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Q & A

Where the idea comes from that we must buy family and friends a gift at Christmas time?

What is the purpose of buying a Christmas gift?


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Oct 17, 2011

      By Pastor William Mark Bristow


      Every year Christians ask me, “Should I celebrate with all the traditional customs of Christmas? They all seem so materialistic. Aren’t some of these customs really pagan?” So every year, I endeavor to bring out a few facts from our Christian heritage. Let’s start with the real shocker—There really was a Santa Claus (however, he is not the one that people know today). The real Santa Claus was a PREACHER!! Yes Sir! His name was St. Nicholas and he lived and worked as the Bishop of a little town of Myra, (now in the country of Turkey). Tradition says he was born in Patara, a seaport, and traveled to Egypt and Palestine as a young man. Eventually he became bishop of the church at Myra. During the period of persecution of Christians by Emperor Diocletian, he was imprisoned, but he was released by Diocletian’s successor, Constantine the Great.

      By the 6th century his burial shrine was well known at Myra. In 1087 his remains were moved to Bari, Italy, which became a crowded pilgrimage center in his honor. Devotion to him spread throughout the Christian world, and he was chosen patron saint of Russia and Greece. Thousands of churches throughout Europe have been named for him. His feast day was set on December 6. He was credited with many miracles. In one story he saved three officers from by appearing to Constantine in a dream. In another legend he provided bags of gold to a poor man as dowries for his three daughters.ยน When he died on December 6 in the year 345, he was revered for his generosity and kindness. It became the custom to give gifts to loved ones on his saint’s day, the date of his . Later Christians adopted St. Nicholas for Christmas day, which commemorates the date God gave the greatest gift of all, Christ Jesus for the redemption of the world.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Brimstone1968 wrote Oct 17, 2011
    • Even then the gifts seemed to be so special and meaningful, gifts from the heart now it is a different ball game.  Thanks.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Oct 18, 2011
    • It has become custom down thru the ages, but it’s silly.  I’d much rather give a person a gift because it’s something I found that i thought they’d like or they need and just give it to them.  I hate all the hoopla that goes with Christmas gift giving.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Angelcart wrote Oct 18, 2011
    • Oh Tulip you and I are exactly alike on this.  I would rather give a gift when unexpected or they really need something or I just want to.  IMO, at least for me, christmas has become soooo commercialized that I’m not really into it other than seeing family.  2 weeks ago I went to Home Depot they already had Christmas trees out!  Halloween isn’t even here.  It just irritates me.frown

      Also, I tell my husband not to buy me anything because we buy what we want all year long.  I don’t want a gift just for the sake of giving a gift.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Oct 18, 2011
    • I too have grown tired over the years of all these pagan holidays. I can’t tell you the last time I hung a wreath, or put up a tree for Christmas. I have a whole new outlook and revelations on all these manmade holidays. I have shared with my g-baby that santa is coming because there is NO santa, and the real meaning we celebrate Christmas even though Jesus wasn’t bone on Dec.25th. And don’t even get me started about the so called Easter bunny!tongue outLOL.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Frannie1964 wrote Oct 18, 2011
    • Oh! tell me about the Easter Bunny Neicy!estatic lol

      I love the part where I get to spend time with family. If I don’t get a gift, thats fine with me. I tend to go shopping thru out the year and spoil myself anyway...lolestatic but I do love giving and love to see their faces when they get their gift.

      But being with family and eating good food, playing board games or watching movies is great!

      I don’t decorate for Christmas except for a wreath here and there on the gate. Hubby and I don’t have kids. Just our fur babies who get spoiled all year round.heart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Butterflyrose wrote Oct 19, 2011
    • I express my love and appreciation for my loved ones by gifting them throughout the year. At Christmastime, I also gift my loved ones. It is one facet of the love language that our family appreciates. We give gifts from the heart!

      An act of kindness is a gift given


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote Oct 20, 2011
    • Found this on the net:
      As with almost all “Christian” holidays, Easter has a secular side as well. The dichotomous nature of Easter and its symbols, however, is not necessarily a modern fabrication.  

      Easter has always had its non-religious side. In fact, Easter was originally a pagan festival. It was co-opted by Christian missionaries starting in the second century CE.  

      The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with an uproarious festival commemorating their goddess of offspring and of springtime, Eastre. When the second-century Christian missionaries encountered the tribes of the north with their pagan celebrations, they do what Christian missionaries have always done; they attempted to convert them to Christianity. They did so, however, in a clandestine manner.  

      It would have been dangerous for the very early Christian converts to celebrate their holy days with observances that did not coincide with celebrations that already existed. To save lives, the missionaries decided to spread their dogma slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate pagan feasts, but to do so in a Christian manner.  

      As it happened, the pagan festival of Eastre occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ. It made sense, therefore, to alter the festival itself, to make it a Christian observance as pagans were slowly indoctrinated. The early name, Eastre, was eventually changed to its modern spelling, Easter.  

      The Date of Easter  

      Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was variously celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In that year, the Council of Nicaea was convened by emperor Constantine. It issued the Easter Rule which states that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. The “full moon” in the rule is the ecclesiastical full moon, which is defined as the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, where day 1 corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon. It does not always occur on the same date as the astronomical full moon. The ecclesiastical “vernal equinox” is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25.  

      The Lenten Season  

      Lent is the forty-six day period just prior to Easter Sunday. It begins on Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday“) is a celebration, sometimes called “Carnival,” practiced around the world, on the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday. It was designed as a way to “get it all out” before the sacrifices of Lent began. New Orleans is the focal point of Mardi Gras celebrations in the U.S. Read about the religious meanings of the Lenten Season.  

      The Easter Bunny  

      The Easter Bunny is not a modern invention. The symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit.  

      The Germans brought the symbol of the Easter rabbit to America. It was widely ignored by other Christians until shortly after the Civil War. In fact, Easter itself was not widely celebrated in America until after that time.  

      The Easter Egg  

      As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, the Easter Egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians.  

      From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of birth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers.  

      Today, children hunt colored eggs and place them in Easter baskets along with the modern version of real Easter eggs—those made of plastic or chocolate candy.

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