Christmas is a special time that most of us look forward to from as soon as the vacations are over. Autumn is associated with back to school and work, rainy nights and short days. That’s why this is when we longingly look out for the star. Although Christmas decorations can be bought in stores earlier and earlier, which most people view with skepticism, it does make the heart grow warmer. This is a sign that the magical Christmas time is near!
Table of Contents:
- The History of Christmas
- The first star in the sky
- Christmas traditions
- The story of Santa Claus
- What does Santa Claus look like?
- A plate for the uninvited guest
- Shopping madness
- Do we really open our hearts at Christmas?
- Unique gifts
- The magical time of the holidays
- Poles eager to help not only on holidays
- Children’s smiles are the greatest gift
- Together we can do more
- Santa Claus in a crown – an unusual charity action
- Ty też możesz zostać Mikołajem!
The History of Christmas
In the Christian tradition, Christmas is a commemoration of the birth of Christ. It took hundreds of years before they took the form we know today. For the first three hundred years of Christianity, Christ’s birth was significant only because of his genealogy confirming that he was the Messiah. To this day, however, many scholars argue about how it really was. This is because some of them believe that Christ may have been born in April or May, so the December date may only be a symbolic date.
The first star in the sky
Also, the very appearance of the famous Star of Bethlehem may have a much simpler explanation than the magical miracle of Christ’s birth. Well, based on the knowledge of the time, scientists estimated that in 2 A.D. there was a conjunction of two planets, Venus and Jupiter. Their alignment in the sky resulted in one larger source of light that could be taken for a mystical star. What’s more, the event took place in June, which also may indicate that Jesus was not born in December at all.
Although not much is said about the history of Christmas, the traditions associated with it are. Among them, we are most likely to mention dressing the Christmas tree, waiting for the first star, 12 dishes on the table, hay under the tablecloth, breaking the wafer and, of course, the arrival of Santa Claus. It is the arrival of this unusual guest that is the highlight, especially if there are children in the house.
Who among us didn’t believe in him, and what disappointment we felt when it turned out that he wasn’t there… Then we exchanged our faith in Santa Claus for a search for gifts hidden in our home piles. On more than one occasion, curiosity took over , and it probably happened to everyone at least once in their lives to open gifts early.
The story of Santa Claus
However, here the question arises, is Santa really gone? Today we know him as a charming old man with a long gray beard wearing a red costume and accompanied by magical elves and reindeer. If we fancy meeting him in person, all we have to do is go to Lapland, more specifically to Rovaniemi in Finland, where his village is located. But it’s not the only place where we can feel the magic of Christmas. In the south of Norway, the small coastal town of Drøbak is also home to the famous Santa Claus House. Legend has it that he was born there.
What does Santa Claus look like?
However, Santa Claus did not always look like this. It wasn’t until 1930 that it took that form, and that was thanks to a Coca-Cola ad that dressed an old man with a beard in a red costume for the campaign. Prior to this event, Nicholas was a bishop who came from Myra. According to ancient translations, he is the one who started this remarkable story. He himself came from a very wealthy family, but preferred to give all his wealth to the poor and needy. And while theoretically to this day the premise of Christmas is to give gifts, not all of us remember to open our hearts.
A plate for the uninvited guest
According to the survey, where Poles were asked whether they would welcome an uninvited guest under their roof on Christmas, only a few gave an affirmative answer. Although an extra place setting on the table is one of the holiday traditions, many people still hope to leave it empty. Why is this happening?
Nowadays, we associate Christmas less and less with that magical time spent with loved ones, where it is not the gifts that should play first fiddle. It’s already a few weeks before Christmas when we embark on a whirlwind shopping frenzy. We visit numerous stores, stand in cosmically long lines, and buy on the cheap online. All to bring joy to loved ones and make their (or your) dreams come true.
A unique gift under the Christmas tree is something that not only children, but also adults are waiting for. Finally, there is an excuse to get new shoes, a coveted hair curler or a makeup palette. And although Christmas consumes a gigantic amount of money and our time, it is worth the wait for this one special day of the year.
Do we really open our hearts at Christmas?
When we sit down together at the table or open gifts, we often forget about others and problems. We focus on the here and now. And yet there are plenty of people in the world who are not as fortunate in life as we are. Among them are primarily children who are in orphanages, foster care centers and foster families. On the one hand, we may think that, after all, they have a roof over their heads, a warm meal and are not alone. On the other hand, after all, Christmas is a magical time of holidays, when dreams come true.
Often the wards living in these facilities don’t even dare to ask for anything. What’s more, in many cases they don’t even own anything. They came to the facility with one small bag and the hope that one day they would still find love. In such a situation, can they even think about any Christmas gifts?
They feel forgotten. No matter how old they are or how long they have been in the center, somewhere deep in their hearts they nevertheless have a quiet hope that someone remembers them.
The magical time of the holidays
And Poles remember. Currently, there are more and more Christmas campaigns, where willing donors prepare gift packages for children. Then they too can feel the magical time of Christmas. But children are hoping for more than just a special gift that will belong only to them. This is the moment when they feel loved and needed. They know that somewhere in the world there is someone who remembers them.
Thanks to these charitable actions, they are finally happily dressing the Christmas tree and eagerly waiting for the first star.
Poles eager to help not only on holidays
Just how do you choose among so many charities the ones that are actually run honestly? After all, every year we can read about foundations embezzling money, and the packages don’t know where they actually go. According to surveys, people are still afraid to help for fear of scammers.
However, there is a charity that was created completely unexpectedly in 2020 under the slogan “Santa Claus in the crown”. . Its rules are clear and transparent. All you have to do is select a child from the list shared on Facebook and send a gift package directly to him or her.
Children’s smiles are the greatest gift
Organizers of the campaign also remind people to include a greeting card with each gift. Many children are waiting just for it! These are personalized wishes that are written straight from the heart. You can also include a return stamp in the letter so the kids can write back, which they are said to be eager to do.
Watching the “Santa Claus in the Crown” campaign, one gets the impression that the community that makes it up is one big Family. Hundreds of shares and comments show that there is strength in unity, and that the watchword “TOGETHER WE CAN DO MORE” is not just empty words thrown to the wind. Each person taking part in the action knows that a child’s smile is, after all, the greatest gift.
Together we can do more
What’s more, it’s not just adults who take part in the “Santa Claus in the Crown” campaign. Whole schools are also helping. Students organize collections and instead of organizing small Christmas gifts for themselves, they just donate them to the wards of orphanages.
We also know from the organizers that there are many more such happy stories. It’s not just touching letters from children and dreams of a thermos for hot tea or warm pajamas for winter. One of the participants of the action decided to endow a child… but not just by sending him a Christmas package. She bestowed love on them first and foremost and began the adoption process.
Santa Claus in the crown – an unusual charity action
There are many more such stories, and each one is uniquely gripping. These seemingly small gestures actually have a huge impact and for the children, but also for the donors. This is the moment when we can stop and think that we are not alone. As we sit down at the Christmas Eve table, we may feel that this empty plate has finally found its owner.
You too can become Santa Claus!
The editors of GentleWoman POLAND also support such initiatives. Therefore, we strongly encourage our readers to join the Santa Claus in the Crown campaign. Perhaps it is thanks to you that the dream of one of the wards will also come true.