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A loving Christmas has yet come. A robust festive mood has spread unabashedly to every single street corner and household, giving our life some warmth against the wintry cold. All over the world, Christmas colors have been going viral, with Santa Claus in his signature red hats riding reindeers and sparkling Christmas trees… In run-up to busy days to fulfill all our tasks to prepare for a new year, familiar tokens of Christmas and their significance always arouse warm feelings of happiness.
Legends have it that Santa Claus dwells in the North Pole with his dwarfs. He spends a great deal of time preparing gifts and toys for children as supported by the dwarfs. He is flooded with letters by children from all over the world before Christmas. In Christmas night, he embarks on his journey riding a cart of 9 reindeers to bring gifts and toys to children worldwide.
Initiated in 1843 as Mr. Henry Cole (1808 – 1882), a wealthy English businessman, had John Callcott Horsley (1817 – 1903), a London based painter, design a beautiful card as a gift to his friends. That Christmas Horsley put the first Christmas card to fruition and had 1000 copies printed, which promptly boomed to become an integral trend in Christmas.
Advent crowns are tied with evergreen leaves and lay on a table or hung up high so that everyone can see. Their round shapes suggest the eternal character and boundless compassion of Christ. According to a custom of Christians, 4 candles are planted on an Advent wreath, including 3 purple ones as the color of the Advent and the fourth pink candle to symbolize the third Sunday of the Advent.
Gifts in socks
Folk tales had it that there were once three maidens at age of consent who were rebuffed by every guy because of their extreme poverty. Bishop Myra in his great compassion for the three maidens threw 3 gold coins into the chimney of their house. These gold coins dropped in socks hung by the three maidens by the fire. The miracle was spread far and wide and everyone wished for good luck and imitated the three girls to hang their socks by the fire to receive some gifts.
Usually in Christmas, a manger is placed within a rock (or wooden) cave as erected indoors or outdoors, which features Jesus, Maria, Saint Joseph and surrounding angels, shepherds and their cattle to reenact the birth of Christ in a manger.
In winter as every tree withers, green pines seem to defy the cold. Hence, ancient people regarded pines as a tree of Resurrection. To mark the harmony between humans and nature, over 500 years ago, pines were selected to be the Christbaum, full of green and fragrances to symbolize vitality and light of hopes. In the winter solstice, pine trees are adorned with fruits, flowers and chaffs.
Legends had it that when Christ was born, a radiant star flashed across the sky. The star has since then been made a token of Christmas and occupies the most solemn place in chapels and religious institutions in Christmas night in suggestion of that legend. The star also represents God’s miracles.
In some countries such as Spain, cathedral bells will chime at midnight to herald the birth of Christ. in some Asian cultures, bells serve as informers of a joyous or sorrowful event to everyone. In Western countries, chiming bells are the greeting to the birth of Christ.