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Holiday Gifts - A Time Tested Tradition.

"Holidays are an expensive trial of strength - the only satisfaction comes from survival."

Santa Claus and Holiday Gifts.
Santa Claus is the version of a legend that began in the fourth century in Asia Minor. The bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas, was universally loved for his generosity. Sporting a long white beard, he is said to have given good children presents on his feast day, December 6th.

During the Reformation, the celebration of this homey character was struck from the church calendar and was widely replaced by the Christmas Man, a secular Yuletide cheer supplier known in England as Father Christmas. But Nicholas had also been the patron of sailors, and the sea-going Dutch kept on celebrating him. In the Netherlands he was called Saint Nikolaas or Sinterklaas.

Today's Santa was the creation of Dr. Clement Moore who wrote "The Night Before Christmas" in 1822. He described a toy-toting pipe smoker, a holiday gifts giver, the driver of a reindeer-drawn sleigh, and a fancier of chimneys. It is unclear which of these elements were Moore's own and which he borrowed from the stories of Dutch friends. Thomas Nast provided illustrations for the book, giving us the image of the jolly, rotund character we know today.

Originally, in ancient times, holidays were predominantly religious in character and linked to natural events such as the annual course of the sun or the phases of the moon. The word holiday, in fact, is derived from “holy day.” Subsequently, secular holidays commemorating historical occasions or distinguished persons outnumbered holy days, although many ancient religious rituals and customs have been carried over into modern times and incorporated into both secular and religious observations. Today, the outstanding holiday is one of religious observance and abstention from normal work routines, taking place on Sunday for Christians, Friday for Muslims, and Saturday for Jews (see SABBATH). In the U.S., Sunday is not only a religious holiday but is also the only common-law holiday.

Best christmas-gifts ideas …


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