Happy Birthday Santa Claus

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I know what you’re all thinking” Has he lost his marbles, we are only 2 days away from St Patrick’s day and he is coming up with a Christmas story”

Do not worry I can assure you that I still have all my faculties. Legend has it that on this day in the year 280 Saint Nicholas was born. Saint Nicholas who we now know as Santa Claus, Saint Nick or if you live in a Dutch speaking country Sinterklaas or still as Saint Nicholas

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There are so many different version of his origin varying between Lapland and Spain.

According to tradition, he was born in the ancient Lycian seaport city of Patara, currently in Turkey,,when he was young, he traveled to the Middle East. He became bishop of Myra soon after returning to Lycia. He was imprisoned during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian but was released under the rule of Constantine the Great. He attended the first Council of Nicaea (325), where he allegedly struck the heretic Arius in the face.

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He was buried in his church at Myra, and by the 6th century his shrine there had become well known. In 1087 Italian sailors or merchants stole his alleged remains from Myra and took them to Bari, Italy; this removal greatly increased the saint’s popularity in Europe, and Bari became one of the most crowded of all pilgrimage centres. Nicholas’s relics remain enshrined in the 11th-century basilica of San Nicola at Bari,

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It is however also alleged that Saint Nicholas is buried in County Kilkenny,Ireland. Tradition in these parts tell that the earthly remains of St. Nicholas were secretly removed from Bari by returning crusader knights, who brought them back to Newtown Jerpoint for safe keeping.

The grave’s stone slab is carved with the image of a cleric with the heads of two knights behind each shoulder, said to be those of the two crusaders who, so the story goes, brought Nicholas’s remains to Ireland. Evidence lends some credence to this tale as the Normans in Kilkenny were keen collectors of religious relics, and it is known that Norman knights participated in the Holy Land Crusades.

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We all know of course that all these theories are incorrect because he still delivers present every Christmas.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Krampus- The anti-St Nick, when Christmas gets creepy.

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Bad Santa, meet Krampus: a half-goat, half-demon, horrific beast who literally beats kids into being nice and not naughty.

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They say he comes on the eve of Dec. 5, a night they call “Krampusnacht,” armed with a bundle of gold-painted birch sticks to beat naughty children with. One can usually hear him coming, as though he has one bare human-like foot, his steps alternate with the clip-clop of his other cloven hoof.

His name is Krampus, a figure whose pointed devilish horns and long snake-like tongue have been terrifying European children for centuries. A hairy, black monster of a creature who appears before Christmas to punish children, he is often depicted as carrying chains, and various bells. He also carries a large sack, or occasionally a basket, on his back to cart off evil children and dispose of them. Though the stories vary, his usual disposal methods include drowning, eating, and dropping them off in Hell.

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Starting before the 17th century, stories of a horned god who showed up to punish people for their sins around Christmastime began to pop up in Europe, particularly in Eastern European countries. Many historians attribute the roots of the legends to pre-Christian paganism, as the appearance of Krampus coincides with multiple pagan winter rites.

In the aftermath of the 1923 election in Austria, the Krampus tradition was prohibited by the Dollfuss regime under the Fatherland’s Front (Vaterländische Front) and the Christian Social Party. In the 1950s, the government distributed pamphlets titled “Krampus Is an Evil Man”.Towards the end of the century, a popular resurgence of Krampus celebrations occurred and continues today. The Krampus tradition is being revived in Bavaria as well, along with a local artistic tradition of hand-carved wooden masks.

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Christmas in Limerick-a poem

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My shoes are touching the promenade on “Poor Man’s Kilkee”
Rain is falling on my head and drops are slowly reaching my face.
A man in a coffee shop is putting up a Christmas tree.
Undisturbed the Shannon flows, in so much splendor and grace.

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The town with its magical and festive lightsmakes me smile.
Children gaze in awe as they see the sign that Santa is in town.
Beautiful people all dressed up, ready to celebrate in style.
The cold wind is picking up nearly blowing the decorations down.

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A man is sitting on a stool outside a shop playing an accordion.
Some tourists stop and listen to him play and dance slowly to the tune.
They give him a few coins and walk on following a local historian
Christmas in Limerick is special and hopefully we’ll see some snow soon.

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of €2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then €2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Will the real Santa Claus please stand up.

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Someone tried to convince me that Santa Claus is a mythical figure.Well if that’s the case who puts my presents under the Christmas tree?

Anyhow!

Santa Claus has many names but they all come from the same historical figure,Nikolaos of Myra(aka Nicholas of Bari)

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. st-nicholasjpgAt the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

A rather offbeat story recounted by Kelly and Rogers, tells of Nicholas visiting a local butcher during a famine. To his surprise, he was served meat. Suspecting the worst, Nicholas proceeded to his host’s cellar, finding three barrels containing three murdered boys in brine. The bishop lost no time in restoring them to life, and “has been a patron of children-in-a-pickle ever since.” His acts of kindness and miracles for children, carried the reputation of Nicholas to the far corners of the Roman Empire.

Some argue that Santa Claus is based on the Norse god, Thor, who was associated with winter and the Yule log and rode on a chariot drawn by goats named Cracker and Gnasher.

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That the historical person of Nicholas became transformed into the kindly Santa Claus from a pagan legend was due to the notoriety he gained by extending a helping hand in the aid of children. His was not an age known for protecting children. Instead they were often left to beg when they lost their parents or lived in poverty.

Other claim he is based on the Germanic god Odin,also known as Wodan.

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 The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas, the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas (himself also based on Saint Nicholas).

 

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Nicholas legend was that his story influenced future generations to demonstrate kindness to children, at least once a year. The modern tradition has remained true to the simple bishop of Myra, who devoted his life to helping the poor.

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Although the traditions are the same there are differences in the different configurations of Saint Nick. I’ll just go through a few of them there are too may to list them all(trust me I checked it twice)

Sinterklaas

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Unlike Santaclaus,Sinterklaas does not travel from the North pole by sleigh and reindeer. No Sinterklaas likes his comfort, he therefor travels from Spain on a steamboat.

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And once he arrives at his destination in the Netherlands he gets on a white horse called Amerigo.

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Rather then doing a last minute Christmas rush Sinterklaas delivers his presents on the 5th of December. Saint Nicholas died on the 6th of December, so the presents are delivered on the eve of St Nicholas’s death.

Father Christmas

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Father Christmas is the traditional English name for the personification of Christmas. Although now known as a Christmas gift-bringer, and normally considered to be synonymous with American culture’s Santa Claus which is now known worldwide, he was originally part of an unrelated and much older English folkloric tradition. The recognisably modern figure of the English Father Christmas developed in the late Victorian period, but Christmas had been personified for centuries before then.

Below are a few more Christmas figures

Joulupukki-Finland

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Mikulás-Hungary

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Ded Moroz-Russia and other Eastern European countries.

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An Irish tradition states that the relics of Saint Nicholas are also reputed to have been stolen from Myra by local Norman crusading knights in the 12th century and buried near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, where a stone slab marks the site locally believed to be his grave.

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I hope you all get the presents you are hoping for.

Regardless of who delivers them. When I was a kid I got them from this man(who was actually my real dad)

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Merry Christmas

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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WWII Christmas Dinner

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When we think of Christmas dunner now, we think of indulgence a non stop culinary feast, an abundance of food and drink.

During WWII however, it was anything but that. In most occupied countries people were trying to survive on very little food. In the US, UK and Canada food was rationed.Rationing was introduced in stages during the war, and it was one of the most concrete ways  life on the home front was impacted, Stamps and coupons were distributed to the homes as the means of rationing.

But people were innovative and still enjoyed Christmas meals during WWII albeit in a different configuration, even on the battlefield.

It could be argued that those Christmas dinners were better, not because of the quality but because they were real treats and would be appreciated more.

Below is just an example of a WWII Christmas recipe, try it out some day.

Christmas Recipes from 1942

An unusual potato based recipe.

Ingredients:
6ozs wholewheat flour (self-raising)
3ozs cooking fat
1 teaspoon almond essence
4ozs raisins or dates soaked for 4 hrs in 2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons mashed potato
1 large dessertspoon honey
1 egg (made-up dried egg)

Method:
Rub fat into flour, add water and make a stiff paste.
Line a flan tin with paste, and pinch up edges to make a
pattern.

Drain raisins and spread over bottom of tart. Mix any
raisin juice with slightly warmed honey and almond
essence. Add potato and work in. Beat up egg and mix
into potato paste. Spread thinly and evenly over the
raisins. Decorate with thin strips of pastry and bake in
fairly quick oven until pastry is cooked and paste slightly
brown.

Serve hot or cold.

Christmas dinner at sea and on the battlefields

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Christmas dinner and celebrations in the wardroom of HMS MALAYA. The ship is based at Scapa Flow.

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Christmas dinner celebrations on board HMS WESTMINSTER at Rosyth, December 1941.

Christmas in the Royal Navy during the Second World War (2)

With British soldiers away in Europe, war-hit families were issued with an urgent plea to invite their US colleagues to share their Christmas celebrations.

Faced with the prospect of their guests bringing extra food with them, families jumped at the chance to welcome the Americans into their homes, with some 50 invitations being offered for every GI, or Government Issue.

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Bare-chested soldiers in helmets preparing Christmas dinner (cake or bread) at the mess during WWII. Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. December 25, 1942.

U.S. Soldiers Celebrate Christmas during World War II (3)

British Gunner Jack Ward of the 9th Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, holds aloft two geese destined to become Christmas dinner; near Geilenkirchen

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U.S. Soldiers Celebrate Christmas during World War II (4)

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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The weird world of advertising-Christmas style.

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Let it never be said I don’t provide a public service with my blogs.

I know the Christmas season can be a time filled with anxiety and especially for those men who do not know yet what to buy for their wives or girlfriends(or both). That’s why I decided to help along.

With still a month to go Christmas you should have plenty of time to get inspired by these ads from days of yore.A word of warning though if you actually do follow up on these ads, this may well be your last Christmas.

What wive doesn’t want a Hoover for Christmas?

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Smoking can’t be that bad? Can it?

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See even Santa does it?

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Heck even President Reagan says it’s okay.

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Have you ever seen a jollier Santa?

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See, they even got a choice.

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You see, Ironing doesn’t have to be hard. You can do it sitting down, and if it is good enough for Mrs Claus….

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A dishwasher is not only for Christmas

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See us men we are not that clever, we need hints every now and then.

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And of course the weighing scale.

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Please do donate if you can for I have a feeling I might suddenly mysteriously disappear after this blog.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Barrack 66-Camp Westerbork-the Christmas wish of a little boy.

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The Dutch Christmas is slightly different then other Christmas celebrations. On the 5th of December the Dutch celebrate “Sinterklaas” Saint Nicholas,although it is basically the same figure as Santa Claus or Father Christmas. There are subtle differences in the “configuration”

Sinterklaas doesn’t come from Lapland but from Spain and arrives on a steam boat and a white horse rather then a sleigh and reindeer. His helpers aren’t elves but are moors called ‘Zwarte Piet’ Black Pete, and he comes in the traditional dress as a Bishop. Although it is a Christian tradition generally it is celebrated across most religions.

Leo Meijer was a small Jewish boy in September 1942 when he was aged 7 he was taken from his home together with his Family and was deported to Camp Westerbork.

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In December 1943 he wrote the following note to Sinterklaas

“Dear Sint en Piet,I really like the role of mints and I now give you the last piece of my Rye Bread for your horse. my father is very ill and I don’t like it it in Westerbork, it’s a nasty place. Do you remember from before when I lived in Zwijndrecht you gave me a Trainset. I know you will be coming to Barrack 66, I’ll be there too.”

Leo Meijer attended the Onderdijkschool in Zwijndrecht. When Jewish children had to leave the school, he enrolled at the Jewish school in Dordrecht. Leo Meijer excelled in drawing.

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In 1943 he got drawing paper from Sinterklaas. Leo used this paper to draw his experiences in Westerbork and his memories of the time he lived in his hometown Zwijmdrecht, like the time he went to the Circus and he had seen an elephant.

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Leo and his family were deported from Westerbork to Theresienstadt on 5 September 1944 and subsequently to Auschwitz on 4 October 1944.Where Leo and his mother are send to the gas chambers upon arrival.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Christmas During WWII-Part 2

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During this festive season it’s time to look at how Christmas was celebrated during the darkest era of mankind.

Christmas Dinners

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Christmas Music

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Christmas during WWII

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During this festive season it’s time to look at how Christmas was celebrated during the darkest era of mankind.

It’s amazing that at the height of the war the all time best selling Christmas song was first released. From the movie ‘Holiday Inn’ White Christmas

Below are some pictures of Christmas celebrations during WWII

Christmas Dinner

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German Christmas

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The Allied troops

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Christmas relief the army as Santa

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Christmas Greetings

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Santa Claus

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