“Ding Dong merrily on high.” Oh don’t you just love Christmas? The lights, the colours and the tree. The songs, the carols and of course the Christmas smell of sweets and treats and cooking. But mostly don’t we all love Christmas for what it means? Christ-mass, truly Jesus is the reason for the season and each year we put on a big party, a birthday party for Him. We remember the most wonderful day that has ever been, the day Jesus came down to visit us.
Do you want to know something very sad though? A lot of people have forgotten that Christmas is all about Jesus, they have forgotten or have never known that it is His birthday. Isn’t that so very, very sad?
Could you imagine someone coming to your birthday party and never saying happy birthday to you, not even knowing that it’s your birthday. It’s your party and that you were the reason for the party, they might even pretend that you’re not there, wouldn’t that hurt you? So what do you think we, that is you and I, should do about this? This is Jesus birthday party, do you think we should let people know? How can we do that? Well, let’s try and put Christ (Jesus) back into Christmas!
To do this we first need to remember ourselves, that it’s not about how many gifts we get, but how many gifts we give Jesus. Yes, that’s right we need to give Jesus gifts. So how can we give Jesus a gift? Well that’s easy, when we are nice to others, friendly and kind, this makes Jesus so happy, it puts a smile on baby Jesus’ face. When you have done your good deed you could run right then and there and tell baby Jesus what you have done. You could go to the crib under your Christmas tree and tell Him or if you have a picture of Jesus in your house you could go to the picture and tell Him. Maybe you could write down the good things you have done and wrap in up to give to Jesus as a gift on Christmas day, wouldn’t that be such a nice gift for baby Jesus to receive, all your love, wrapped up in a little parcel.
Once you have remembered that it is Jesus’ party you can then tell others. Tell everyone you meet about Jesus and the fact that He was born and that it’s His birthday party, that we are celebrating. This way you are being little missionaries and Pope Francis want us all to be missionaries, telling people about Jesus’ love.
You could also ask your mum, dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle to read you the Christmas story from the Bible, this will help you remember the sweet baby Jesus who was born to say ‘I Love You’.
So have a Happy and Merry Christmas on the 25th December and remember Jesus and His love for each and every one of you.
See you in two weeks time, and until then keep safe and remember, we are praying for you. You might like to read St Clare's 1st letter to St Anezka during your Christmas Hols.
Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas! We are all familiar with the large jolly man in red, holding his tummy as he jingles with laughter, sack on his back and a bearded face. Yes we all know Santa Claus, but do you know the history of Santa Claus? Do you know he was actually a Catholic Bishop and priest? His real name is Saint Nicholas. Santa is Latin for Saint and Claus is from the cholas of Nicholas, his feast is on the 6th December and I am here to give you the low down on him.
Saint Nicholas was a good and holy Bishop, he lived around the year 350AD and was the Bishop in Myra, Lycia. So how did this Bishop become the Santa Claus of our day? Well the story goes that he was left a lot of money by his parents and he decided to give his money away secretly to the poor. One old man didn’t have enough money to give his daughters a dowry. In those days a girl could not get married or enter a monastery without a dowry.
So when Bishop Nicholas heard about this he decided to do something for them. One night the bishop went to the old man’s house with three bags of gold and not wishing the family to know it was him who gave the money, threw the three bags of gold through the window and disappeared. The next morning the old mans and his three daughters found the bags and the father was so glad that he could now give his daughters in marriage to three very kind men, and they all lived happily ever after.
Over time we have exchanged the window for a chimney but the effect is the same, sacks of gifts on Christmas day from Santa Claus. And why the red outfit? Well, that’s the colour bishops wore back then. You may see that the Cardinals in Rome still wear a red sash around their waists, and our St Nicholas was a Bishop and a Cardinal. It has always been traditional in Holland and Germany to celebrate this day and give presents on the 6th December not the 25th.
We love this feast here at Ty Mam Duw. Our Sr Elizabeth dresses up as St Nic, she has a red robe and mitre and staff in her hand. She comes to tell us each in turn how naughty or nice we have been. St Nicholas has made his list in heaven and has checked it twice and as a gift for all the good and nice deeds we have done through the year. She presents us each with a chocolate image of himself, which we eat slowly over the Advent period until Christmas day finally arrives to gladden the hearts of all.
So a Ho! Ho! Ho! and a happy St Nicholas feast to you all. I hope you have all been nice and maybe St Nic will visit you and tell you of all your good deeds too. Remember, we are praying for you. Sr Anežka.