Would you believe that Christmas is around the corner? Every year this wonderful season brings merriment to one and all. First, it’s Thanksgiving, then Black Friday, and then Christmas Eve. The prelude to Christmas is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year. Families, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances come together to celebrate in grand fashion. This special day is about cherishing everyone in our lives and celebrating this special day for Christians the world over. Gift-giving is but one of many age-old traditions that we partake in. The beauty of giving is evident in the appreciation we receive.
Every year, moms and dads, grandmothers and grandfathers, uncles and aunts, sons and daughters, cousins and relatives scour the internet in search of the ideal Christmas present. What will it be this year for dad? What will mom enjoy? What about the kids? Santa’s little helpers are very busy, filling Christmas stockings with candy canes, fabulous toys, clothes, sports gear, gift cards, and unique gifts from the Holy Land – to bring the original Christmas message around the world.
This year, a growing interest in authentic Christmas ideas has taken root, with gift givers seeking meaningful gifts from holy cities across Israel. Folks in search of unique gifts from Nazareth, Jerusalem, Tsvat, Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee, and other religious enclaves will find the Artza Christmas blog very useful indeed.
Why Gifts on Christmas?
On Christianity, Christmas presents are reminiscent of the gifts that were given to Jesus Christ by the wise men
The Christian faith does not specify that gifts are required, but it is in this spirit of the generosity of the three wise men when Jesus was born that we link gift-giving and Christmas. There are those who believe that the commercialization of Christmas has superseded the importance of the holiday itself. In fact, corporate capitalism is a relatively new concept and Christmas gift-giving was reported as early as the 1800s. It’s about celebrating with children and focusing on the youth as cherished family members. Gift-giving on holidays is shared with many different faiths, including Chanukah which falls around the same time as Christmas every year. Gift-giving is also common with Hinduism with Pancha Ganapati in honor of Lord Ganesha.
Why St. Nicolaus on Christmas?
St Nicolas was a bishop who helped the impoverished masses throughout his life. As a result of his magnanimity, his legend grew, and he was transformed into what became known as Santa Claus. He was born around 280 in Patara, Lycia near modern-day Turkey. Legend has it, that he was renowned for helping his family and impoverished communities far and wide. He became known as the protector of children and sailors, and his legacy is his benevolence. This pious man was exceptionally kind, and it is rumored that he donated all his wealth to help the poor and infirm. It was only around the 18th century in America that the legend of St Nicholas became popularized. Groups of Dutch families gathered in 1773/1774 in New York to honor this revered saint. Naturally, children were attracted to this kindly old man, and by the time stores began advertising Christmas shopping in the 1800s, Santa Claus was the new face of gift-giving to attract the youngsters.