Column: From kisses to lighting candles, Christmas is here!
Originally Published: December 22, 2014 6:01 a.m.
There are only a few shopping days left, so what are we to do? Stop spending and start kissing! Perhaps we could linger under the mistletoe with someone special. That ancient Scandinavian Goddess of Love, Frigga, might be considered the instigator behind this "kissing tradition." She evidently was so enthralled with the secret powers of what would happen when a couple stood under the mistletoe that it was almost considered scandalous. Christian priests banned hanging mistletoe, because of its idolatrous association and it was considered a "pagan ritual" to be avoided. Hence, holly replaced mistletoe, until gradually, romance prevailed.***Have you wondered why you might have a tree in your house during the holidays? The Germans in 700 AD started this tradition, picked up by the English and Americans in the 1800s. In 1880, Woolworths's Drug Stores sold the first manufactured Christmas ornaments in the world - and they were a huge hit. Hey, it was better (and safer) than the centuries-old tradition of placing lighted candles on the tree. At the turn of the century, the first electric lights were designed especially for evergreens, and since then no tree is complete without strings of lights.***Yes, there really is a Santa Claus. That question, posed by those skeptics and Scrooges, has been answered eloquently numerous times. Santa is the distant relative of the fourth century saint - Saint Nicholas. His giving spirit and magical ways have become legend, but also gladdens the hearts of children all over the world. No population explosion, lack of chimneys, remote locations, inclement weather or other obstacles can stop him from making an annual appearance. ***We are reminded that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of one small baby that changed the world. Born into treacherous times ... wars, poverty, a madman (Herod the Great) as king, the true "King of Kings" was the miracle of hope, causing the heavens to open, a star to shine brightly and the world to gasp slightly in anticipation. And so here we are, thousands of years later, hanging stars or angels at the tops of our trees. We light a candle on Christmas Eve, so that wise men may find their way to our manger, bringing gifts of peace, love and joy.***Not quite ready for the "Big Day?" Relax! Now is the time to celebrate the end of another year. It's never too late to get in the "Holiday Mood." Forget shopping and become a romantic - be daring and hang some fresh mistletoe. Believe again, for another year, in the magic of Saint Nicholas, the spirit of giving, the birth of "greatness," the beauty of a lit-tree, and the wonder of all things kind and good that grace our lives. Don't forget to light a candle, kiss someone you love, help someone who is less fortunate, and, of course, eat plenty of cookies.Still not ready? Don't worry, Dear Readers, take a deep breath and just add a little brandy or rum to the eggnog ... and may your holidays will be very, very happy!The City of Prescott had lights shining bright,To guide Santa's sleigh through a very dark night.While children were sleeping all snug in their beds,Visions of toys danced in their heads.But what Santa found was a city of elves,Where people and charities filled up the shelves,With food for the hungry and toys for the poor,And blankets for kids, clothing and more.Santa brought his sleigh down in the Prescott Square,Where he and his reindeers just stopped and stared,At the bounty of giving that this town had doneHe shouted, "Was every wish granted under the sun?"It made Santa reflect on his work and his lifeAnd recall the words of his loving, dear wife."Santa you are old and better slow down!""But what of the children," he would say with a frown.Is retirement possible for an Old Claus like me?Only in the Christmas City could this possibly be!With the spirit of giving and hope shining brightIt means, "No Santa Needed," on this magical night.The people of Prescott, are elves, every one!So Santa said, "Reindeers, our work here is done."As he left the town square, Santa laughed all the way,"This is the true Christmas City," and that's all I can say.Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor who lives in Skull Valley. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.