I’ve compiled a little list describing the origin and history of several elements of Christmas with a Santa and a Christmas tree drawing (painting? sketch?). Getting into it now! so it doesn’t get longer than it already is

Please click here to read more from this series!

#1 The Date

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a confirmed fact nor is it mentioned in the Holy Bible that Jesus Christ (whose birthday is celebrated as Christmas) was born on December 25. Most scholars think that Jesus was born between 2 BCE and 7 BCE, possibly in 4 BCE. In fact, the first recorded event of a December 25th celebration was in 336, during the time of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine. Orthodox and Coptic Churches that still use the Julian Calendar celebrate Christmas on the 7th January, and the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates it on the 6th January.

Image Source: Reader’s Digest

It is also believed that Mother Mary was told she would bear a baby on March 25, an event observed as the Annunciation. So, December 25th (9 months later) was arrived at, as the birth date.

Hanukkah, The Jewish festival of Lights, starts on the eve of the Kislev 25 (the Jewish month that coincides with December). Jesus was Jewish, suggesting this could be another reason why the Church chose to celebrate his birthday on December 25.

#2 Santa Claus

Santa Claus, the portly, jolly man we have all come to associate with Christmas is also known as Father Christmas, St. Nick or Kris Kringle. The progenitor of the modern Santa, St. Nicholas was a Greek Christian bishop, born in Patara, near Myra, in the Mediterranean.

Did you know the name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas)? Known as the patron saint of children, protector of children and sailors and noted for his piety and kindness, he lived during the Roman empire in the third and fourth centuries.

Could have definitely been better. I liked the book though.

Wikipedia describes Santa Claus as “a portly, jolly, white-bearded manβ€”sometimes with spectaclesβ€”wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, red hat with white fur, and black leather belt and boots and carrying a bag full of gifts for children.”

Thomas Nast, an American cartoonist of the 19th century was one of the first artists to define Santa Claus’s modern image.
Image Source: Wikipedia

As to how this popular image came into being, it is believed that the poem, ” ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as “a jolly old elf” with the ability to travel through chimneys. This poem, originally titled “An Account of a Visit from St.Nicholas” was written by Clement Clark Moore, a minister, for his daughters in 1823.

The poem by Clement Moore. The poem reads from top to bottom, starting from the left column to the right column.
(Image designed with Canva)

#3 Christmas Trees

There is a very interesting legend revolving around the Christmas trees we use today. Here is a short version:

Once upon a time, there was a Scandinavian village and there was a tree in the forest. The tree, a thunder-oak was considered to be the Norse God, Thor’s altar and the heathens who lived there sacrificed humans and animals at the altar as offerings to Thor. The tree which was believed to have grown from blood, was so forbidding and daunting that no one ventured out to it, animals or people. It also had mistletoes hanging from its branches.

So, one Christmas eve just before the winter rites were about to begin, St.Winfred, arrived with his people, went to the tree, took out a shining, golden axe (yes, it was golden) and hacked the tree at its base. The priests who supervised the offerings were clearly shocked that he was ruining the mighty Thor’s altar. Soon, the tree finally fell backwards. But then, they noticed a young fir tree behind the thunder oak, untouched by the gigantic fallen tree.

The saint then said to the people,
This little tree, a young child of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the tree of peace, for your houses are built of fir. It is the sign of endless life, for its leaves are forever green. See how it points upward to heaven! Let this be called the tree of the Christ Child. Gather about it, not in the wildwood, but in your own homes. There it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and rites of kindness. So shall the peace of the White Christ reign in your hearts!”

Image source: Pinterest

He further told them the tree was worthy of being holy unlike Thor’s tree which required blood to be holy. He then went on to emphasise on the usefulness of the fir tree which included it being used widely to build homes. The tree’s spire pointed to the skies and heaven, by extension, prompting the saint to declare it a ‘Child of Christ‘. The fir symbolized love, kindness and sacrifice. Fir also represented endless life and hope as it is an evergreen tree.

He told the people it should be kept inside homes, sanctified with love and compassion. He also introduced the idea of sharing gifts under it as a sign of sharing love and joy. The fir tree also stood for peace, youth and strength. When Saint Winfred introduced the fir tree to the heathens, it was accepted as the holy tree of Christmas. Since then, the heathen folk accepted fir as the symbol of good will and peace and welcomed it in their homes every holy Christmastide.

It looks very meh, unfortunately.
There. That looks so much better.
Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

#4 Carols

A Christmas carol is a song or hymn based on Christmas that is often sung on Christmas or during the Christmas season. Did you know that the popular Christmas song, Jingle Bells, wasn’t originally intended for Christmas? In fact, it was first sung on Thanksgiving and came to be associated with Christmas when it was sung in in Ordway Hall on September 16, 1857.

Image Source: Deposit Photos

The first known Christmas hymns may be traced to 4th-century Rome. They were sung throughout the subsequent centuries but rose in popularity after the Reformation in the countries where Protestant churches gained prominence due to reformers promoting the singing and use of carols. Publication of carols’ books in the 19th and 20th centuries were yet other factors that catapulted carols to the public eye resulting in more frequent and popular use. Carollers assembling in public spaces was a 19th-century phenomenon. It is also vaguely accepted that one of the first Christmas carols ever to be recorded was the 129 AD β€˜Angels Hymn’.

It’s incredible to read about how human perception has evolved over the centuries. It’s funny how little we see and eventually believe when there is an incredible amount of information we seem to overlook.

And a quick reminder that my feedback form is open all throughout December! If you haven’t taken the survey, please consider doing so here! I’ll be compiling an acknowledgement post in January!

Thank you so much for reading!

75 thoughts on “Christmas Nuggets 🎁

  1. Great start to this series! And your paintings are beautiful, Santa isn’t my thing just because of the lies it brings, but your drawing was amazing! This post definitely gets you in the holiday spirit, thank you! Much love my friend πŸ€—πŸ’›

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great history you compiled. It’s always fun to remember the origins. I sooo love you fabulous drawings..! β€οΈπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ so great!!!! ❀️ Cindy

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, WOW. These facts are all really cool, but I’m most shocked about the fact that Jesus was Jewish!! Woah!!
    I’d heard about the Santa Claus Saint Nicholas one. Super cool, D!
    Great start to this series. Looking forward to more :)))))
    stay sticky,

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Awww… Loved all your beautiful drawings and this informative post too. πŸ’•πŸ’• You always come up with amazing post and I love to read it. ❀️❀️ Well done D. πŸ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I loved learning the backstories to all of these traditions, and I especially loved seeing how the Church and her saints contributed! Also – your paintings were lovely no matter what you say :))
    Awesome post!!
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m glad you liked it! Absolutely, I agree! It’s interesting to see how much has changed all the while keeping the core beliefs the same.
    Aw.. thank you!! I wasn’t so sure of the Santa πŸ˜‚
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! Have a great day ahead!❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so happy to hear you found it interesting! I know, right? I was shocked at first too. Yeah, that’s about the most well known belief and I think there is a movie about it too!
    Glad you think so! Thank you so much, pbs!❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad to hear that, Jul! Absolutely! Apart from being a season of joy and love, Christmas has a rich and generous history too.
    Aw.. thank you!πŸ’• That means a lot! I think a lot of them start looking bad when I stare at them for too longπŸ˜‚
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read!!❀️

    Liked by 2 people

  9. That means a lot coming from you, Joanna! Oh, I wouldn’t dream of competing with anyone when it comes to information! How about you consider me as an apprentice rather than competition?πŸ˜‚
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read!!πŸ’•


  10. Of course! The piece you did on the history of Santa was great, I just mean, the lies Santa creates within the family, just crates more division and lies.

    I forgot to say this earlier but, I wish I had you talent in art! I had no idea you could create such beautiful pieces!! Well done, much love πŸ’›πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Glad to hear that, Ace!! Interesting! I thought everyone loved SantaπŸ˜‚, he’s so full of goodness and generosity!! I respect your opinions though! Thank you for the clarification!
    Aw… thank you!! I wasn’t very sure of how they looked. Thank you so much, once again!! You drop such lovely comments! Have a great weekend!!❀️✨

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cool! I loved learning these little facts. I’ve always heard that Jesus was born on April 6th.
    Also, as a Marvel fan, it sounds funny that Thor was involved with the first Christmas tree…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m glad you enjoyed, Diamond! Yeah, there were quite a few dates. I couldn’t include all of them as I wanted to keep it short.
    Yeah, I thought it was cool too even though he isn’t shown in a good light! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!✨

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Very well done D! I knew this info already since I did a lot of research on this myself because I was collecting antique Christmas ornaments so was searching out their history. It’s fun to get the history behind things. I enjoy your art work as well, keep it up D!πŸ˜πŸ˜ΊπŸŽ„

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thank you so much! Wow, that sounds interesting! I love antique and vintage things!
    I agree! The history behind them makes them very intriguing today.
    Thank you so much for your kind comment!😸 Happy Sunday!✨

    Liked by 2 people

  16. When I was growing up, and wasn’t allowed to celebrate Christmas, such a big deal was made over the correct birthdate of Jesus. They made Christmas seem almost evil due to this and other reasons. I had untrain my brain of that!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Aw.. it’s sad to hear that you were not allowed to celebrate a day like Christmas. Yeah, it’s still not confirmed but December 25 is widely accepted. Glad you could untrain your brain of that!! Have a wonderful Christmas!!✨
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!!πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You’re welcome! I’ve said before that I really don’t think God would send a person to hell just because they inadvertently celebrated the birth of Christ on the wrong day. Sounds almost silly but some religions make such a big deal about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This was super informative! You did a great job with this post! I’ve always thought that the origin of how the “Christmas tree” came around was really interesting, as was the “real” Santa Clause. And it’s pretty interesting to think that Jesus might not have been born on Christmas at all. My family actually celebrates Hannukah, though we’re not Jewish! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you so much! Yeah, the history behind each Christmas element is so fascinating! The date is a matter of uncertainty but that doesn’t have to stop anyone from celebrating Christmas and spreading love and joy!✨
    That’s so cool!! I love how it’s called ‘The Festival Of Lights’!
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read!πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

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