December 2, 2021

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So, This Is Christmas

So This Is Christmas

So, this is Christmas, which means for Christians, this is the time of year where they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  It is also the time appointed where families get together to simply celebrate an opportunity for festive fellowship.  Whether your Christmas celebration includes Jesus or not, it’s still the most festive time of the year that definitely has a certain magic to it impossible to ignore.  It’s the most popular time for giving.

Christmas Spirit

For some, the Christmas spirit is in them 24/7 as the spirit of giving, plus the spirit of thankfulness seems to be the core part of their genetic makeup.  These are the most awesome people to be around as their generosity doesn’t come with conditions, nor any expectations, to have the favor returned unto them.  In fact, it’s because of people like these the holiday we know as Christmas came about, to begin with.

The Real Saint Nicholas

While the birth of Jesus Christ during the winter season seems to be common knowledge, so is the current image of Santa Claus.  But, how many of you know how this jolly red fellow became the official icon of the modernized Christmas season?  The nation we know today as Turkey is where the Greek bishop Nicholas and his story come from.  He was just a teenager when his parents died, who left him a fortune.

Now as an orphan, Nicholas was raised by his uncle, who happened to be a priest.  It would be through him Nicholas would learn about God, Jesus, the Winter Solstice, and Christianity.

Secret Santa

At one point, Nicholas learned of a poverty-stricken father of three daughters who lost all his money.  All three girls were old enough to marry, but this was during an era where a form of payment known as a dowry was needed in order for a young woman to be married off to a man.  Because they were no longer able to stay with their father, the young women were to be sent away as slaves.

The night before the oldest daughter was to be sold off, she washed and hung her stockings near the family fireplace to dry them off.  When she and the rest of her family called it a night, little did they realize Nicholas was about to leave something for all of them that would put an end to their misfortune.

The First Stocking Stuffer

When that daughter woke to check on her stockings she observes there is a lump in it.  When she reaches inside, she pulls out a small, heavy bag that had gold inside.  There was enough there to cover her dowry, plus enough for food for the whole family.

This was repeated the second night for the middle daughter.  The father, after the first two daughters were saved by the mysterious donation, was determined to stay up overnight to see if the mysterious savior would repeat this act of generosity for the third time that would save the youngest daughter.  When he heard the “clink” once it landed into her set of stockings, the father ran out to see who it was.

Caught In the Act

When the father discovered it was Nicholas who saved him and his three daughters, he was thankful.  However, Nicholas insisted he did not deserve the thanks at all.  He explained God is the one to be thanked, not him.  In fact, he stressed he did not want it to be publicly known he was the one that saved the father and his three daughters.

Despite Nicholas’ best attempt to be discreet whenever he helped the people who were less fortunate, the fame of the man and his actions did spread.  When he became a bishop for the church, he took to heart the charge of the Great Commission and stressed to the people that both God and Jesus are for real.

Becoming Saint Nicholas

During an era where Christians were heavily persecuted against, Saint Nicholas did not back down from his loyalty to God and to Jesus, whom he knew are one and the same.  He took his discipleship seriously enough where he even saw imprisonment from time to time by religious factions who heavily frowned upon Christianity.  These are the same religious factions, some under different names now, that continue to do this even today.  Despite the enemies, Nicholas made that tried to silence him, he was so loved by the people that when he died a natural death as an old man, they made a point to honor his memory by following his example.

The people called him a saint, sent by God himself, to look over the people as a shepherd looks over his flock.  In fact, it is the bishop’s role to do precisely this.  Nicholas took this role seriously while still a very young man.  Not only is he credited for helping people out financially, but is also linked to the healing of the sick in the exact same manner Jesus and the prophets of old have done as described within the pages of the Holy Bible.

The Birth of Santa Claus

According to the most accurate chronicles of Saint Nicholas, he died on December 6, 343AD.  The Dutch who learned of Saint Nicholas and his actions affectionately called him “Sinterklaas.”  De Sint is Dutch for saint while Klaas means anonymous.  Within the Dutch Empire, they introduced the Feast of Sinterklaas, which became a celebrated occasion for the people to exchange gifts, whether it be directly or secretly.  This was a celebration that would carry itself over to America when the Dutch who relocated to that nation took their celebratory traditions with them.

When you access various Dutch to English translation programs and enter Sinterklaas, the name Santa Claus is the result.

Controversial Christmas

Long before the rumors of Emperor Constantine of the Roman Empire designating Christmas Day as December 25th during 312AD, the concept of Christmas had always been shrouded in controversy.  From the day Jesus Christ was born and even unto today, people remain divided about the matter.  Believe it or not, this was already warned about by Jesus himself as he made mention and warnings of many falsehoods that would result in the whole world becoming deceived.

Regardless of what side of this argument you may be on, the bottom line is it’s not supposed to take you away from the number one commandment that was directly issued by Jesus.

True Meaning of Christmas

When Saint Nicholas started what technically is the blueprint of what Christmas is supposed to be, this is an argument that outweighs all the others.  He not only took the Great Commission as commanded by Jesus Christ to heart but John 13:34-35 as well.

He loved people so much that he shared the blessing of his good fortune upon those whom he knew would benefit most from it.  He knew none of them would have the ability to pay him back, but in this regard, he didn’t care!  Just seeing someone rescued from adversity was good enough!

That’s what Christmas is supposed to be about.  It’s not about some designated date, nor even following traditions.  In actuality, Jesus frowns heavily upon traditions, and rightfully so!  Regardless of the intentions are good or not, favoring man-made traditions as opposed to God’s has repeatedly been demonstrated to do more harm than good in the long run.

The true meaning of Christmas has a remarkable parallel to God’s Ten Commandments, all of which still hold just as much value today as they were first issued out through Moses when they were written on the stone tablets.

So this is Christmas