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Showing posts from December 19, 2016


In France, different regions of the nation celebrate Christmas differently, and even at different times.  Most provinces recognized and celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but in northern and eastern regions of France, the Christmas season is officially begun on the 6th day of December. La fete de Saint NIcolas, la fete des Rois, and la Fete de lumieres, honor Saint Nicholas, the Epiphany, and the Virgin Mary.  These holidays are special parts of the French Christmas season.
   Children in France don't hang stockings by the chimney, they place their shoes in front of the fireplace for Pere Noel to fill with gifts. Candy, fruits and nuts, and toys are also hung on the tree Christmas Eve night.  Pere Fouettard, who is basically Santa's Counterpart, gives out spankings to naughty boys and girls.

  In 1962, France passed a law requiring all letters written toPere Noel,  to receive a response, so Santa sends each child a postcard acknowledging their letter and wishing them a h…


Christmas means cold weather fun for many parts of the world, but in Brazil, Santa turns in his fur-lined coat, hat, and warm boots for warm-weather silks!  That's just the beginning.  Christmas in Brazil is a diverse celebration of many cultures and heritages that mirrors our own in some ways, but is vastly different in others.
   Brazil started out as a colony of the Portuguese, which is the official language of Brazil.  Because of this, the most common Christmas tradition, the presepio, will likely be an enduring one.  Presepio refers to the bed of straw that Jesus was laid upon at birth, and thus, the nativity scene is central to most who celebrate Christmas.
   Catholics attend a Midnight Mass (Missa de Galo) on Christmas Eve night, and then on Christmas Day.  Late afternoon masses are held so that people sleeping late after midnight mass can rest, or go to the beach, as it is summer time during Christmas in Brazil.  Afterward, traditional Christmas dinner is served, consi…


The holidays are filled with joyful emotions and honored traditions, including the playing of songs about snowmen, St. Nick, evergreen trees, and presents wrapped up with big bows.  No matter how you celebrate the season, you'll hear these songs on the radio, T.V., at the mall, in the office, and just about anywhere music is played.
   If you think the same songs are played over and over, you're right, but if this bothers you, consider the alternative: Christmas carols were banned in England between 1649 and 1660.  Oliver Cromwell, serving as Lord Protector of Britain, believed Christmas should be solemn and also banned parties, limiting celebration to sermons and prayer services.
   Lots of holiday songs are festive, many have spiritual overtones, and all are played so often that they are familiar no  matter what your faith.  But what do you know about how these songs were created and the people who wrote them?
   There are some fascinating facts behind this memorable mus…


Christmas is a Holy Christian observance that is often celebrated with imaginative, fanciful traditions from folklore and legend.  Santa Claus is a legendary personality, similar to St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Sinterklass, and Julenisse.  Christkindl, representing the Christ Child, started bringing small gifts to children in Germany during the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther, St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and German Christkindl.
   Christmas personalities are authority figures who bring gifts to good children.  In some cultures the Santa Claus figure is feared because he knows all and sees all and may decide children are bad and leave nothing or something like a lump of coal.
   As people move around the world, traditions mix and change with time.  The United States is a melting pot of cultures with different traditions observed by the many ethnic groups in the country.  Likewise, many cultures may adopt the traditions of neighboring countries.
   The following are som…