Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Attempt to Revive Traditional Christmas

A new organization is being formed to support an effort to revive the traditional celebration of the Christmas season, formally named Christmastide. Many will know this mostly ignored timeframe by the children’s song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.

They contend that Christmastide is the age-old celebration of Christ’s birth brought to America by the colonists that has basically been wiped away from the annual holiday by secularization and commercialization. Members state how retailers now start the Christmas season earlier and earlier. “Decorations and potential gifts typically hit the shelves the day after Halloween, while Santas are snapping photos for almost two full months before the sales start the day after Christmas. Yet, Christmas is truly the first day of the Christmas season, known as Christmastide.” says Wayne Davis, the group’s founder.

The SaveChristmastide! Committee is forming to become advocates for “The Twelve Days of Christmas” via outreach and education. Their hope is that this information will encourage families to celebrate Christmastide, while forcing retailers to accommodate eleven more days of gift-giving. The committee is seeking donations to start a website and file the appropriate paperwork to become a non-profit.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Christmas cycle begins with the First Sunday in Advent, New Year’s Day in the liturgical calendar. The Advent season is marked by the four Sundays preceding Christmas.

The Festival of the Nativity of Our Lord is the central event in the Christmas cycle. Many celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve (December 24), while others wait until Christmas Day (December 25).

The true light that shines on everyone was coming into the world.
(John 1:9, CEV)

Christ’s illuminating power is the focus of Christmas. Jesus is the “light of the world” (John 8:12). During the season of Advent, a candle is lit on each of the four Sundays to signify the coming of the True Light into the world. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the Christ candle is lit to symbolize that the light has come to dispel our darkness.

Those who walked in the dark have seen a bright light.
And it shines upon everyone who lives in the land of darkest shadows.
(Isaiah 9:2, CEV)

Darkness gives way to light. Sin gives way to righteousness.

The Word became a human being and lived here with us.
(John 1:14, CEV)

In the midst of our hopes and fears, God comes to us as a baby known as “Immanuel,” which means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). And his name is Jesus because he will save his people form their sins (Matthew 1:21).

A child has been born for us.
We have been given a son who will be our ruler.
His names will be Wonderful Advisor and Mighty God,
Eternal Father and Prince of Peace.
His power will never end; peace will last forever.
(Isaiah 9:6-7, CEV)

Beginning with December 25, the Christmas season is one of twelve days, and concludes with the Epiphany of Our Lord, which is celebrated on January 6. Epiphany, a Greek word that means “appearance” or “to make known,” is a season that follows Christmas and focuses on God’s presence made known to all the world as revealed in Jesus Christ.
The Feast of Epiphany is celebrated on January 6 when the church celebrates the visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12).

Throughout the twelve days of Christmas, reflect daily on the gift of God’s love – God’s own Son, the Savior and Light of the world.

--Courtesy American Bible Society

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Retailers have transformed the Christmas season!

We feel that the traditional, old-fashioned Christmas brought to the New World has been usurped by greedy retailers who have secularized the most precious of Christian holidays. We intend to inform and advocate until the resurrection of this family values style of Christmas.

Save Christmastide! The Twelve Days of Christmas.

from Wikipedia:

The original American colonists brought their version of the Twelve Days over from England, and adapted them to their new country, adding their own variations over the years. For example, it is believed by many that the modern day Christmas wreath originated with these colonials. A homemade wreath would be fashioned from local greenery and if fruits were available, they were added. Making the wreaths was one of the traditions of Christmas Eve, then they would be hung on each home's front door beginning on Christmas Night (1st night of Christmas) through Twelfth Night or Epiphany morning. As was already the tradition in their native England, all decorations would be taken down by Epiphany morning and the remainder of the edibles would be consumed. A special cake was also baked then for Epiphany (which some now call the king cake).

With the onset of more Americanized and secular traditions throughout the past two centuries (such as the American "Santa Claus", popularity of Christmas Eve itself as a holiday, and rise in popularity of New Year's Eve parties as well), the traditions of the Twelve Days of Christmas have been largely forgotten in the U.S. This is also heightened by the commercial practice to have "After-Christmas Sales" begin on December 26 and run usually until New Year's Eve. Indeed, contemporary marketing and media tend to espouse the (erroneous) belief that the Twelve Days end on Christmas and thus begin December 14.