The story of Christmas

The story of Christmas

This is dedicated to a very old friend of mine who past away on the 23 December 2013 after fighting many, many years with cancer. Bill you was a true friend and gentleman who will be sadly missed.R.I.P.Bill H

My Christmas greeting to you all is intentionally late

May I wish all my friends a very merry Christmas and a healthy New Year. Thank you for all your support that you have gave me this year

God love you all

Berwick xxxxxxx

The story of Christmas dates back over 4000 years. During this era, Rome was a great empire ruled by Caesar Augustus and Israel was governed by King Herod.

The Story of Mary and Joseph

In the small village of Galilee in Nazareth, Israel, lived Mary a young virgin who was engaged to be married to Joesph, a Jewish carpenter. An angel visited Mary in her dream who told her she had been chosen to bear a Son of God and his name was to be Jesus. And thus, it happened that when Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit. When Mary told Joesph, naturally he felt betrayed, but an angel visited him in his dream and verified what Mary had told him to be true. He thus took Mary to be his wife despite a possible public disgrace.

Mary and Joseph leave Nazareth for Bethlehem

At that time, Caesar Augustus declared that a census should be taken of every person in the entire Roman empire. And, everybody had to go to the place to which they belonged to register. As Joseph, was of the line of David, he and Mary had to go to Bethlehem to register. Joseph and Mary left Nazareth for Bethlehem. Mary who was with child, and close to the birth, rode on a donkey while Joseph walked beside her. They traveled for many days and only rested at night.When they reached Bethlehem it was night. They looked for a place to rest but there were no empty rooms when they reached the inn. As they were being turned away Joseph mentioned that his wife was with child and close to birth. The inn keeper took pity on them and told them of some caves in the nearby hills where shepherds would stay with their cows and sheep.

Jesus is Born

So Joseph and Mary went up into the hills and found the caves. In one cave was a stable room. Joseph cleaned it and made beds of fresh hay. He found a feeding trough which he cleaned and filled with hay to use as a crib. The next night Mary gave birth to a son and they named him Jesus, as the angel had said.

The Shepherds

When the child was born a shining star appeared over Bethlehem that could be seen for miles around. In the fields nearby were shepherds who were tending their flocks of sheep. An angel appeared to them surrounded by bright light. The shepherds were frightened and tried to run.

"Fear Not," said the angel, "For I bring you tidings of great joy. For unto you is born this day in Bethlehem - a Saviour who is Christ the Lord."

"And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

Suddenly the sky was filled with angels, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men."

After the angels departed the shepherds set out for Bethlehem. When they reached the cave they found the stable and inside was the child wrapped in swaddling clothes. The shepherds left, praising the lord and soon spread the news about this miraculous child who was to be the Savior of the world.

The Three Kings

As the star shined over Bethlehem, three kings of the east saw it. They knew it was a sign and they set off to follow the star. There was Caspar - the young king of Tarsus, Melchior the king of Arabia who was a long bearded old man, and Balthazar - the king from Ethiopia. They traveled on camels for many days over mountains, through deserts and plains always following the shining star.

When they finally arrived in Bethlehem they found the child in the manger. The three kings bowed to the child and offered gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They stayed the night in the cave and returned the next day to their lands to spread the news.

Birth of Jesus

Man pauses but a moment

to honor a birth.

Yet, were he to stay longer,

were he to look deeper,

He could see Creation.

The birth would still be there,

An archetypal pattern

for the millions

who are always moving forward

On a transcendental journey of themselves.

Merry Christmas 2013

By: Aline

Christmas Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The Carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

'There is no peace on earth,' I said;

'For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!'

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

'God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!'

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

gave the lustre of midday to objects below,

when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,

and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!

Now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid!

On, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch!

To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away!

Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky

so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head and was turning around,

down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Christmas Is a Time for Love and Fun

Christmas is a time for love and fun,

A time to reshape souls and roots and skies,

A time to give your heart to everyone

Freely, like a rich and lavish sun,

Like a burning star to those whose lonely sighs

Show need of such a time for love and fun.

For children first, whose pain is never done,

Whose bright white fire of anguish never dies,

It's time to give your heart to every one,

That not one angel fall, to hatred won

For lack of ears to listen to her cries,

Or arms to carry him towards love and fun,

Or friends to care what happens on the run

To adult life, where joy or sadness lies.

It's time to give your heart to everyone,

For God loves all, and turns His back on none,

Good or twisted, ignorant or wise.

Christmas is a time for love and fun,

A time to give your heart to everyone.

I'm Your Christmas Tree, All Brightly Lit

I'm your Christmas tree, all brightly lit,

Hung with angels, coloured balls, and elves.

Underneath my boughs your presents sit,

If you've behaved yourselves.

Why must we wait till early Christmas morn

To open up our brand-new games and toys?

Why gifts for us the day that Christ was born

If we're good girls and boys?

Now listen to your Christmas tree: I'm wise

In all the ways of faith that you must know.

I'm here because of what I symbolize:

Green through ice and snow.

There is a world beyond what we can see

Where, by grace of God, we can receive

God's greatest gift: to live eternally,

If only we believe.

Eternal life is what God gave to you

In sending down His son to live on Earth.

This was His gift, so Santa brings gifts, too,

To celebrate Christ's birth.

The baby Jesus got gifts on this day

Because, like any child, He loved to play.

And so God wants to share this special joy

With every girl and boy.

Believe God loves you as your parents do,

And takes great joy in giving gifts to you.

Live well and love, and evergreen like me,

You'll live eternally.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The first day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

A partridge in a pear tree

The second day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree.

The third day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree.

The fourth day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree.

The fifth day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Five gold rings,

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree

The sixth day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Six geese a-laying,

Five gold rings,

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree

The seventh day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Seven swans a-swimming

Six geese a-laying,

Five gold rings,

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree

The eighth day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five gold rings,

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Nine drummers drumming,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five gold rings,

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree.

The tenth day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Ten pipers piping,

Nine drummers drumming,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five gold rings,

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree.

The eleventh day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Eleven ladies dancing,

Ten pipers piping,

Nine drummers drumming,

Eight maids a-milking

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five gold rings,

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree.

The twelfth day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Twelve lords a-leaping,

Eleven ladies dancing,

Ten pipers piping,

Nine drummers drumming,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five gold rings,

Four colly birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree.

That Midnight Hour

The Virgin Mother kneels upon the floor

And holds her baby in her arm,

Her heart is gladder than her lips can say,

To keep her new born baby snug and warm,

A babe more sweet and fair and dear

Than any rose bud in the bright sunshine,

Whose little eyes look straight into her own,

O, blessed maid, God's son is also thine.

Twas holy midnight, when He came to earth:

As pours a sun ray through a limpid glass,

Not leaving any mark upon its face;

A drop of dew upon the fresh green grass,

A little star that fell upon her lap,

A cooing babe, that seeks her virgin breast.

The hopes of all the sin-cursed world

Upon this baby's eyelids rest.

And ever since the midnight hour is holy,

And millions of human hearts are stirred

To wonderment and love for Him who came,

To save the world, God's own incarnate Word.

He came in darkness, He who was The Light,

His godhead shone from clear blue baby eyes,

The curse of earth's first sin was lifted then,

That midnight hour reopened paradise.

The Gift of God

There was seen a radiance

Glowing one night

Near the little maiden Mary

In blue and white.

"Lilies are not fairer,

"Roses more red,

Than the Child she sings to slumber,"

An angel said.

So the shepherds ventured

Through the white cold,

And their eyes beheld the Infant,

An hour old.

Long they gazed and wondered,

Awkward in awe,

At the paramount perfection

Within their straw.

"Diamonds are but trifles!

"Rubies no gem!"

Cried the hearts that slaved for pittance

Near Bethlehem.

So it was forever,

After the night

When the little maiden Mary

Wore blue and white.

Bethlehem And Calvary

How gently Mary tends her new-born King:

Mark with what reverence and ecstasy,

Her humble virgin heart with joy will sing.

See with what tenderness, she tucks within,

Those coverlets, His tiny Hands and Feet,

Oh, with what loving care she kisses Him,

And smoothes the pillow for His Head so sweet.

Oh silent Bethlehem, attend and see,

Mary's most precious task is now complete!

Oh silent Calvary, attend and see,

How sadly Mary watches Christ, her King,

Mark with what noble, patient sympathy,

Her anguished mother heart meets sorrow's ring.

Bravely she watches, her sweet face grows pale,

And suffers other hands to "tuck Him in,"

His Hands and Feet they "tuck" beneath the nails,

His kiss is gall; a token of man's sin.

Oh, silent Calvary, attend and see,

Man's most ignoble work is now complete!

Merry Christmas, Baby

The weather outside is cold

We'll sit by the fireplace

We'll cuddle and be cozy

and stare at each other's face.

Wait till we hear Christmas bells

and the night is filled with peace

Give each other a Christmas kiss

And we'll fill our peace increase.

It's a time of joy and love

in our hearts to be filled

On this very special night

our love will be sealed.

I saw this and thought no your not getting away with this one even thou it is Christmas.

The English Christmas celebrations include the beautiful Christmas music, decorated Christmas Trees and hang up evergreen branches. The English gift giver is called Father Christmas and he wears a long red or green robe, and leaves presents in stockings on Christmas Eve. However, the gifts are not usually opened until the following afternoon.

Christmas in England began in AD 596, when St Augustine landed on her shores with monks who wanted to bring Christianity to the Anglo Saxons. Father Christmas delivers them during the night before Christmas. The Children leave an empty stocking or pillowcase hanging at the end of the bed. In the morning they hope it will be full of presents.

In England the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day because boys used to go round collecting money in clay boxes. When the boxes were full, they broke them open. In England Christmas dinner was usually eaten at Midday on December 25, during daylight.

In England the traditional Christmas dinner is roast turkey with vegetables and sauces. For dessert it is rich, fruity Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. Mince pies, pastry cases filled with a mixture of chopped dried fruit.

The Christmas tree is central to England's holiday celebration and, although it had been seen in various places in England, it grew extremely popular when Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, brought the tradition to the Royal Family from his native Germany in the mid-nineteenth century. However, it has not entirely eclipsed the kissing bough (a mixture of evergreens and mistletoe).

After reading this one, I wonder whether the writer got it wrong, so to ensure this writer does not get it wrong

Merry Christmas Scotland

Merry Christmas Wales

Merry Christmas Northern Ireland

and well I suppose

Merry Christmas England

Have a great Christmas and an even better New Year

Hugs and Kisses to you all

Berwick xxxxxxxxx

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13 Replies

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  • Hullo, Berwick,

    First of all, may I offer my condolences to you at the loss of a dear friend - never to be forgotten.

    I liked the whole of your festive message, loved it all from an English lady who grasps your reluctant good wishes for a Happy Christmas. What is it with the Welsh and Scots??

  • Thank you Perola. . Nothing wrong with the Welsh and the Scots we love each other.LOL Have a great day. A Special happy Christmas to you Berwick xxxxx

  • Berwick, You are in me and Frans thoughts with the loss of your friend Bill, we know it's hard but try and enjoy the rest of Xmas, Matt/Fran

  • Thank you Matt/Fran. Have a great day. Berwick xxx

  • So sorry to hear of your loss Berwick,good friends are like diamonds,just as precious.

    I was wondering where you'd got to.

    Try & enjoy Christmas,your friend would have been proud of your tribute,

    Love Wendells xxx

  • Thank you Wendells. Have a great Day. Love Berwick xxx

  • So sorry for your loss Berwick. xxxxxxx

  • Thank you Hypercat. Have a great day. Berwick xxx

  • Thank you sassy, Have a great Day. Berwick xx

  • Thank you for still posting Berwick to spite the loss of your friend Bill, my thoughts are with you x

  • Thank you Kate, have a great day .xxx

  • Dear Berwick, It's such a sad and tearing time when we lose a friend. I'm so sorry to hear this.

    Second, thank you for the pile of things about Christmas and its meaning, the birth of Jesus the Messiah. And this is our hope he offers every one. He will turn no one away who chooses to follow him.

    May you find peace, His peace during this sad time.

  • Hi Berwick. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. X

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