Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today

Days shortening and darkness coming over us

When we look at the weather we would not have the impression we are coming to the coldest season of the year. We can not ignore the shorter days, which remind us that we are coming closer to the longest darkness of the year.

That darkness has always frightened people and therefore they looked for ways to get more light again.

Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs we know now as ‘The time of the Year‘ or ‘Christmas‘. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.

Seasons, storms, thunder, darkness and light

In other cultures we also find that many centuries before Jesus was born they celebrated the ‘birth of light‘. The Roman Catholic Church was not shy to take over many traditions from heathen people who celebrated such elements as the ‘turn’ of the position of moon and sun and the change of season. Even the Israelites came to feast such natural elements as the four teḳufot (Teḳufat Nisan, Teḳufat Tammuz, Teḳufat Tishri and the Teḳufat Ṭebet) by which also superstition became connected with the teḳufot. Hai Gaon, in the tenth century, in reply to a question as to the prevalence of the custom in the “West” (i.e., west of Babylon) that all water that may be in the house or stored away in vessels in the first hour of the teḳufah had to be thrown away in the belief that the water is then poisoned, and if drunk would cause swelling of the body, sickness, and sometimes death, said it was followed only in order that the new season might be begun with a supply of fresh, sweet water.

Jupiter Smyrna Louvre Ma13.jpg

Zeus, god of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice – The Jupiter de Smyrne, discovered in Smyrna in 1680

When the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning of winter, or “‘et ha-ḥoref”(stripping-time), when the night is the longest during the year.For several people it was the time something had to be stripped down or some things that happened in the past had to be done with. The bad things had to be forgotten or to ‘be over with’ and new paths could be taken again. It was the time of a ‘turn over’ or a rebirth. People looked forward to the rebirth of the sun and hoped that everything would go well. For that reason they offered the rest of their food to the gods of nature which had to bear them fruits and good weather, not making the god of thunder (sky and thunder god Zeus) angry by forgetting him or to have bad spirits around, lots of noise was made to get them away from the own house.

Also in Latin America we can find such very noisy parties. For many people the darker nights were there for getting the ‘good’ and ‘goods’ together. All badness had to be down away. On the 24th of December it was the big moment to look for the next day when the goddess of light would return in case they all showed the goodness and willingness to her.

From December 16 through December 23 in Latin America eight posada parties are held and on the 24th, Nochebuena (The Good Night)(Christmas Eve) is celebrated, and families make an effort to be together for a special dinner. Also in West Europe this custom of a Christmas meal has been long a favourite moment.

Roman influences

Statue of three figures, seated side by side

Capitoline Triad – the three godheads side by side transposed in the Roman catholic church and shims of that church to the Trinity, being a God the Father, god the son, and a god the holy spirit.

Constantine the Great had managed to got the church leaders to agree to many of his demands so that the Christians would not any more be persecuted. For that reason they had to agree to the three-headed Roman god and Jeshua could become the ‘counterpart’ or ‘alias’ for Zeus with his name calling ‘hail Zeus‘ or ‘Issou‘ ‘Jesus‘. And they had to keep to the Roman festivals and as such should place their Christian Zeus (Jesus) his birth on the same major feast for the ‘light’ in the Roman world. As such rabbi Jeshua became Jesus , and his birth day became the 25th of December instead of October 17. Constantine insisted that the mighty king of the gods (Jupiter) or the Roman god of the sky, thunderstorms, lightning, weather and air got honoured on his day (December 25).

But it were not only Roman customs which entered Christendom.

Aztec influences

Latin Americans should come to see that American Christmas customs are nothing but Aztec rites. El Universal, a newspaper in Mexico City, commented:

“Friars from different orders took advantage of the fact that festivities of the Indian ritual calendar coincided with the Catholic liturgical calendar, so they used this to support their evangelizing and missionary work. They replaced the commemorations to the pre-Hispanic divinities with festivities to Christian divinities, introduced European festivities and activities, and also took advantage of the Indian festivities, which resulted in a cultural syncretism from which authentically Mexican expressions have arisen.”

The Encyclopedia Americana explains:

Nativity plays early became a part of the Christmas celebration . . . The representation in church of the crèche [the manger scene] is said to have been begun by Saint Francis.”

These plays featuring the birth of Christ were performed in the churches during the beginning of the colonization of Mexico. They were organized by Franciscan monks in order to teach the Indians about the Nativity. Later the posadas became more popular. Whatever the original intention behind them, the way the posadas are held today speaks for itself. If you are in Mexico during this season, you can see or sense something that a writer for El Universal highlighted in his comment:

“The posadas, which were a way to remind us of the pilgrimage of Jesus’ parents looking for a shelter where the Child God could be born, are today only days of drunkenness, excesses, gluttony, vanities, and more and more crime.”

Traditional Nativity scenes

The idea of the nacimiento emerged during Colonial times from the original live representations in churches. While some find it attractive, does it correctly represent what the Bible says?
That is a valid question.

When the so-called three wise men — who in fact were astrologers — visited, Jesus and his family were no longer living in a stable. Time had passed, and the family was living in a house. You will find it interesting to note this detail in the inspired record at Matthew 2:1, 11. You can also note that the Bible does not say how many astrologers there were.

After Jesus had been born in Bethʹle·hem+ of Ju·deʹa in the days of Herod*+ the king, look! astrologers* from the East came to Jerusalem, saying: “Where is the one born king of the Jews?+ For we saw his star when we were in the East, and we have come to do obeisance* to him.” …  10 On seeing the star, they rejoiced with great joy. 11 And when they went into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and falling down, they did obeisance* to him. They also opened their treasures and presented him with gifts—gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:1-2,10-11)

Another detail should not be ignored: In the Mexican nacimiento, the baby is referred to as “the Child God” with the idea that it was God himself who came to earth as a baby. However, the Bible presents Jesus as being the Son of God who was born on earth; he was not the same as or equal to Jehovah, the Almighty God. Consider the truth about this, presented at Luke 1:35; John 3:16; 5:37; 14:1, 6, 9, 28; 17:1, 3; 20:17.

35 In answer the angel said to her: “Holy spirit will come upon you,+ and power of the Most High will overshadow you. And for that reason the one who is born will be called holy,+ God’s Son.+ (Luke 1:35)

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son,+ so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.+ 17 For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.+ 18 Whoever exercises faith in him is not to be judged.+ Whoever does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.+ (John 3:16-18)

Three wise men, Santa and birthday celebrations

In Latin America, the three wise men replace the idea of Santa Claus. Still, as is done in other lands, many parents hide toys in the home. Then on the morning of January 6, the children look for them, as if the three wise men brought them. This is a money-making time for toy sellers, and some have made a fortune on what many honesthearted people recognize is just a fantasy. The myth of the three wise men is losing credibility among a goodly number, even among little children. Though some are displeased that this myth is losing believers, what can anyone expect of a fantasy maintained only for the sake of tradition and for commercial convenience?

Christmas, or the Nativity, was not celebrated by early Christians. One encyclopedia says about this:

“The celebration was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth.”

The Bible links the celebration of birthdays with pagans, not with God’s true worshippers.

But when Herod’s birthday+ was being celebrated, the daughter of He·roʹdi·as danced for the occasion and pleased Herod so much+ that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Then she, at her mother’s prompting, said: “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”+ Grieved though he was, the king, out of regard for his oaths and for those dining* with him, commanded it to be given. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. (Matthew 14:6-10).

This does not, of course, mean that it is not beneficial to learn and remember the actual events involved in the birth of the Son of God. The factual Bible account provides important insights and lessons for all those who want to do God’s will.

Birth of Jesus According to the Bible

You will find reliable information about Jesus’ birth in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. They show that the angel Gabriel visited a young unmarried woman by the name of Mary in the Galilean town of Nazareth. What message did he deliver?

“Look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus. This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.” (Luke 1:31-33.)

Mary was very surprised by this message. Not being married, she said:

“How is this to be, since I am having no intercourse with a man?” The angel answered: “Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son.” Mary, recognizing that this was the will of God, said: “Look! Jehovah’s slave girl! May it take place with me according to your declaration.” (Luke 1:34-38).

An angel told Joseph about the miraculous birth so that he would not divorce Mary, which he was planning to do after he learned of her pregnancy. He was then willing to assume the responsibility of taking care of the Son of God. (Matthew 1:18-25).

Then a decree from Caesar Augustus forced Joseph and Mary to travel from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, the city of their forefathers, to be registered.

“While they were there, the days came to the full for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her son, the firstborn, and she bound him with cloth bands and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the lodging room.” (Luke 2:1-7).

Luke 2:8-14 describes what followed:

“There were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks. And suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood by them, and Jehovah’s glory gleamed around them, and they became very fearful. But the angel said to them: ‘Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in David’s city. And this is a sign for you: you will find an infant bound in cloth bands and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there came to be with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: ‘Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill.’”

The Astrologers

Matthew’s account mentions that astrologers from the East came to Jerusalem looking for the place where the King of the Jews was born. King Herod was very interested in this — but not with good intentions.

“Sending them to Bethlehem,

he said:

‘Go make a careful search for the young child, and when you have found it report back to me, that I too may go and do it obeisance.’”

The astrologers found the young child and

“opened their treasures and presented it with gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”

But they did not go back to Herod.

“They were given divine warning in a dream not to return to Herod.”

God used an angel to warn Joseph of Herod’s intentions. Joseph and Mary then fled to Egypt with their son. Next, in an effort to eliminate the new King, cruel King Herod ordered the killing of boys in the Bethlehem area. Which boys? Those two years of age and under. (Matthew 2:1-16).

What Can We Learn From the Account?

The visiting astrologers — however many of them there were — did not worship the true God. The Bible version La Nueva Biblia Latinoamérica (1989 Edition) states in a footnote:

“The Magi were not kings, but fortune-tellers and priests of a pagan religion.”

They came in line with their knowledge of the stars to which they were devoted. Had God wanted to guide them to the young child, they would have been led to the exact place without needing to go first to Jerusalem and to Herod’s palace. Later on, God did intervene to alter their course to protect the child.

At Christmastime this account is often surrounded by a mythical and romantic atmosphere that obscures the most important thing: that this baby was born to be a magnificent King, as was announced to Mary and to the shepherds. No, Jesus Christ is not a baby anymore, or even a child. He is the ruling King of God’s Kingdom, which very soon will eliminate all rulerships opposed to God’s will, and he will solve all problems of mankind. That is the Kingdom we ask for in the Lord’s Prayer.

44 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom+ that will never be destroyed.+ And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people.+ It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms,+ and it alone will stand forever,+ (Daniel 2:44)

“You must pray, then, this way:+

“‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name+ be sanctified.*+ 10 Let your Kingdom+ come. Let your will+ take place, as in heaven, also on earth.+ (Matthew 6:9, 10).

Through the angels’ declaration to the shepherds, we learn that the opportunity for salvation is open to all who are willing to hear the message of the good news. Those who gain the favour of God become “men of goodwill.”
There are marvellous prospects for peace in all the world under the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, but people must be willing to do God’s will. Is the Christmas season conducive to this, and does it reflect that desire?
Many sincere people who want to follow the Bible feel that the answer is obvious.

10 But the angel said to them: “Do not be afraid, for look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have. 11 For today there was born to you in David’s city+ a savior,+ who is Christ the Lord.+ 12 And this is a sign for you: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army,+ praising God and saying: 14 “Glory in the heights above to God, and on earth peace among men of goodwill.”* (Luke 2:10, 11, 14).

+

Preceding articles:

Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia

Winter Solstice 2015: Shortest Day Of The Year Celebrated As Pagan Yule

Holidays, holy days and traditions

Focus on outward appearances

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

The imaginational war against Christmas

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Additional reading

  1. Altered to fit a Trinity
  2. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  3. Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע)
  4. First month of the year and predictions
  5. Hosea Say What?
  6. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  7. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  8. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  9. Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
  10. Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents
  11. Matthew 2:19-23 – Out of Egypt to Nazareth
  12. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary
  13. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple
  15. Truth, doubt or blindness
  16. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  17. The place where Jesus was brought up
  18. A Living Faith #7 Prayer

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Further reading

  1. Is Santa Real, Or Is He Really You, Dad?
  2. “Islam may have bad stuff. But …” – What of the other Bronze Age Invented Gods?
  3. Did Electricity kill Religion?
  4. Should we forgo happiness here for the sake of happiness hereafter?
  5. Life Comes in Threes
  6. The three gifts
  7. Wassail Ancient holiday tradition that involves drinking, singing, and making introverts nervous.
  8. A Christmas Wish
  9. America’s First “War on Christmas”
  10. A Breath of Fresh Air
  11. Lapland baby #blogmas day 19
  12. Snowflake Tea Light Cozy
  13. Christmas: The Giver’s Feast
  14. O Christmas Tree!
  15. Christmas Music Matters: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  16. Preparing for Christmas
  17. Living in the Moment
  18. Jesus is the True and Better David (6/12)
  19. Last Minute Gift Idea
  20. Christmas Tree Farm
  21. A Christmas round up
  22. Mr. Santa’s Boogie
  23. 7 Events Which Turned Our Christmas Upside Down
  24. Jane Austen and old friends to the rescue
  25. 7th and 6th day of Christmas! !
  26. Once Upon a Holiday

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Winter Solstice 2015: Shortest Day Of The Year Celebrated As Pagan Yule

Having natural bodies and hoping to get spiritual bodies in this system of things we do have to live in this world but that does not mean we have to live according to this world or according to man’s system.

Most parents get confronted more with life questions as soon as they get children and when those go to the primary school they are questioned even more about life and religious matters.

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Santa Claus with a little girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When those schools celebrate the pagan festivals and have the children dress up and parade with Halloween and when Saint Nicholas is celebrated begin December and afterwards the Christmas tree is put up in class and Santa Claus becomes the subject of the day, parents have to be strong not to go against those worldly fashions in the wrong way but have to deal with it diplomatic.

Though they should not be afraid to make it very clear to their child what is pagan and contrary to the Will of God. Such pagan festivals are the time of the year to show the right way to children and grandchildren. Such occasions we may not miss to witness about the Gospel of the real Good Tidings and how we have to prepare ourselves to a much better world than this one.

We have to show our children and/or grandchildren how we have a much more precious gift than all the material gadgets this world is offering our greedy consumer eyes.

Male and female essences shall receive their righteous place in a new universe and shall come to to operate fully as renewed beings, but only those who are justified and shall be allowed by the God given judge, Jeshua, the master teacher and saviour Jesus Christ. On him we should put our hope and look forward to receive him as our most important gift of the year.

*

To remember

English: Illumination of Earth by Sun on the d...

Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of winter solstice on northern hemisphere. A view to eastern-hemisphere showing noon in Central European time zone (ignoring DST) on the day of winter solstice (on northern hemisphere – this is summer solstice on southern hemisphere). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • In 2015, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Dec. 22 at 4:48 a.m. UTC. To calculate the turning point in your time zone, click here.
  • Officially first day of winter > winter solstice > North Pole tilted 23.5 degrees away from sun => longest night of the year => days get progressively longer after winter solstice until summer solstice.
  • winter solstice celebrated by many people around the world as beginning of return of the sun = darkness turning into light.
  • Talmud > winter solstice = “Tekufat Tevet” ==== [Teḳufat Nisan, the vernal equinox (March 21) Teḳufat Tammuz, the summer solstice (June 21), Teḳufat Tishri, the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23), Teḳufat Ṭebet, the winter solstice (Dec. 22), when the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning of winter, or “‘et ha-ḥoref”(stripping-time), when the night is the longest during the year. Each teḳufah, according to Samuel Yarḥinai, marks the beginning of a period of 91 days and 7½ hours.]
  • China, Dongzhi Festival >Winter Solstice celebrated by families getting together + eating special festive food.
  • Until 16th century winter months = time of famine in northern Europe =>Most cattle slaughtered = wouldn’t have to be fed during the winter => solstice time fresh meat plentiful => merriment + feasting.
  • pre-Christian Scandinavia > Feast of Juul, or Yule 12 days celebrating rebirth of sun god and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log.
  • ancient Rome winter solstice celebrated at Feast of Saturnalia > honouring Saturn, god of agricultural bounty > characterized by feasting, debauchery + gift-giving = With Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity => customs absorbed into Christmas celebrations. >>> Emperor Constantine appropriated Pagan holidays for Christian ones ostensibly to make them more palatable to his people who had been Pagan for generations.
  • winter solstice in ancient ruins of Stonehenge, England > Thousands of druids + pagans gather there to chant, dance + sing while waiting to see spectacular sunrise.
  • solstices chance to still ourselves inside, to behold the glory of the cosmos, + to take a breath with the Sacred.
  • connecting with natural world (honouring sacred immanent in all things) => establish resonance with seasons
  • Ritual helps to shift our consciousness => reflect outer world inside our inner landscape
  • daughter  of 4 wants practically everything she sees toy and clothes-wise => real historic figure St. Niklaus who would bring gifts to children at Yule-time.
  • Christmas only been celebrated in the US since about the 1800s > In it’s current manifestation = more like a holiday invented by toy manufacturers to increase their profits.
  • the writer of the article underneath believes that the dying god, the male esssence, is sacrificed (or dies in the winter) and goes into the Mother (Earth) for the winter in order to be reborn again in the spring => thinking of a figure like The Green Man.
  • Incidentally a full moon this year on the Winter Solstice

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Preceding

Holidays, holy days and traditions

Focus on outward appearances

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

The imaginational war against Christmas

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Additional reading

  1. Politics and power first priority #1
  2. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  4. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  5. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  6. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  7. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  8. Christmas trees
  9. Manna from Sint Nicholas
  10. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  11. Sancta Claus is not God
  12. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  13. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  14. Christmas in the 1950s
  15. Continued nostalgic Christmas memories
  16. The Proper Place of Excess
  17. Looking for the consummation of presents
  18. One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope
  19. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus

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Further reading

  1. Winter is Coming!
  2. The Dark Side
  3. Darkness to Light
  4. Winter Solstice
  5. Winter Solstice by Luna Beam
  6. Long nights’s moon
  7. Winter Solstice and Yule
  8. Yule
  9. Personal Festival of Lights
  10. Celebrating the Winter Solstice….
  11. Great Yule: The ancient and present holiday
  12. Winter Solstice Festival
  13. The Yule Countdown
  14. In Praise of the Invincible Light
  15. Hail the Return of the Sun
  16. Yule is upon us!
  17. Yule Fillable Ornament Magick
  18. Yuletide Tunes
  19. Saturnalia
  20. Christmas
  21. Christmas is Pagan!
  22. From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century..
  23. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor Appropriate..
  24. Christmas is Tammuz’s Birthday?
  25. War On Christmas Memes: Saturnalia
  26. War On Christmas Memes: The Yule Tree
  27. A Little history on the holly tree
  28. How to bring some real Christmas spirits into your Yule-tide
  29. Santa Claus, Krampus,The Wild Hunt and Me.
  30. Christmas, the Weridest Holiday of the Year; Part one
  31. Christmas — Who gives a rip HOW we came up with the date we use?!?
  32. Christmas: it’s all about money, not messiahs.
  33. Jan 17 – Antony of Egypt
  34. Tanguyan
  35. Christmas Day Reads
  36. Cheers to Hot Cocoa and Peppermint Schnapps
  37. Set to Purpose
  38. Yule 2015#18
  39. Merry Yule!
  40. Online Winter Solstice / Yule Ritual by Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple
  41. Yule, Light, and rare events
  42. Following the Yule Star
  43. Cranberry & Hazelnut Peppermint Honey Cake: Hail To The Mothers!

 

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Mystic Myrelle

“Something in us needs to know that at the end of the longest night, there will be light.”

  • HuffPost Religion EditorsThe Huffington Post
12/16/2015 02:35 pm ET

In 2015, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Dec. 22 at 4:48 a.m. UTC. To calculate the turning point in your time zone, click here.

Officially the first day of winter, the winter solstice occurs when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. This is the longest night of the year, meaning that despite the cold winter, the days get progressively longer after thewinter solstice until the summer solstice in 2016.

The winter solstice is celebrated by many people around the world as the beginning of the return of the sun, and darkness turning into light. The Talmud recognizes the winter solstice as “Tekufat Tevet.” In China, the Dongzhi Festival is…

View original post 805 more words

Exodus 9: Liar Liar

So many of us have ideas and flirt with reality. In man the lie is in-bedded. Some people even do think a little lie would not harm. Even in many religions we do find that many lies crept in, like human dogma’s, human stories and fairy tales, pagan rites, human traditions. Many lies are even taken into the worshipping services, like Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, Saint Nicholas, Saint Maarten, Virgin Mother, Easter bunnies, Bells from Rome, etc.

Real Christian should start with taking away the lies, traditions and customs which foul their religion, than start working on themselves, trying to avoid to twist the truth and to be honest in a friendly way (which is not always easy) and to behave honestly according to the Will of God in a true religion.

Following the Word of God, doing the Will of God they shall already be able to avoid a lot of difficulties and shall be able to avoid the Wrath of God coming over them.

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Please do find to read:

  1. Objects of God’s final wrath
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  3. Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival
  4. Manna from Sint Nicholas
  5. The imaginational war against Christmas
  6. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  7. A season of gifts
  8. The pagan celebration Christmas
  9. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  10. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  11. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  12. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  13. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  14. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  15. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  18. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  19. Speedy Christmas!
  20. Christmas trees
  21. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  22. Sancta Claus is not God
  23. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  24. Idolatry or idol worship
  25. Halloween custom of the nations
  26. The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present
  27. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  28. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  29. Welcome to Easter 2014
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ
  32. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  33. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  34. High Holidays not only for Israel
  35. The Weekend that changed the world
  36. Seven days of Passover
  37. Altered to fit a Trinity
  38. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  39. Focus on outward appearances
  40. Life and attitude of a Christian
  41. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  42. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  43. A Messiah to die
  44. Risen With Him
  45. The naked truth is always better than the best dressed lie
  46. Lie handle that fits all instruments

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A good reason to detect the lies are by looking in those stories:

Bobby "The Red Head"

Exodus 9:29-30 NKJV ( read Exodus ch. 9)

So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord ; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord ’s. But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the Lord God.”

In the movie “Liar Liar”, Jim Carrey plays a lawyer that has become proficient at lying, and everyone knows it. At his birthday party his son makes a wish that his father couldn’t lie for 24 hours, after Jim’s character lied about why he couldn’t be at his son’s birthday party. The comedic irony that ensues is amazing. Everything in the lawyers life falls apart because he’s forced to tell the truth and face life, his family…

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Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

In addition to Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet and Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival we would like to give the word to the Editor of ‘Defend Christmas‘  not because we would be in favour of that heathen festival which lures many Christians in taking actions against the Will of God, but because we all should know that we do live in a mixt society where there are many sorts of people, different cultures and different colours having to find a place to live in peace with each other.

Like Christmas isn’t really the point of contention some people make it out to be. It has been celebrated in different ways by different people in different cultures around the world since before the birth of Jesus Christ. The world’s largest Christmas community online and the Internet’s oldest ongoing celebration of Christmas contend that Christmas is special for that fact alone. For them

The diversity of thought around the season needs to be celebrated — not condemned.

Defend Christmas

For nearly 200 years the Netherlands have carried on the St. Nicholas tradition of Zwarte Piet, a black elf-like character that only last year was condemned by critics as a racist caricature. Traditionalists tell Defend Christmas that they are organizing counter protests and the Winter Festival of 2014 will feature more Black Petes than ever, all but guaranteeing this issue will once again be at the forefront of media discussions of Christmas.

The complaints against Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, began outside of the country, which does not have a long term history of racial issues, and it has exploded into an emotional debate as Christmas traditionalists inside the country cry foul.

While the character of St. Nicholas, both in a historic sense and in contemporary practice, has some similarities to Britain’s Father Christmas or America’s Santa Claus, the tradition of St. Nicholas is decidedly different in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas, as he is known, shows up in mid-November in many communities, usually riding a white horse and wearing the traditional Bishop’s robes of St. Nicholas.

Nicholas was, in fact, a Catholic bishop of world fame who lived in the 5th century. His tradition in the Netherlands is as much — still — a religious tradition as it is a seasonal celebration. He comes into town sometimes with dozens of assistants known as Black Petes. And together — Nicholas and Zwarte Piet — they determine which children are well behaved. They visit schools, hospitals, churches, stores and even private homes for weeks at a time leading up to St. Nicholas Day, traditionally observed on December 6th.

Children respond by singing Sinterklaas songs leaving out wish lists and water and hay for the horse. If St. Nicholas happens by while checking on their behavior, the next morning children may find chocolate coins or letter, candy treats, pepernoten, and little gifts in their shoes. Everyone hopes for sweets, not coal or a little bag of salt. In some families he may stop by every night, but usually just once or several times—and not if the children have been naughty that day or forgot to sing their songs. By tradition St. Nicholas hands out the goodies while Zwarte Piete doles out the bad stuff.

While there is some history of Zwarte Piet taking on darker and more sinister forms of punishment his character over time has become more one of whimsy and mischief. Ironically, it is the character of Sinterklaas that has remained more serious while Zwarte Piet has come to bring the more light-hearted element to the proceedings.

Last year the Jamaican chair of the UN Human Rights Commission condemned the practice of Black Pete. “The working group cannot understand that why it is that people in the Netherlands cannot see that this is a throwback to slavery and that in the 21st century this practice should stop. As a black person, I feel that if I was living in the Netherlands I would object to it,” she said.

Those comments cast an international media spotlight on the Christmas traditions in the Netherlands and led to hundreds of protesters marching on a park in The Hague in support of Dutch traditions.

This summer a court agreed that Black Pete is racist and encouraged organizers to change the tradition. In response the mayor of Amsterdam has vowed to gradually reduce the presence of Black Pete and to diminish his traditional characteristics.

While race hasn’t been at the forefront of issues in the Netherlands it has increased in focus. In fact, local media reports that complaints of race discrimination in the Netherlands have doubled in the past year, in part due to the controversy over Zwarte Piet.

Surveys also show an overwhelming sense that political correctness has taken root in the Netherlands, adversely affecting not only tradition but race relations overall.

Expect more strife this Christmas from the Netherlands.

Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

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Additional reading:

  1. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  2. Focus on outward appearances
  3. The imaginational war against Christmas
  4. Sancta Claus is not God
  5. Manna from Sint Nicholas

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  • Geert Wilders draws up a law to preserve Zwarte Piet (dutchnews.nl)

    The anti-immigration PVV is drawing up legislation which would ensure Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas’s servant, remains black and that songs remain unmodernised.

    MP and party media strategist Martin Bosma has ‘worked all weekend’ on the bill to make sure that Piet remains black at official council Sinterklaas events, PVV leader Geert Wilders told television show Vandaag de dag.

    ‘We want to protect our culture,’ Wilders said. The idea that Zwarte Piet, played by white people in blackface make-up, is a sign of racism is ‘too ridiculous for words,’ Wilders said.

  • Who profits from the production of blackface? (africasacountry.com)
    Some tried to turn blackface into brownface (only in the Netherlands) while others are still trying to convince us that Black Pete sets a fine example for black people. In any case, anti-blackface protestors have not been silent.Recently, anti-blackface campaigners have again drawn attention to the economic dimension of blackface. It is quite apparent that the Dutch state and its economy are profiting generously from their annual blackface partay. The Dutch spend more on the Sinterklaas celebration than on any other public holiday – think presents, but also lots of Sinterklaas related stuff from toys, candy, and chocolates to wrapping paper. It comes to no surprise then that campaigners are critically examining who exactly is profiting from the production of blackface.
    +
    using caricatures and stereotypes of black people in the design of, for instance, children’s toys is also common practice. The act of consuming blackface has now become a disposable act, unrelated to any political issue and completely emptied out of its historical context. This also, partly, explains the huge outrage (and all the tears) that anti-blackface campaigners are faced with; they are disturbing the natural order of things (blackface). As many have argued before me,
    +
    A collective of people, including the action group Mad Mothers NL, sent letters to the Sesame Street Workshop Corporation in the US and demanded that Black Pete be scrapped from the Dutch version of the program. Black Pete will now no longer appear on the show or be used for promotional purposes. Another example is Playmobil, who will no longer be selling plastic Black Petes. These actions are important because they demonstrate that international companies are indeed weary of supporting blackface – as they should be – and that protesting does help in some instances.
  • Who profits from the production of blackface? (ecowastribune.com)
    Dutch department store group De Bijenkorf (known for the Black Pete’s on a rope spectacle) is internationally owned, more specifically by Selfridges, a chain of high-end department stores in the UK.To that end, campaigner Eduard Mangal posted the following to the Facebook page of Selfridges:

    Mr. Anthony Graham of Wittington Investments, and Mr. Paul Kelly of Selfridges do you support racial offending actions that can hurt your business and ignore court decisions? Do you really support blackface? Talk to your management in the Netherlands and please respond!

    He also posted this to the Facebookpage of De Bijenkorf (who deleted the whole topic):

    Why does the Bijenkorf not respect the decisions of the [Dutch] court, the Board for the Protection of Human Rights and the UN working group of experts on peoples of African descent, that the blackface character “Zwarte Piet” is a racist caricature, confirming stereotypes? Why does the Bijenkorf [- your store in the Netherlands! – continue to offend people by] decorating their store with blackface characters?

    On September 26th, Selfridges responded to Eduard Mangal by basically saying that they are fine with promoting blackface because De Bijenkorf styles their Black Petes differently every year and take the “Dutch Centre for Folk Culture and Immaterial Heritage” into account.

  • Entire stock of Sinterklaas toys sold in one day (24oranges.nl)
    There’s already Sinterklaas treats in the shops, we’ve spent the summer in controversy with ‘Zwarte Piet’ and now in Ede, Gelderland, there’s a run on toys featuring the soon to be phased out black festive helper.Online webshop Lobbes.nl based in Ede has sold all its Fisher Price Sinterklaas sets in one day. We’re not talking millions of sets, but the run on the toys did not go unnoticed. ​Fisher Price has announced that it will stop producing its traditional sets following complaints related to the figure of Zwarte Piet deemed racist by the courts.
  • Black Peter banned from Albert Heijn ad campaigns (deredactie.be)
    Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is getting rid of Black Peter (Zwarte Piet). Saint Nicholas’ (Sinterklaas) trusty –and controversial – side-kick will only be depicted on candy in-store, according to the Dutch daily ‘Algemeen Dagblad’. Black Peter is still welcome in the Belgian Albert Heijn branches.
  • Wilders Calls for Measure Supporting Tradition of Black Peter, Says It’s Children’s Party Figure……. (tundratabloids.com)

    Wilders said he was ‘so angry’ over the discussion, the law is designed to “protect our culture,” and the discussion on Zwarte Piet and racism is’ too ridiculous for words, “Wilders said. “It’s a children’s party. This has nothing to do with racism. “ I hope there is a majority, then we can at least maintain that tradition.”

Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival

How would Anne Frank look at the silly situation which happens so many decades after she saw the horror which came into existence because certain people became too serious about a pure race and typical morphology of the Caucasians.

Instead of seeing a “butterfly effect“ the Low Countries may have a Big Black Book or should I say a Big Red Book slammed in their face.

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying...

Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying Santa Claus.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In many countries all over the world it is a tradition to come up every year with a very big lie for the children. All over the world we can find a ‘children festival’ were parents lie about the presents the children receive. In some countries it are the ‘Bells of Rome‘, in others it are ‘the eggs of Spring’ or the ‘Easter Bunnies‘,in others it are Saint Martin, Saint Nicholas the Santa, or even the elfs from High up North.

Best, naturally, we would not tell such lies to our children, but as people living in a democratic state we should allow such stories to stay alive and have people amusing themselves with fairy tales and traditional songs and feasts.

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Trying to be over politically correct is not doing good to society. We should know what happen in the past, be aware of differences and changes, and allow traditional fun to those who want to have such fun.

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We may have certain countries around us which may have a very philistine tradition and who are afraid to change things. Others do think they have to advance so much that they better get rid of all the past, like it never happened? We may find everywhere anti-intellectual groups which prefer to be a-theoretical an which to stay pragmatic. But we may encounter those people who seem to be much more afraid, instead of being sure of themselves and of their society where they live in. In case the Dutch people were sure enough they are liberal and free they should not make such a fuss about the old children songs and the tradition of Saint Nicholas, whilst they find nobody may touch Christmas because that is holy fro them, forgetting that it has nothing to do at all with the birth of Christ (who was born in October) in Palestine, where there are no fur trees and at that time no snow and certainly no elfs and flying Nordic men. Though the lie for the children about the man and his servants worries them so much that even shopkeepers become afraid to sell certain products which may relate to the servant of Saint Nicholas.

In the Netherlands the far right movement has won a lot of people. Is it not that we may find a lot of Right-wing liberals who are libertarians, who are fanatically pro-market and pro-United States, who would like to leave the European Union and join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and would therefore really just swap one federation for another? They also will feel happy with the many fundamentalist evangelicals who consider the white race the better and chosen people by their god Christ, who according to them was a white man and not a Palestinian nor a Jew. The others were lots of Dutch people are getting afraid for are those sympathetic to the far Right. Because both being against coloured people others think they have to defend the coloured in such a way, as if they can not speak for themselves, that anything which shows up a placing of such a coloured person should be considered as discrimination. They even do not want to take in consideration where the tradition came from or what it really meant, having a person becoming black because in the chimneys the soot made the servants black.

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Black Pete or Zwarte Piet may be a caricature of nineteenth century house slaves, in servant’s uniform, with big red lips and golden earrings, in the Netherlands even speaking with a supposedly Surinamese accent, and in Belgium with a French/Spanish or Afrikaans accent. If we have to going to erase all sorts of caricature we shall have a lot of work, like Kitty in her article also rightly points out. But the Dutch, Belgians and French shall have to seriously consider what they are going to do with all their rebellious old popular songs and even with their national hymns. With Austrian, French, British, Spanish, Dutch, coming to fight on our grounds and terrorising people in the past, the very young Belgium has lots of songs where is being mocked with those people. When protests against such lyrics will come up and children will have to adapt and re-adapt the songs they learned in childhood it shall only contribute of many forgetting all those songs and the old culture, having them at last no ground to be proud of to belong to such or such people. At last Europe seems to find a way to have the people loose all connection with their birth-ground and their nation. And in the mean time nobody worries about all the lies which are told by parents and politicians.

 

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  • The Missing Education on Black Hair (exquisitemag.com)
    Tiffany Bryan, a 27-year-old cancer survivor from New York, was fired from her job for wearing an Afro. This event is not the first: Within the last 12 months soldiers in the military, grade school students, university students and hard-working members of society have been discriminated against because of their hairstyle. These women wore their hair in Afros, twist, dreadlocks and braids not because of some hair fad, but because these styles are essential for their texture of hair. Each of these events, created by a lack of fundamental knowledge on Black hair, offers an opportunity for us to talk openly about the hair of women of color. If the people that committed these acts of discrimination understood that the morphological differences of Afro-textured hair requires a different type of hair care and hairstyles than other ethnic groups, future events of discrimination can be avoided.
  • Orientalism (1986). Dismantling arab stereotypes perpetuated by western media. (reddit.com)

    Edward Said must have one of the worst cases of “I can’t believe I still have to keep reminding you people of this shit” in history, considering “Orientalism” came out in the 70s.

    Rather than learning anything, popular culture in the west seems intent on constantly forgetting as much of anything it accidentally learned about the middle east as possible.

  • Renewing the Radical Right (counter-currents.com)
    everything’s material; all people are equal; all lives are equally important; tragedy is largely fictional; “grin and bear it.”
    +
    I believe human inequality is the basis of life, but also the basis of morality, because I believe inequality is a moral force. The real division between the Left and Right is not about people who support socialized medicine or even much more harsh measures, if you like, or divisive measures like ethnicity or abortion or whatever. The real division, philosophically, is those who believe that equality, enforced or otherwise, is a moral good (broadly the general Left) and those who believe—and are often are too frightened to say so—that inequality is a moral good, which is what the philosophical Right really believes in.
  • Renewing the Radical Right (therebel.org)
    ere a reaction against the tendentious propositions that liberalism enfolds: everything’s material; all people are equal; all lives are equally important; tragedy is largely fictional; “grin and bear it.” Do you remember the Panglossian sort of attitude that you get in Voltaire’s Candide? You know, everything’s always for the best and this sort of utterly trivial and, in one sense, irreligious attitude towards life just sort of nauseated and appalled me. I thought that there has to be something better than this.

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video, by the Daily Telegraph in England, recorded in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, says about itself:

17 November 2013

Sinterklaas, the Dutch version of Father Christmas and his blacked-up helpers Zwarte Pieten, or Black Peters, arrive in Amsterdam amid protests claiming the tradition is racist.

Sinterklaas is not really ‘the Dutch version of Father Christmas’. The festival is on 6 December (and mainly on 5 December, the evening before 5 December), remembering the Christian Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop in what is today Turkey. Father Christmas, or Santa Claus, was derived from Sinterklaas later in the USA, and connected to Christmas, not 5 or 6 December.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The PVV

Geert Wilders‘ xenophobic party in the Netherlands

wil propose a bill which will protect Zwarte Piet.

Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is a blackface character in the Dutch…

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Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

The sun did not yet go under for the Summer 2014 or Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas), Sancta Claus, the Santa, and all Winter presents were already to be found in the shops. In Flanders in May we had already a garden centre which presented a huge Christmas show, with all the new decoration gadgets for December 2014. That month there was also lots of protest having to be confronted as consumer with the Christmas period, whilst Summer had yet to start.

Intocht van Sinterklaas in Amsterdam

Sinterklaas and his servants in Amsterdam

In the Low countries we for centuries do have a children festival where on the night of 5 December presents are brought by a so called saint Nicolas and his servants who are called “zwarte pieten” “black guys” (often translated in English as Black Peters or “Black Pete“, thinking a Piet is the name of a Peter or Pete instead of the slang for a worker or guy, a toff, a bigwig or “Johnnie”). This labourer who helps to make, transport and delivers the presents by going through the chimneys, by which he becomes so black, has been the dispute already since 2012, but got in real high discussion last year. We thought we had seen it all, but this year many communities bear the consequences from the zwarte Piet” (“Black Pete”). They are afraid to have black persons standing next to Sinterklaas on the ship or on the road, on horses close to Sinterklaas risking to receive a fine or to be put in jail. Those against the colour of the ‘black petes’ have clearly forgotten that the white bishop had worked in Turkey and brought his helpers from there en from Spain, where he found Moors or Moroccan people who were willing to help him to bring goods to the poor and need, plus to the small children who could be made happy with a surprise.

Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan had to hear in July that the Amsterdam District Court found the character of Zwarte Piet a racist caricature.. He was advised to reconsider his licensing of the annual Sinterklaas parade where the Saint enters the city on a boat with several balck sevants on the deck. In August van der Laan got back to them and said that the character of Zwarte Piet would change over the next four years; the black paint, red lips and afro wigs would be ‘toned down’.

On television several shopkeepers declared even not willing to sell black greasepaint these months, because it could be associated with them liking a Black Pete, and as such being ‘discriminating black people’. What those people against the black Pete do not want to see is that the blackness of the person has nothing to do with discrimination or by preferring black slaves. Zwarte Piet or Black Pete is a helper and not a slave of Saint Nicholas. Either on the 5th of December (in Holland) or the 6th of December (Holland and Belgium -except some parts of Flanders, Holland, North France and German districts, where they have Sint Maarten on the 11th of November in) several children in the Low Countries look forward for  Saint Nicholas’ Day (6 December) where they can have a day where they can play freely with their presents of ‘the holy man’.

The whole situations seems to get out of hand when we do hear that even people are receiving death treats on both camps. In August the judicial advisor to the anti-Zwarte Piet movement, Frank King, removed himself from the judicial process around the issue after receiving several death threats, the Algemeen Dagblad reported. In an interview with the AD, King says that his heart is still in the case, and that he may get involved again some time.

“If the topic makes it to the European Human Rights Court, they can call me”,

King tells the AD.

Every one should have to have the right to have a defence layer or professional advisor, not having to mean that this adviser totally agrees with the person he talks for. from Leiden is done. Frank King believes that there is some kind of schism between what he thinks he is doing, and what others think he’s doing.

“I seem myself as lawyer of the counter-movement against Zwarte Piet. But the supporters see that differently. They now see me as the face of the counter-movement. And are directing their anger at me.”

Recently, the lawyer has received threats and abuse on all levels of communication. He receives the worst by mail. He is threatened, and he is abused because he has parents from Suriname.

“One mail said that I should have been put on a 17th century slave ship, just like my ancestors.”

King has had enough of the abuse, as well as the case, which is taxing in time. Though King does emphasize that he is proud of his involvement, and proud of the progress made.

Geert Wilders and his followers do have a problem with coloured people and made it that several Dutch people have become weary about the black coloured people and traditional black figures. In Belgium and Holland or the Netherlands we even do not know any more what we are allowed to say for a person with an other skin than the Caucasian race. There was a time we were not allowed to say ‘zwarte’ (‘black’) any more and had to say ‘neger’ (niger) but then this was not as seen as polite any more so ‘negro type’ and ‘negroïde’ were introduced. After a while this was not done any more and we had to use “immigrant” (“immigrant”) but soon this was considered to be a sobriquet and was to be replaced with “allochtoon” (foreign, alien, allochthonous), which is now also nearly becoming a nickname or giving a sign of ‘giving the other person the stigma’ of being a ‘profiteer’. This really indicates in our regions we are getting a real race problem.

Sinterklaas en ZwartePiet

Classic drawing of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet (Saint Nicholas and Black Pete) every young person in the Low Countries formerly grew up with

For centuries at schools across the country, children sang songs referring to the skin tone and character of the black servant “…even if I’m black as coal I mean well…”, “Saint Nicholas, enter with your black servant”, etc,. Many object that in some old songs about Zwarte Piet, he is presented as not being a very clever boy, even  being a little bit stupid, a little bit clumsy, more akin to a child than an adult, the same generalisations previously applied to black people, but which can no longer be made explicitly.

Now nothing may be black any more or it would be associated with denigration. As a joke in 2012 already a funny video was introduced where a “zwarte piet” was presented as a worker you could hire or buy to do all the little and harder works in the household and at the office or could even be used as you masseur or “puppy” or “doll” in bed.

The whole situation became so ludicrous that several funny video’s turn up and even companies are making advertisement spots, like we could see one, last night for fund recruitment for cancer treatment, where we could see a “Zwarte Pieten” training school in Africa which had lost so much money because nobody wanted a black Pete any more, they nearly could continue working but a solution was found having new recruits with white bold children wanting to learn for ‘piet'[(Sorry no video available of this (yet)].

Concerning supermarkets not willing to present anything any more which refers to ‘Zwarte Piet’ a satirical video was already placed on Youtube. It was first presented on The PowNews of October 9, 2014: The Albert Heijn wants Zwarte Pietwegjorissen” (take them out of the picture), but the helpers are not pleased with it and do not want to give up their job, which they like very much. Therefore a boycott was set up before the Alber Heijn supermarkets by the helpers of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) in Appie, Oostzaan.

  • Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
    If Wilders wants to ban changing songs’ lyrics, then he will have very much work to do. Throughout history, old songs have been adapted with new lyrics. Protestant churches in the Netherlands and elsewhere have changed the lyrrics of their hymns and psalms frequently. Does Wilders want to jail the Protestant dignitaries responsible for that? He can’t jail all of them, as most are already dead. The Belgian national anthem’s lyrics have changed many times.
  • Santa’s helper is a racist caricature (newint.org)

    It’s been a month since Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan announced his decision to cancel Christmas. Or at least that’s how Anneka Hendriks laughingly describes it to me. Hendriks is one of the hundreds of people in Amsterdam who enjoy painting their faces black, donning afro wigs and gold hoop earrings, and celebrating the festive season by masquerading as Zwarte Piet (Dutch for ‘Black Pete’).

    ‘Hundreds’ is a conservative estimate; it’s probably more like thousands or tens of thousands when the rest of the Netherlands is taken into account.

  • The Netherlands plan a nationwide consultation on the controversial Black Pete tradition (independent.co.uk)

    The Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands has announced that he will be organising a consultation on the role that ‘Black Petes’ should play during the festive opening of the Sinterklaas season this year.

    Minister Lodewijk Asscher plans to bring relevant parties together to discuss possible changes to the controversial tradition ahead of the televised event on 15 November. The talks will include the national broadcaster and the council of Gouda, the host town.

    Asscher says: “Last year things were very polarised. Everyone should be able to enjoy the festivities again.”
    +
    The Dutch have indeed taken a clear stance in defence of their beloved Pete. The Prime Minister Mark Rutte reflected the feelings of the majority of the population when he responded to criticisms by saying: “Black Pete, that already says it, he’s black. We can’t change much about that”.

  • Dutch ‘Zwarte Piet’: Innocent Holiday Tradition or Inadvertent Racism? (ny.thedailydigest.org)
    When I was a little kid (“little” being ages 10 through 17), I lived in the Netherlands Antilles and in the Netherlands. That was back in the 50s.
    +
    I remember them (sometimes there were dozens of them) running and clowning around with their burlap sacks — scaring the daylights out of some little kids might be a better term — in parades, shopping centers and, as legend had it, coming down the chimney while you were sleeping.
  • Dutch ‘Zwarte Pieten’: Innocent Tradition or Inadvertent Racism? (themoderatevoice.com)
    going back 60 years, Zwarte Pieten were white adolescents with painted black faces (supposedly from the soot picked up scaling down all those chimneys), thick, painted-on, bright-red lips, lots of frizzy black hair, many other “ornaments” such as big gold hoop earrings…and beautiful Dutch blue or green eyes. (No colored contact lenses in those days).

    They were Sinterklaas’ knechten (servants) who would help Sinterklaas deliver sweets and gifts to those kids who had behaved throughout the year and would leave only a lump of coal for those children who had not been very nice. Legend and rumor also had it that they would stuff kids who had been naughty and bad into their burlap sacks and haul them back to Spain, or Morocco, or Turkey or wherever current folklore had it that the Zwarte Pieten came from.

  • The Dutch Christmas with Zwarte Pieten in Blackface (usslave.blogspot.com)
    From Forbes, “The Unbearable Whiteness of Piet-ing: Dutch Santa’s Blackface Elves,” by John Giuffo (Contributor), on 4 December 2012 — Christmastime in Amsterdam has a special kind of magic, and a unique kind of controversy.
     +
    White lights slide down buildings and arch across shopping streets, multiplying their twinkle in canal reflections. No garish multi-color, animatronic ego contests anywhere. You will hear Christmas music, but you’re not assaulted, and dreams of restraining orders against Bing Crosby never fill your head (unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of his children). No one is trampled in shopping frenzies, no one gets arrested for assaulting line-cutters, and the gift giving comes in early December, separate from the more low-key holiday of the 25th. Family members write sardonic poems for each other. Poems! Glühwein – a sort of hot Christmas sangria – warms hands and bellies. And Sinterklaas arrives not on a reindeer-pulled sleigh laden with loot, but on a white horse, accompanied by a small cohort of his helpers, the Zwarte Pieten, or Black Petes – white revelers coated in blackface.
  • Virtual Advent Tour & Giveaway: The Dutch Celebration of Sinterklaas (leeswammes.wordpress.com)
    Sinterklaas has been a tradition in the Netherlands for hundreds of years. Originally, this bishop came to bring money to the poor, but these days it’s a children’s celebration.
    +
    Just like lots of children all over the world believe in Santa Claus, in the Netherlands it’s Sinterklaas they believe in and usually stop believing in around 7 or 8 years’ of age.
    +
    Zwarte Piet has sweets in his bag (although in the old days he would use his bag to transport naughty children back to Spain!), notably pepernoten, which are small, slightly spicy biscuits (cookies). Usually Zwarte Piet will throw these around and kids collect them from the floor (when outdoors they get a fistful in their hand).

    Pepernoten

  • Sinterklaas, A Historically Correct (But Politically Incorrect) Children’s Tradition (urbantimes.co)
    The Dutch picture the character of ‘Zwarte Piet’ (translated Black Pete) as helper with a controversial black African look: blackface, curly wig, red lips, sometimes Creole earrings. The outfit is colourful, topped of by a cap with feathers and a ruffle like a Renaissance page.
    +
    This year, the usual discussion has been overrun by the decision of the former Dutch colony Suriname to ban Sinterklaas completely. Up until now Sinterklaas had been celebrated in Suriname the same way as in Holland: with a white priest coming from Spain on a boat with his black helpers… Evidently, this custom doesn’t fit in a country where white people only account for 5% of the population.
  • be what you want to be (piadrent.blogspot.com)
    The helpers are called ‘Black Petes’ and they are funny and a bit stupid.

    This may have been fine half a century ago, but in today’s day we find that discriminative and offensive. So there is a restyling movement for Black Petes happening right now. First, we will be calling them Petes, and second, their skin tone is becoming more flexible.

Focus on outward appearances

Paying so much attention and loving so much setting great store by outward appearances of the Christmas holiday season you may wonder how much those people screaming about the de-consecration did not themselves are part of the secularization.

One of the best things about the month of December is not the beginning of the winter season or furrylittlegnome’s birthday but the smell of Christmas trees!  Originating in Germany in the sixteenth century, the tradition of a Christmas tree has evolved over time.

A Christmas tree farm in Iowa, United States.

A Christmas tree farm in Iowa, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

writes Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls in O Christmas Tree where she looks at the American common Christmas trees Balsam Firs and Fraser Firs – the latter found in the Eastern United States.

On December the 8th she wrote:

While reading the news online this morning, furrylittlegnome learned some interesting facts. While 88% of Americans will have a Christmas tree in their homes this season, 83% of these Christmas trees will be artificial or “fake”!

What proves it has nothing to do any more with having a sent in the closed homes, or to have some natural green in the season where there are not many blossoming flowers.

Some bloggers apologies already for being so, so late not having set up their Christmas decorations

I’m aware that I should have been in full Christmas mode in September when the first decorations hit the stores. Beach balls to Christmas balls, in the blink of an eye… {Holidaisical}

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a photo of you in front of the xmas tree or you could just ask them to take a photo with you and pretend that your girlfriend is a sexy santa assistant See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Langan, currently Business Services Director at the Penn Emblem Company, does find his joy in the music, which we do have to hear everywhere all the time on the streets, shopping malls, train stations and airports. think about those people who have to work in those places for many hours and have to hear those songs over and over again, many days after each other.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the music.

writes John Langan

I love the old standards by Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, and the newer standards by The Killers and The Pogues (if you don’t know the raw passion of “Fairytale of New York”, you are missing out). So many new songs come out this time of year, a lot for free through iTunes and other places on the World Wide Web. A few are great (“Christmas, Baby” by G Love, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Barenaked Ladies), and some are so stunningly awful they defy description. Each year I add to my already great playlist of holiday music… and just play it all day. Love, love, love! {Holidaisical}

He does not want any complaints:

Life is too short, my friends. There is no reason to be angry in a season dedicated to peace and love… or any other time. So Uncle Ornery… don’t worry about gifts this year. Be cheerful instead, and that can be everyone’s gift. And Jackwagon… Shop online! And Good Catholic… I feel your pain because I used to be you. I use to go to church every week, now I don’t for whatever reason. So excuse me this year if I sit in the wrong seat, or say the wrong thing. Just like everyone else, I’m just doing my best.

Southern Virginia farm of Christmas trees of v...

Southern Virginia farm of Christmas trees of various types. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The transplanted American, living in Australia for the last 30 year, in Family and “the Christmas tree farm“, is aware that the traditions of Christmas are many and varied, depending on the cultural heritage and family practice. It are those family practices which may give the love for a sort of celebration which is placed in the memory form childhood. Her parents and grandparents started the Corsi Tree Farm in southern Ohio.

Thousands of people in the Cincinnati area will travel to the Corsi Tree Farm this year, not just to cut their own Christmas tree, but to have an old fashioned experience with country music, animals and hospitality.  It is probably a tradition that will disappear one day, but for now it is alive and well in Hamersville, Ohio. {the Christmas tree farm}

Because some people do have multiple Christmas trees, their business perhaps could be blooming very well. Marie Haigh who lives in Pottstown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has 5 to be exact. Her first memory of picking out a Christmas tree was walking outside in our front yard and picking an evergreen tree. Her daughter’s memory will be similar.
Her reason for so many trees:

 I just love Christmas trees. I love decorating them. I love looking at them. It is the best Christmas decoration. I would be happy if it were the only Christmas decoration we had. {Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas trees)}

Like several people the writer of Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas Decorations), who learned to knit from her mother-in-law a few years ago, hates decking for Christmas when it is frigid outside. Her blog features her knitting designs, current knitting WIPS (works in progress) whether or not they are designed by her and even failed projects. Occasionally, she takes a much needed break from knitting, such as after the birth of her daughter. During such times, her blog focuses on her family along with the hobby that has her current attention, bouncing between sewing, gardening, card-making and cooking. She lets her child make some ornaments out of Crayola model magic clay, which gives something creative to this whole set of putting up the tree where she as mother also shows her decorating talent. Her daughter Elly went to a “fairy garden class” and made some beautiful “Angel garden”. At the end of the season this daughter was upset that her parents put away the Christmas decorations. {Missing Santa}

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

A Christmas Tree at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whilst she and her daughter may have no lack of inspiration others may get such a lack of inspiration it is driving them bonkers.  A runner that loves to bake, her runs have been out of obligation, not bad but certainly not awesome.  To cap off her great day, of an 1:30 minute run she went to pick out her very first Christmas tree. {Inspiration for 500 Alex…}

Heidi a caffeine-aholic, living in Western Colorado, also shows the roots of her loving the Christmas tree.

To say my Mom loved Christmas and kept it well was an understatement.  She baked jillions of cookies, decorated multiple trees and hosted a holiday open house with tons of different appetizers, cookies, Scandinavian delicacies, and drinks.  She loved to show off her decorated home and culinary skills, and particularly loved that people she invited brought others with them and that the parish priest would stay until the very end of the party and take home leftovers.  She was in the middle of planning her holiday party when her recurring cancer landed her in the hospital.  She died Christmas Eve.  I like to think she went to party with the angels for Christmas, and they took her at that moment to make Christmas extra special for her.

Nice to hear that this sad moment in her life on such a special day did not ruin her “Christmas”.  Understandably she may get a bit melancholy,

but mostly, I try to decorate, cook and entertain in the way Mom would have.  I celebrate Christmas and celebrate Mom.

Mom had a shed on her New Mexico property she called the Christmas Shed–packed to the rafters with all manner of Christmas decor.  I brought a few things home with me, a tub marked Norwegian Tree, and a few of her treasured trolls.  Mom’s mom was Norwegian, and Mom identified with all thing Norwegian.  The tub had ornaments, linens, and candlesticks painted as a Norwegian man and woman in their traditional finery.

Here again we see that figures come in the Christmas story which have nothing to do with the birth of Christ nor with the place of his birth. I wonder what “Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Union, ManU, The Masters, “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments for boys and girls, dog stuff, from {Holidaisical}, beads and garland have to do with the birth of Christ in that “good tree” .

Trolls are beloved by Scandinavian people and according to Mom, these must be complimented on their beauty and charm.  If you dare speak of them in terms of ugly, homely or scary, they will play pranks on you at night. {Celebrating Christmas, Celebrating Mom}

She has “A snowman tree”, “A kitchen tree” with tiny kitchen utensils and cookie cutters, “A silver and gold tree with spun glass ornaments” and the “big tree” with ornaments from her childhood and those her family has collected over the years.

 It’s traditional to use an ornament as a decoration on a wrapped gift.

I also set out a pair of Christmas plates, also painted by Mom.  The Santa one has Mom and Dad’s names as well as the names of their friends of the time, on Santa’s list.

Mulled wine steeping (Swedish glögg)

I would say on cold day a Glühwine or Mulled wine, vin chaud (“hot wine”), [In Italy: vin brulé (“burnt wine”)] the spicy warm wine with cloves, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon or mace, orange or mandarins, elderberries, blueberries, cherries, red and black currants and blackberries, may not be lacking. In the Netherlands, the drink is known as bisschopswijn (literally “bishop’s wine”). Bisschopswijn is drunk during the Sinterklaas holidays. It uses oranges instead of lemons as an ingredient.
When Madeira wine and Port wine are used we call it Douro, or like in the Minho Provincesvinho quente“. In Canada they call it also Caribou, thought my family in law living there still call it “bisschopswijn”.

An other “warming up drink” may be the traditional Scandinavian spirit Aquavit, distilled from potatoes and spiced with caraway, dill, cardamom, and anise.

 It pairs nicely with fish and is usually served in tiny glasses and meant to be sipped and savored.

For us this is the time, after a good big walk, to say “Skoal!”

Jeffrey Bing who values faith, family, fun, football, and following sports of all types, for the past 21 years, Christmas morning was, without fail, about early morning wake ups with the kids to see what Santa had brought for them.

From “Baby Hannah” walking behind her big truck at 7 months of age, to Alec and Rebecca each being equally (if not more) interested in what Santa brought to their twin than to them in their 11th month of age first Christmas, Christmas morning has been about joy, discovery, and sharing.

Once again we can see that this family had their traditional “Christmas Santa” event. But the “Santa” was not standing for “Sanct” or “Holy“. It was all about a Nordic figure and nothing with a Palestine or coloured man, whose name was Jeshua, born in the tribe of king David, who became better known in the West as Jesus Christ or Issou, “Ya Zeus” (“Yea-Zeus”), meaning “Hail Zeus”.

Though many may say, like bill:

Christmas is not about the toys, the trinkets, and the packages. Christmas is about love, family, friends, and sharing. And Christmas, for a certain 44 year old man in middle America, is about joyful memories. Today’s will add to that collection.

but always in those memories, on the different blogs, we nowhere find a reference of Christ Jesus, which they call the reason of the season. Is it than not strange they not mention this Jewish man more? How does it come that they may forget the “most important reason of the season” and would not talk more about this man had done for humanity? Jeffrey Bing his blog was one of the exceptions where I could find something written on Christian values and on Jesus, being the Christ or Messiah, having given his life for us.

So should we not wonder ho much the Christians absorbed from other religions or pagan practices and got carried away from their real ‘reason of the season’?

Bill recognises:

Maybe being absorbent opens us up to taking in new vital nutrients. Take all of this with a grain of salt, as its coming from a guy who hasn’t missed too many meals, even back in the day. I’ve got the old videos to prove it.. {Absorption rate}

Christmas is about tradition, and for the Bings, tradition has included full days of family time and not leaving the company of the nest on the magical day.

But the times, they are a changin’, and change brings new traditions, and new people, into our lives. And new can be good, even if it takes red tie giving sweeties away on Christmas day, to spend time with sweeties of their own.

Red ties, red eyes, red sweaters, red letters. Amen. Change can be a good thing. {Red Letter Day}

Would it all not be better to come to the core of the business and celebrate the holy day Jesus himself gave? Namely the 14th of Nisan, the day also god asks us to remember the exodus of His People and to remember the New Covenant. there we can see the red, not from a Father Christmas, the figure Coca-Cola created with the red coat, but the red from the blood of the man Jesus, who offered himself for the sins of many.

in today’s world much of the original meaning of Christmas has been lost in the hustle and bustle of this most wonderful time of the year.

writes a Texan (girl?) on “Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.” — Margaret Thatcher

it is frankly a little disheartening to me to think that one can celebrate Christmas without mentioning Christ at all.

she continues and looks at Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to earth as a little baby in order to live a perfect life,

and die on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sin in order that our relationship with God might be restored and we can spend eternity with him.

But soon she also goes into talking about traditions, believing

it is very important to keep Christ in many of our Christmas traditions so that we can remember what He has done for us – but some things we do, we do for FUN – and that is perfectly okay too. Jesus did say, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

She found it fun to identify which ones were, a part of her growing up, and which ones she wants to continue in her new family. Then people come to see that the Christmas traditions may be totally different, from one family to an other. Then they either have to go for one or the other tradition or have to make a blend. that is what they think, but nobody has the courage to really do thorough research and come to the conclusions according the Holy Scriptures and commandments of God. Most Christians do want to keep the tradition. That is the difficult part the apostles Paul and John were talking about when they wrote about Jesus his words of being part of the world, being in or outside this world and choosing for the World of God.

Those in the world want to keep on to those fun Traditions, and that is what makes them not so different form the gentiles or non-Christians. they are mostly concerned about:

  1. Christmas Trees
  2. Gift Giving
  3. Stockings
  4. Caroling
  5. Mistletoe
  6. Santa Claus
  7. Gingerbread Houses
  8. Christmas Cards
  9. Advent Calendars
  10. Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

Traditions very dear to many people their heart.

Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of t...

Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of this Christmas display with over 3.5 million lights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But should our heart not be with Christ Jesus, and should our thoughts not be filled with his teachings? Did Jesus not enough explain it has nothing to do with outside appearances, but has all to do with the inside of the hearth and the following of God His commandments and not following the world.

Who do you want to follow? Do you want to follow traditions, because you are ashamed that people would give some nasty remarks, because you do not join in in the festivities to show off with the ‘nicest tree’, the most ‘Christmas decorations’ in the street and do not join the Christmas parties with lots of “heavy music”?

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Preceding article: The imaginational war against Christmas

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Additional reading:

  1. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  4. History of Christianity
  5. Birth of Christ – articles
  6. The nativity story
  7. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  8. God’s Special Gift
  9. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  10. Christmas trees
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Sancta Claus is not God
  13. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  14. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  15. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  16. What do you want for Christmas

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  • O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! (how2makelemonade.wordpress.com)
    One of my favorite parts of Christmas is decorating for the season.  Christmas decorations just make a house look so warm and cozy.
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    My style for Christmas is pretty traditional.  I like the traditional Christmas colors, red, white, and green.  Plus many of my ornaments look vintage, but most of them came from Target.  The vintage ornaments give the tree a classic feel that doesn’t look like some fancy designer did it.
  • Oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches (charlieandmummy.wordpress.com)
    Normally by this time of year I am well and truly into the Christmas spirit organising the concerts at school and performing with band. It feels strange to not be out playing carols and concerts, but good to not be dashing around like a crazy lady. Instead we will be enjoying every little detail of Charlies first Christmas.
  • O Christmas Tree (lillian888.wordpress.com) reblogged from> O Christmas Tree on which I like the photo’s, and where you can find a decorated ladder, strings of lights and a very tall ceiling.
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    Here are some truly fantastic Christmas trees. Remember how I was thinking this might be the year I create a theme tree? These photos are full of inspiration!
  • On My Christmas Non Tree Tree (chasingtheblackwood.wordpress.com) you may find an other ladder tree, where scented candles shall have to bring in “happy Christmas scents”.
  • Hunting for a Christmas Tree (magnuspittmanblog.wordpress.com)
    After we found our perfect tree one of the workers cut it down for us and then we got a ride back down to the farm entrance with our tree!  We had a busy rest of the weekend so the tree is not decorated yet, but stay tuned for more photos when we are able to put it up!
  • Oh Christmas tree, MY Christmas tree (longwalksanddarkchocolate.com)
    With all of the ornaments laid out on the kitchen table this year, I made a decision.  I was going to split them and ship them!
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    What was in it for me?  To be honest, as I packed all the cute, kiddie looking ornaments, I was dreaming of a tree similar to one I’d encountered on Pinterest, with a woodland animal theme.  You might think I’m not sentimental enough and that I should be pining for the ornament that a 6yr old made in art class.  Well, I did keep a couple that were made by their own little hands.  However, not for my tree; just for the memory.  I much prefer the memories of spending time with them and our conversations and laughter to things.
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    We can’t dwell on the past and the way things were.  Things and people change and we can’t allow ourselves to get bogged down in the yesterdays and how things used to be.  We grow, people pass on, family members move, more members are added.
  • Christmas Traditions: Ornaments (ourlittlefamilyadventure.wordpress.com)
    Growing up, my brother and I always received a  new Christmas tree ornament. It was either a beautiful handmade glass ornament or something to commemorate a special event that year. It was something to be cherished and saved to be hang up the following year. My mother saved all these ornaments. When I was married, she gave me a collection of Christmas tree ornaments for my new family tree. It was collection of cherished Christmas memories. There was a Baby’s First Christmas ornament from the day I was born, ornaments from places we’d been, and sports I’d played in school. It was all right there in the box. It’s a great tradition I’m happy to pass down to my children.
  • Christmas Tree (fallinginchocolat.wordpress.com)
    In Belgium we have this holiday called ‘Sinterklaas’ on the 6th of december, and tradition is that in the weekend after this holiday we go buy our christmas tree and decorate it. So Today is the 7th and a saturday which means we went to buy our tree. I must say every year me and my mom have some debate over the tree ( bigger ! no smaller ! ) and how to decorate it.
  • ADVENTageous for Dec 8: Christmas Tree (moredrunkordrunker.wordpress.com)
    Not many in Great Britain held the tradition of a decorated tree until a print featured Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (both of German heritage) standing near their Christmas tree.Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with an artificial spider, as a Ukrainian legend holds that tinsel originated when a spider wove cobwebs all over a Christmas tree at night and the rising sun turned it to silver. Finding a real spider web on Christmas morning is considered good luck, not a reason to immediately call an exterminator.
  • Worshipping created things. The outward acts of their idolatry. Idolatry is Forbidden. (proclaimingthegospelofchrist.wordpress.com)
    “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. (Acts 17:29)
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    It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth