By Cari Gilkison
December 1992: Volume 1, Issue 2:
Voices echo in a cathedral, store windows are filled with goodies, people rush frantically from place to place with bags in their arms, decorations adorn houses, and many of us get a little vacation from work or school so that we can be with families.
It is that time of year again!
Let’s take a moment to slow down from the rush and remember how Christmas began and why we celebrate it.
Christmas really began around 320 A.D. when priests gathered for Christmas feast, but the priests were undecided about when in the year they should celebrate. It wasn’t until 529 A.D. that it became a civic holiday. It didn’t flourish until the 1700s, when the Colonists came to America because celebrating Christmas in England had been outlawed due to its roots in pagan customs.
Some of the pagan customs are still practiced today! They include kissing under the mistletoe (a favorite of many people), hanging a Christmas wreath, burning a Yule log or decorating Christmas tree. Christmas trees have been around for nearly four hundred years since their start in Germany.
Some of our traditions like singing Christmas Carols did not begin until the 1800s. This was the time of the great composers, whose works reflected their great faith. This is evident in Carols such as, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” and “Little Town of Bethlehem.” The famous Carol “Silent Night,” was written one Christmas Eve by Joseph Mohr. Franz Gruber wrote, “O, Holy Night,” that same Christmas Eve. And of course there are the also non-religious songs like “Jingle Bells” and “White Christmas,” that came later.
Traditions vary from country to country. Santa Claus isn’t the only one who brings gifts. The Saint Luci brings presents in Sweden and Pere Noel (Father Christmas) delivers presents to children in France.
Through the years the traditions adjust to our new and quickly changing lives, but the true meaning of Christmas, the celebration of sharing love and kindness should always be the same.
The TRADEWINDS staff would like to wish everyone at Pioneer a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Donnetta Barker, Vickie Dickerson, Keisha Flannery, Jenny Goddard, Cori Hendrick, Teca Lowe, Carl Lykins, Kimberly Owens, Stacy Petty, Michelle Saunders, Michelle Smith, Shawna Thompson, Crystal Trosper, Dawn Wright and Mrs. Pamela James.