Christmas is a magical time of the year…
… It is also a very busy time for most; buying presents for your friends and loved ones and enjoying festive parties. Sipping mulled wine or your favourite tipple and munching mince pies, playing Christmas music (my favourite is ‘Driving home for Christmas by Chris Rea!) while you wrap your pressies, put up your Christmas decorations and adorn your Christmas tree with shiny baubles and twinkling lights! It is a time of fun and laughter. It also can be a time of stress, especially for you Mums, so try not to overdo it.
But there is more to this celebration then meets the eye and many of us know little about it. Grab a cuppa, a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy a moment of calm and read all about the history of Christmas in our Christmas blog find out & why we have some of the traditions we now take for granted.
How Did Christmas start?…
Centuries before Jesus was born, Europeans celebrated the middle of winter looking forward to warmer weather and longer days.
The Norse, in Scandinavia, celebrated Yule – the winter solstice from the 21st December through to January.
In Germany the pagan god Oden was honoured during the mid-winter holiday.
The Romans celebrated Saturnalia for a whole month, beginning the week leading up to the winter solstice. The holiday was in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture. Some Romans also celebrated the birthday of the god of the unconquerable sun, Mithra on the 25th December.
The Christmas Tree
For thousands of years the evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate pagan and Christian winter festivals. To make them think of the spring to come, Pagans would use branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice. Fir trees were used to decorate their temples during the festival of Saturnalia by the Romans. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.
The original Chirstmas trees were the Norwegian spruce or fir trees, both of which were in abundance in the Scandinavian forest. The Norseman would decorate the trees with fruit and candles to honour their father God, Odin, who could be the inspiration of Santa Claus.
Early Christmas trees were decorated with cakes, biscuits, pretzels, fruit and nuts; small gifts were also put on the branches.
The first Christmas tree came to Britain sometime in the 1830’s. They became popular in 1841 when Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert, has a Christmas tree set up in Windsor Castle.
The Yule Log
The name of the old Winter Solstice festivals in Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe, such as Germany is Yule, and the custom of burning the Yule Log goes back to and before medieval times and was originally a Nordic tradition. The Yule log, which we know today, is a delicious log shape chocolate cake!
Under the Mistletoe
Mistletoe is supposed to possess mystical powers, which brings good luck to the household and wards off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology to kiss under the mistletoe.
The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is also said to have started in ancient Greece, during the festival of Saturnalia and later in marriage ceremonies, because of the plant’s association with fertility. During the Roman era, enemies at war would reconcile their differences under the mistletoe, which ito them represented peace.
What a lovely way to celebrate Christmas by kissing somone you love under the mistletoe!
Christians celebrate Christmas as the birth of our dear lord Jesus, who was born in a stable in Bethlehem. Shepherds came, guided by the angels. The biblical Magi – distinguished foreigners (also call the Three Wise Men) travelled east following the star of Bethlehem. Upon arriving at the stable they found the child with his mother, Mary and bowed down an worshipped him, then they opened their treasures and presented him with Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
The Gift of Gold – Gold is associated with Kings and Christians believe Jesus was the King of Kings.
The gift of Frankincense – Frankincense is an aromatic gum resin that is still widely used in parts of the Middle East and Africa today. It is produced by scaping the bark off certain native species of trees and then harvesting the beads of resin after they have dried. When burned as incense, it creates a strong and beautiful aroma. In the ancient Middle East, the cost of Frankincense precluded it from being used as a common household air freshener. Rather, the burning of Frankincense was closely associated with ceremonial worship of a deity. In this way, the inclusion of Frankincense as a gift for Jesus may have indicated that the Wise Men understood that the prophecy of the new-born King carried with it s claim of deity.
The Gift of Myrrh – Myrrh is a fragrant spice derived from the sap of a tree native to the Near East. Like frankincense, it can be used as incense, but in the ancient world it also had wider usage as a perfume, anointing oil and was even imbibed as a medicinal tonic. Prehaps the wise men intended this gift as an indication of Jesus’ humanity and the manner in which he would save his people – namely, that he would die for them.
Finally, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and magical 2020. Where your dreams become realities and your find the happiness you deserve. Believe and trust that the Holy Universe and your Angels will always help you. Be guided by love and compassion. Hardwork, humility and humour will bring the changes in your life which you deserve.
Happy Christmas, Love & Light – Tricia
My feet are on Mother Earth, I feel your warmth – you energy – Mother Earth.
I feel the green grass on my bare feet, I feel so relaxed, and so free
I feel this freedom, pure self-love,
I see a beautiful cloud of evanescent white,
which gently stoops to embrace with its strength and peace, it encloses me in this radiant light,
I feel totally at peace and safe – so safe…
I feel free …
I am gently lifted and fee secure and safe,
So quiet, so peaceful, no sadness, no worries, no negative thoughts they have been all taken away… I am free…
The cloud is protecting you and keeping you safe.
You hear a soft voice, whispering to you,
You are safe
I am your guardian angel
I am your protector
I have been with you since birth
I have love and energy to give you
I will lead you to greatness and love
I am your guardian angel
You’re safe, I protect you.
My blessings fall on you now
Feel the glow over your body.Feel this, as you are worthy of this divine creative force.