it is said that in the year of 300 ad, there was a kind old man and his name was saint nicholas. he was always ready to help the poor and often gave presents to them.
today, father christmas is an imaginary figure, but nearly all young children believe in him. they think he is a happy old man with a long white beard and a long red robe.
on the night of the twenty-fourth of december every year, father christmas from some cold northern land comes down the chimney of the fireplace to put presents by the beds of children or to fill their stockings. so when children go to bed that night, they hang up their stockings, and on christmas morning they wake to find them full of presents. of course, it‘s really their parents who fill the stockings.
another name for father christmas is santa claus.
the original santa claus, st. nicholas, was born in the ancient southeastern turkish town of lycia early in the fourth century. his generosity was legend, and he was particularly fond of children. we know this primarily through roman accounts of his patronage of youth, which eventually led to his becoming the patron saint of children. throughout the middle ages, and well beyond, he was referred to by many names none of them santa claus.
children today would not at all recognize the st. nick who brought gifts to european children hundreds of years ago except perhaps for his cascading white beard. he made his rounds in full red-and-white bishops robes, complete with twin peaked miter and crooked crozier. he was pulled by no fleet footed reindeer, but coaxed in indolent donkey. and he arrived not late on christmas eve, but on his christian feast day, december 6. the gifts he left beside the hearth were usually small: fruit, nuts, hard candies, wood and clay figurines.
during the protestant reformation of the sixteenth century, st. nicholas was banished from most european countries. replacing him were more secular figures, who in general were not at center stage at that point in history..the dutch kept the st. nicholas tradition alive. as the "protector of sailors," st. nicholas graced the prow of the first dutch ship that arrived in america. and the first church built in new york city was named after him. the dutch brought with them to the new world two christmas items that were quickly americanized.
in sixteenth century holland, children placed wooden shoes by the hearth the night of st. nicholass arrival. the shoes were filled with straw, a meal for the saints gift laden donkey. in return, nicholas would a small treat into each clog. in america, the shoe was replaced with the stocking, hung by the chimney.
the dutch spelled st. nicholas "saint nikolass," which in the new world became "sinterklass". later changed to "santa claus".
much of modern day santa claus lore, including the reindeer drawn sleigh, originated in america. dr. clement clarke moore composed "the night before christmas" in 1822, to read to his children on christmas eve. the poem might have remained privately in the moore family if a friend had not mailed a copy of it (without authorial attribution) to a newspaper and became part of the santa legend.
it was in america that santa put on weight. the rosy-cheeked, roly-poly santa is credited to the influential nineteenth-century cartoonist thomas nast. from 1863 until 1886, nast created a series of christmas drawings for harpers weekly. these drawings, executed over twenty years, exhibit a gradual evolution in santa from the pudgy, diminutive, elf-like creature of dr. moores immortal poem to the bearded, potbellied, life-size bell ringer familiar on street corners across america today. nasts cartoons also showed the world how santa spent his entire year constructing toys, checking on childrens behavior, reading their requests for special gifts. his images were incorporated into the santa lore.
santa is known throughout the world in many different names, such as:
saint nikolaas (sinter klaas), from the dutch father christmas, from the english kris kringle, from the germans befana, from the italians bobouschka, from the russians (a grand motherly figure instead of a male)
christmas is one of the most important celebrations of the year for the western countries. it falls on the twenty- fifth of december and has the same importance as chinese new year to people with english backgrounds. the celebration is for the birth of jesus christ, who is the son of god in christianity. now days christmas is no longer only celebrated by the christians, but by most people from all over the world.
on the twenty- fourth of december everyone gets excited for it’s the day before christmas which is called christmas eve. the children are usually sent to bed early and are warned that “santa claus will only come and give you a present if you be good.” the younger kids actually believe that santa will come down the chimney on the sleigh that’s pulled by his reindeers. food like short bread and beer are prepared for santa when he comes, however most times parents just eat them. some children put socks and sacks up for the holding of the presents (that their parents put in).
rise and shine on christmas morning! the children are always the first ones to wake up, some even do at four. present wrappers everywhere! they look into their presents with a big smile on their face and oh dear….i hope no one’s disappointed. i feel sorry for anyone that got pink underwear. children play while dinner is prepared by the adults. the christmas dinner are usually eaten together by relatives. the tradition of christmas pudding and roosters are usually eaten with deserts afterwards. the rest of the day is usually games and fun before the good days all come to an end.
i wish everyone a merry christmas and a happy new year!!!
I like Christmas, it is just like our Spring Festival.
Maybe the Spring Festival is much more important and interesting than Christmas, but I like Christmas Day better. Because we can spend time with our friends and classmates during Christmas. When it is snowy, Christmas becomes much more lovely, just like in fairytales. I can imagine I am in a fairytale, the girl who sold the matches is my friend, the ugly duck becoming more and more beautiful and so on. What a beautiful place! So we can also call Christmas “Snowy Lovely Day.”
On Christmas Day, shops are red and green. There are so many Christmas cards, Christmas hats, Christmas dolls and many colourful things. So shops look very beautiful. We can give a card or a doll to our friends and say “Merry Christmas.” By the way, I think studying can also become much more interesting.
Christmas is coming, it also means a new year will come. Let’s study harder to welcome the new year!