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Who is Santa Claus?

In christian on December 25, 2008 at 6:23 am

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply “Santa”, is the legendary and mythical figure who, in many Western cultures, brings gifts to good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24 or on his Feast Day, December 6 (Saint Nicholas Day). The legend may have part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Saint Nicholas.

While Saint Nicholas was originally portrayed wearing bishop’s robes, in modern times, Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots. This image became popular in the United States in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, and films. In the United Kingdom and Europe, his depiction is often identical to the American Santa, but he is commonly called Father Christmas.

One legend associated with Santa says that he lives in the far north, in a land of perpetual snow. The American version of Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, while Father Christmas is said to reside in Lapland, Finland. Other details include: that he is married and lives with Mrs. Claus; that he makes a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior (“naughty” or “nice”); that he delivers presents, including toys, candy, and other presents to all of the good boys and girls in the world, and sometimes coal or sticks to the naughty children, in one night; and that he accomplishes this feat with the aid of magical elves who make the toys, and eight or nine flying reindeer who pull his sleigh.

There has long been opposition to teaching children to believe in Santa Claus. Some Christians say the Santa tradition detracts from the religious origins and purpose of Christmas. Other critics feel that Santa Claus is an elaborate lie, and that it is unethical for parents to teach their children to believe in his existence.  Still others oppose Santa Claus as a symbol of the commercialization of the Christmas holiday, or as an intrusion upon their own national traditions.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus

Thanksgiving Day and its significance

In christian on November 22, 2008 at 7:18 am

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in every November in the United States. This year it falls on 27 November. Its usually a end of harvest season and in US it is an American Federal holiday. It originated as a religious community tradition where the community offers thanks to God for its material and spiritual possession. Of late it has become a day for national celebration, festivities and general gaiety. The period between Thanksgiving and New Year is now called the holiday season.

American Thanksgiving’s origins can be traced to as early as the 1565 when on September 8 when about 600 spanish settlers landed on what is today St. Augustine, Florida and held a communal Thanksgiving for their safe journey. Today it is considered the first Thanksgiving of US. Next notable Thanksgiving days were on December 4, 1619 at the Virginia Colony and the Thanksgiving of the Pilgrims of Plymouth in 1621. The 1777 Thanksgiving after the Battle of Saratoga is another important date in the history of American Thanksgiving. On October 3, 1789, George Washington made Thanksgiving a national day.

Most important part of the Thanksgiving is the family meal in every home. The whole family gathers at the meal and start with the saying of grace. The meal usually consists of roasted turkey, pumkin pie, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet corn, etc.

There are also communal feeding of the poor and most foods are collected by various organizations from every home several days before the Thanksgiving. For this reason the food primarily consists of canned food. Though Thanksgiving is not really associated with the religious past of Christianity, it is the only non-holy day that sees mass gatherings of Christians at various Catholic churches.

Thanksgiving is also a time for shopping and public parades in the US. Seasonal shopping season usually begins on friday next to Thanksgiving and is usually called the Black Friday. But due to commercialized consumerism there have been protests across US since several years and some communities observe Black Friday as the Buy Nothing Day.

Various national parades take place during that day and here is a short list of American Thanksgivin Parades:

  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York
  • McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, Chicago, Illinois
  • 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade, Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • H-E-B Holiday Parade, Houston, Texas
  • Ameren St. Louis Thanksgiving Parade, St. Louis, Missouri
  • America’s Thanksgiving Parade, Detroit, Michigan
  • UBS Parade Spectacular, Stamford, Connecticut
  • Celebrate the Season Parade, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Thanksgiving Grace is the best prayer to type or mentally chant for the Thanksgiving.

Here’s the Prayer:

Thanksgiving Day Grace

Thank thee, Lord
For all my many blessings,
thank thee, Lord.
I have bread,
thank thee, Lord.
for room and board.
thank thee, Lord.
for friends and family.
God takes such good care of me.
Amen

You can add this prayer to your chant page from our ‘Select Available Chants‘ and by typing ‘Thanksgiving’, ‘grace’, ‘Christ’, ‘Jesus’, or ‘gratitude’ into the search box.

You can type the prayer or you can mentally repeat it in your mind. However you choose to do it, it is very important you mean each and every word of the prayer and mean it in your heart.

Start now! You can start your own thanksgiving right now!