Christmas Celebration, Blessings, and Reverence
The Christmas season is upon us. The mass of Christ is not so far away. December 25th ushers in Christmas for the peoples who observe the Gregorian Calendar and January 7th of the new year is Christmas of the Orthodox Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar date of December 25th is very, very much more favored than the January 7th Orthodox date because the Gregorian Calendar is considered more accurate; more acceptable by the vast majority of people compared to the much older traditional Orthodox calendar.
During the festival lead up to the big night; the big holy day holiday, an evergreen tree is chosen. For many centuries, the evergreen tree was regarded as magical because this particular tree is always green with its many leaves even in the worst, coldest, snowy weather. Because of being able to store a great deal of the chemical nutrient from sunlight: chlorophyll, the tree is able to stay very green. Even when cut down, the thick and heavy leaves still are green.
After the evergreen tree is put within a private home or office room, the huge plant is made to stand upright and then decorated with electric lights(for centuries candles with hooks or clips were used; the candles were lighted and extreme safety precautions were undertaken against accidental fire. The idea of lit candles were to try to attract occult forces to bring warmth and sunlight during the snowy, cold weather. Also decorated on the tree branches, centuries ago, were very small representations of angels, small bells, and other things. At the very top of the always green huge plant is places a star image to symbolize the sun and attract unseen powers to help bring about a strong, vibrant sun in the sky during the day. Underneath the giant green botanical were placed gifts in boxes for family members as rewards for being good for the year.
Around the mantelpiece which is right above an open area for a fireplace would be long stockings, traditionally red in color, that on the inside were full of coins, currency and/or other presents. These stocks were held up by the use of tiny nails or the weight of objects lying on the mantel. When a home had no furnace, a fire was alight with logs in the fireplace for warmth. The practice of such gift stockings have basically vanished over the years, in part to the stocks being very close to a fire in the fireplace.
Afterwards, Jesus Christ ascends high into the sky, out of sight, to live; body and soul, in Heaven, but promised beforehand to one day(in the future) to come back to earth to reign and to judge the living and the dead; certain people will go to Heaven(material paradise) and other people will go to Hell(fiery torment).
All of these things have been written about Jesus Christ very close to 2,000 years ago.
To all our Christian friends, May the blessings of Christmas be upon you, Merry Christmas and May you have a happy, prosperous New Year.