History of Christmas – Part 2

The traditional colors of Christmas are green and red. White, silver and gold are also popular. Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus, which was shed in his crucifixion, while green symbolizes eternal life, and in particular the evergreen tree, which does not lose its leaves in the winter.

The Christmas tree is pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs, and an adaptation of pagan tree worship;  Saint Boniface, who was a missionary in Germany, took an axe to an oak tree dedicated to Thor and pointed out a fir tree, which he stated was a more fitting object of reverence because it pointed to heaven and it had a triangular shape, which he said was symbolic of the Trinity. The English language phrase “Christmas tree” is first recorded in 1835 and represents an importation from the German language.

Holiday Bow Invitations These elegant red invitations look like a beautiful gift. Perfect for announcing your holiday party.

Christmas cards are illustrated messages of greeting exchanged between friends and family members during the weeks before Christmas Day. The traditional greeting reads “wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”, much like that of the first commercial Christmas card, produced in London in 1843. The custom of sending them has become popular among a wide cross-section of people with the emergence of the modern trend towards exchanging E-cards.

Fleece Navidad Holiday Cards Our clever twist on the greeting “Feliz Navidad” will give everyone on your card list a chuckle this holiday season. The inside has the printed message “I wanna wish you a merry christmas!” in Red ink. Set includes 25 non-personalized cards and 25 plain White envelopes

Christmas cards are purchased in considerable quantities, and feature artwork, commercially designed and relevant to the season. The content of the design might relate directly to the Christmas narrative with depictions of the Nativity of Jesus, or Christian symbols such as the Star of Bethlehem, or a white dove which can represent both the Holy Spirit and Peace on Earth. Other Christmas cards are more secular and can depict Christmas traditions, mythical figures such as Santa Claus, objects directly associated with Christmas such as candles, holly and baubles, or a variety of images associated with the season, such as Christmastide activities, snow scenes and the wildlife of the northern winter.

In 1898 a Canadian stamp was issued to mark the inauguration of the Imperial Penny Postage rate. The stamp features a map of the globe and bears an inscription “XMAS 1898″ at the bottom. In 1937, Austria issued two “Christmas greeting stamps” featuring a rose and the signs of the zodiac. In 1939, Brazil issued four semi-postal stamps with designs featuring the three kings and a star of Bethlehem, an angel and child, the Southern Cross and a child, and a mother and child.

Joy Holiday Seals Our Joy round seals are a delightful time-saver for your holiday season. Just peel and stick to your packages and cards and they are ready to go! Size: 2 1/2″ D

Season’s Greetings Seal and Label Set These Red labels and seals can be used on all your holiday correspondence. Labels: 2 5/8″ x 1″ Set includes 48 Seals and 60 Labels

Holiday Labels   These adorable self-stick return address labels will add festive cheer to every letter and package this season. Design & Ink Color: Reindeer with Red ink, Santa with Red ink Personalization: Maximum 3 lines with 26 characters and spaces

A number of nations have issued commemorative stamps to celebrate the season. Postal customers will often use these stamps to mail Christmas cards. These stamps are regular postage stamps, unlike Christmas seals, and are valid for postage year-round. They usually go on sale some time between early October and early December, and are printed in considerable quantities. The US Postal Service  regularly issues Christmas-themed stamps each year.

Gift Giving

The exchanging of gifts is one of the core aspects of the modern Christmas celebration, making the Christmas season the most profitable time of year for retailers and businesses throughout the world. Gift giving was common in the Roman celebration, an ancient festival which took place in late December and may have influenced Christmas customs.

The name Santa Claus can be traced back to the Dutch Sinterklaas, which means simply Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was Bishop of Myra, in modern day Turkey, during the 4th century. Among other saintly attributes, he was noted for the care of children, generosity, and the giving of gifts. His feast on December 6 came to be celebrated in many countries with the giving of gifts.

Something from Santa! Money Cards Santa and Rudolph make these cards perfect for sending money to youngsters on your gift-giving list. They’re blank inside for your personal, handwritten message.

Saint Nicholas traditionally appeared in bishop’s attire, accompanied by helpers, inquiring about the behavior of children during the past year before deciding whether they deserved a gift or not. By the 13th century, Saint Nicholas was well known in the Netherlands, and the practice of gift-giving in his name spread to other parts of central and southern Europe. The modern popular image of Santa Claus, however, was created in the United States, and in particular in New York. The transformation was accomplished with the aid of notable contributors. At his first American appearance in 1810, Santa Claus was drawn in bishops’ robes. However as new artists took over, Santa Claus developed more secular attire. By the 1880s, Santa had evolved into the robed, fur clad, form we now recognize, perhaps based on the English figure of Father Christmas. Father Christmas, a jolly, well nourished, bearded man who typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, predates the Santa Claus character. He is first recorded in early 17th century England, but was associated with holiday merrymaking and drunkenness rather than the bringing of gifts.

Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

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