Aging In Place Specialists December 2017

www. ag ing inpl acede. com Phone : (302) 444-8318 DECEMBER 2017


THE SECRET ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS How Stockings, Caroling, and Black Friday Came to Be


Kathryn Cieniewicz


As 2017 comes to a close, we likely have many emotions. For some it has been a great year, but others may have experienced great loss. There is nothing like putting another year in the books to make us reevaluate our lives. Time seems to fly by faster every year and it makes us appreciate the here and now a little more. Our relationships seem to matter extra during this time of year, as we get together and celebrate the holidays. In our home, we celebrate Christmas. A joyous occasion in acknowledging that Christ Jesus, our Savior, has been born to redeem the earth with a promise of eternal life. As a child, I knew there must be something, or someone, bigger than me out there, but I didn’t really“believe”in God until I was much older — in my 20s in fact. I learned something so important at that time. I learned that relationship with God was way more powerful than“religion,”and began to cultivate that relationship by going to church and reading my bible. I have to say, in doing that, not only did I become closer to God, but it strengthened all my other relationships as well! This holiday season, I encourage you to look around your table or flip through your pictures of loved ones, then tell them howmuch you care for them. One idea on how to do this is to fill up an empty tissue box with everyones name in it. Each person picks out a name and verbalizes something they love or appreciate about that person. What will you do today to strengthen your relationships?

If you celebrate Christmas, odds are your family observes a number of traditions that commemorate the holiday season. While some of these might be unique to your household, there’s no doubt many of them are part of the holiday’s long cultural history. Part of what makes the holiday season so festive is the sense of collective participation, from shopping and decorating to leaving out cookies for Santa. Many of these timeworn traditions have surprising origins that you may never have known. The more you investigate, the more you find that Christmas truly is a global holiday. Stockings Have you ever considered how strange stockings are? We all leave them above the fireplace, often without wondering why Santa is so interested in filling socks with gifts. The touching story of this centuries-old custom reminds us of the spirit of Christmas. According to legend, the tradition began with one poor man, recently widowed, and his three daughters. While the daughters were all beautiful and intelligent, the man had no money for marriage and worried about what would happen to his children after he died. St. Nicholas heard of his plight, and knowing that the family would not accept charity, he devised a way to provide for them. He sneaked down their chimney one night and found the girls’ stockings hung by the fireplace to dry. He filled them with gold coins before disappearing into the night. Today, stocking stuffers are a treasured gift category all their own. If you’re dismayed by the prospect of filling massive stockings for your kids while you play Santa this year, take solace in the fact that at least you won’t need to stuff them with solid gold.

From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!


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