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It's Another New Year...

  It's Another New Year...

...but for what reason?

"Happy New Year!" That greeting will be said and heard for at least the first couple of weeks as a new year gets under way. But the day celebrated as New Year's Day in modern America was not always January 1. ANCIENT NEW YEARS
The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible cresent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.
The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.
  The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.
In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.
Although in the first centuries AD the Romans continued celebrating the new year, the early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began having its own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Year's Day was no different. New Years is still observed as the Feast of Christ's Circumcision by some denominations.

During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.
Other traditions of the season include the making of New Year's resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking. The early Babylonian's most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.

The Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886. In that year, members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers. It celebrated the ripening of the orange crop in California.
Although the Rose Bowl football game was first played as a part of the Tournament of Roses in 1902, it was replaced by Roman chariot races the following year. In 1916, the football game returned as the sports centerpiece of the festival. 
  The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.
Although the early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.
The use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the new year was brought to early America by the Germans. They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century.
  Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man.

  Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune.
Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day. 
Copyright © 2008 by Jerry Wilson. Used with Permission.
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Santa Names

Christmas 2010 Christmas is the day when Jesus Christ, the son of God, was born to Mother Mary, in a humble manger in the small town of Bethlehem, more than two thousand years ago. A shining star appeared in the sky over Bethlehem and guided Three Wise Men to the small manger where the Christ Child lay. The three Astrologers brought the gifts of gold Frankincense and Myrrh for the Baby Jesus, because they recognized this child was going to be the savior or Messiah of his chosen people. This gave birth to the tradition of giving Gifts on Christmas.

Christmas is one of the most important days of the Christian calendar. His Holiness the Pope, who is the spiritual leader of catholics, prays for the good of humanity and reminds everyone of Christ's message of love and brotherhood, which is symbolized by the Christmas.
More on Christmas
Christmas means a rush of fun-filled activities. From shopping in crowded malls to eating out with friends and families, people do a lot to celebrate their Christmas holidays. Kids do not miss out on the chance of getting the things they wish for from their parents.

You can do a lot more on Christmas other than the regular routine celebrations. Bake some ginger cookies, wrap them nicely, and go visiting. You can also plan to create your own tree ornaments from scratch this year. Making your own ornaments will not only help you save money, it will also give you a sense of pride when you see them up on your Christmas tree. If you have kids, involve them in such activities; they’ll learn while having fun with colors, ribbons, and glitters.

Have you thought of turning into a thespian this season and visiting churches to sing carols and play some acts with young children? In case you do not have the singing talent, you could read out Christmas stories to little kids, stage an act around these stories, and help them learn and understand about Christmas?

Whatever you do this season, let your Christmas be a merry one.
Santa Names
Austria - Weihnachtsmann, Nikolaus
Belgium and the Netherlands - Black Pete, Christkind, Noel and Saint Nicholas
Brazil - Papai Noel
China - Che Dun Lao Ren
Denmark - Julemanden
England - Father Christmas
Estonian - Jouluvana
Finland - Joulupukki, Old Man Christmas
France - Pere Noel or le Petit
Germany - Weihnachtsmann, Nikolaus
Holland - Kerstman
Iceland - Jolasveinn
Italy - Babbo Natale
Japan - Santa Kurousu
Lithuania - Kaledu Senu
Mexico - San Nicolás, Santa
Norway - Julenissen
Poland - Star Man or Wise Men
Russia - Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz), Dedushka Moroz
Serbo - Croation - Bozic Bata. Sveti Nickola
Spain - Three Kings
Sweden - Jultomten
Switzerland - Saint Nicholas, Chriskind

* I have attempted to make this a comprehensive list.
   I realize, however that in some cases other variations may exist. Please feel free to make any further suggestions in this list by leaving a comment in the box below.

 Christmas Downloads!
  Cool Things To Do...

Xmas Word Scramble

This applet requires your browser to support Java applets. Please be patient while the applet loads and initializes.
Look at the letters below. Can you guess the scrambled word? Click on the letters to see the correct answer. Click again to play again.

Special thanks to Eric Harshbarger for creating this applet and allowing us to use it here!

'Twas The Day After Christmas

David Frank 

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house
Children sat slack-jawed, bored on the couch. 

Wrappings and toys littered the floor,
An incredible mess that I did abhor.

With Mom in her robe and I in my jeans,
We waded in to get the place clean.

When suddenly the doorbell: it started to clatter,
I sprang to the Security-View to check out the matter.

The new-fallen snow, now blackened with soot,
Was trampled and icy and treacherous to foot.

But suddenly in view, did I gasp and pant:
An unhappy bill collector and eight tiny accountants.

The door flew open and in they came,
Stern-looking men with bills in my name.

On Discover, on Visa, on American Express,
On Mastercard too, I sadly confess,
Right to my limits, then beyond my net worth,
OUer the top I had charged, in a frenzy of mirth.

The black-suited men, so somber, so strict,
I wondered why me that they had first picked.

They stared at me with a look I couldn't miss,
That said "Buddy, when are you for paying for this?"

I shrugged my shoulders, but then I grew bolder,
Went to the cabinet and pulled out a folder.

"As you can see," I said with a smile,
"It's bankruptcy that I'll have to file!"
And with a swoop of my arm, my middle digit extended
I threw the bills in the fire: the matter had ended.

The scent of burnt ash came to my nose,
As up the chimney my credit-worthiness rose.

Without another word they turned and walked out,
Got into their limos, but one gave a shout:
"You may think that's the answer to all of your fears,
But it's nothing you'll charge for at least seven years!

A Microsoft Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except Papa's mouse.
The computer was humming, the icons were hopping,
As Papa did last minute Internet shopping. 

The stockings were hung by the modem with care
In hope that St. Nicholas would bring new software.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of computer games danced in their heads. 

PageMaker for Billy, and Quicken for Dan,
And Carmen Sandiego for Pamela Ann.
The letters to Santa had been sent out by Mom,
To -

Which has now been re-routed to Washington State
Because Santa's workshop has been bought by Bill Gates.
All the elves and reindeer have had to skedaddle
To flashy new quarters in suburban Seattle.

After centuries of a life that was simple and spare,
St. Nicholas is suddenly a new billionaire,
With a shiny red Porsche in the place of his sleigh,
And a house on Lake Washington that's just down the way

From where Bill has his mansion. The old fellow preens
In black Gucci boots and red Calvin Klein jeans.
The elves have stock options and desks with a view,
Where they write computer code for Johnny and Sue.

No more dolls or toy soldiers or little toy drums (ahem - pardon me)
No more dolls or tin soldiers or little toy drums
Will be under the tree, only compact disk ROMS
With the Microsoft label. So spin up your drive,
 From now on Christmas runs only on Win95.

More rapid than eagles the competitors came,
And Bill whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
"Now, ADOBE! Now, CLARIS! Now, INTUIT! too, 
Now, APPLE! and NETSCAPE! you are all of you through,

It is Microsoft's SANTA that the kids can't resist,
It's the ultimate software with a traditional twist -
Recommended by no less than the jolly old elf,
And on the package, a picture of Santa himself. 

Get 'em young, keep 'em long, is Microsoft's scheme,
And a merger with Santa is a marketer's dream.
To the top of the NASDAQ! to the top of the Dow!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away - wow!"

And Mama in her 'kerchief and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
The whir and the hum of our satellite platter,

As it turned toward that new Christmas star in the sky,
The SANTALITE owned by the Microsoft guy.
As I sprang from my bed and was turning around, 
My computer turned on with a Jingle-Bells sound.

And there on the screen was a smiling Bill Gates
Next to jolly old Santa, two arm-in-arm mates.
And I heard them exclaim in voice so bright,  
Have a Microsoft Christmas, and to all a good night.

'Twas The Night Before Christmas The Technical Version!

I don't know who wrote this, if you do, let me know so i can give them credit

'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums. My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian itself - thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a minuscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his ungulate motive power travelling at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen - "Now Dasher, now Dancer..." et al. - guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved - with utmost celerity and via a downward leap - entry by way of the smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of Albion's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub- and supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular and columnar crystals of frozen water.

Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose grey fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container. He was, in short, neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being. By rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and rotating his head slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned appended hosiery with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise extracted from his aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about-face, placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage. He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common weed. But I overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility: "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to that self same assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and dawn." 

A Time Comes In Your Life

This isn't exactly a Christmas story, but it just might inspire you to take a moment to reflect this holiday season.

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ~ ENOUGH! 
Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.
You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella.
And you realize in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you're not perfect, that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are, and that's okay. (They're entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche.

You begin to sift through all that you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and the familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.
You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.
You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK. And that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect; and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his/her touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.

You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes-bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state ~ the ego. You learn negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never settle for less than your heart's desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with Spirit by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life that you want to live as best as you can.

~Author Unknown~

'Twas The Night Before Christmas For moms!

Written by Karen Spiegler. Originally published in "Maniac Moms: A Humorous Newsletter for Crazed Mothers" in December/1993.

When this season gets to be too much - just read this poem...

Twas the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode
Only one creature was stirring, & she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
while visions of Nintendo 64 & Barbie, flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle propped on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, & saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes & soot, which fell with a shrug,
"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."

"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake."
"your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered, "What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit chat."
Then out walked the clone - The mother's twin,
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.

"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch The Young & The Restless."
"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"

 From the room above, the youngest did fret.
"Mommy?! Come quickly, I'm scared & I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She sure knows her part."

The clone changed the small one & hummed her tune,
as she bundled the child in a blanket cocoon.
"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled & sighed, "And I love you, too."

The mom frowned & said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal."
That's my child's LOVE she is trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here."

The mom kissed her child & tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Santa, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget, it won't be very long,
when they'll be too old for my cradle & song."

The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side Santa said "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, You will be all right."

Sometimes we need reminding of what life is all about. Especially at times during the Holiday season, when all we seem to do is clean and bake and shop and and and and and and and.... You get the picture, I'm sure.

So stop for a moment and hug that little one so special, whether he/she is 2 or 22, or even older than that. For they are the Gift that God gave us in life...and what a gift to be treasured, far above any other! May the real meaning of Christmas be with you all this year, is my prayer.

The Dime

A cute story that made the email rounds last season.

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend."
Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.
What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity. Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who ran the house hold in their mother's absence. All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.
Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window.
Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach.
It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment.
As he held his new-found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn't buy anything with only a dime.
He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering.
Then he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you." As Bobby waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers.
The sound of the door closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter.
There, before Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box.
"That will be ten cents young man," the shop owner said reaching out his hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime!
Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"
This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas son."
As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked out. "Who were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"
Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway.
Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime.
"When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. "When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses." The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.
May this story instill the spirit of CHRISTmas in you enough to pass this act along.
Have a Joyous and Peace-filled season.
Goodness is the only investment that doesn't fail.

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. We received it by email from several different people.






















This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. The following
is his request:

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as
you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.
service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrifice themselves for
us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.


The Story Behind The 12 Days Of Christmas Song

Contributed by: Gene Thompson

The song was written by Catholics in England as a catechism song to teach their children
about the Christian faith. The song's "gifts" help remember the teachings of the faith. 

"True Love" refers to God.
"Me" refers to every Christian.
The other symbols mean the following:

1 Partridge in a Pear Tree = Jesus Christ

2 Turtle Doves = The Old & New Testaments

3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity or the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Trinity

4 Calling Birds = The Four Gospels

5 Golden Rings = First Five Books of the Old Testament

6 Geese-A-Laying = The Six Days of Creation

7 Swans-A-Swimming = The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:8-10)

8 Maids-A-Milking = The Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)

9 Ladies Dancing = The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)

10 Lords-A-Leaping = The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)

11 Pipers Piping = Eleven Apostles, not Judas

12 Drummers Drumming = The Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Stories & Poems

Christmas Stories and Poems!
Classic Christmas tales of the season.

(For More Stuffs, please check the Xmas Stuffs! Links on the Sidebar)
Traditional Christmas Stories
The Story Of Christmas (From Luke 2: 1-20)
The Night Before Christmas  

 A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
The Meaning Behind The 12 Days Of Christmas Song
Special For This Season
A Soldiers Night Before Christmas
The Dime
The Night Before Christmas (For Moms)
A Time Comes In Your Life
The Night Before Christmas (Technical Version)
A Microsoft Christmas
The Day After Christmas

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.
December, 1843.

Stave 1: Marley's Ghost
Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits
Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits
Stave 4: The Last of the Spirits
Stave 5: The End of It

Stave 5: The End of It

A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Stave 5: The End of It
Yes! and the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!
`I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.' Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. `The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley. Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this. I say it on my knees, old Jacob, on my knees.'
He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions, that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit, and his face was wet with tears.
`They are not torn down.' cried Scrooge, folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms,' they are not torn down, rings and all. They are here -- I am here -- the shadows of the things that would have been, may be dispelled. They will be. I know they will.'
His hands were busy with his garments all this time; turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, making them parties to every kind of extravagance.
`I don't know what to do.' cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. `I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody. A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here. Whoop. Hallo.'
He had frisked into the sitting-room, and was now standing there: perfectly winded.
`There's the saucepan that the gruel was in.' cried Scrooge, starting off again, and going round the fireplace. `There's the door, by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered. There's the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present, sat. There's the window where I saw the wandering Spirits. It's all right, it's all true, it all happened. Ha ha ha.'
Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs.
`I don't know what day of the month it is.' said Scrooge. `I don't know how long I've been among the Spirits. I don't know anything. I'm quite a baby. Never mind. I don't care. I'd rather be a baby. Hallo. Whoop. Hallo here.'
He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Clash, clang, hammer; ding, dong, bell. Bell, dong, ding; hammer, clang, clash. Oh, glorious, glorious.
Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious.
`What's to-day.' cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.
`Eh.' returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.
`What's to-day, my fine fellow.' said Scrooge.
`To-day.' replied the boy. `Why, Christmas Day.'
`It's Christmas Day.' said Scrooge to himself. `I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can. Hallo, my fine fellow.'
`Hallo.' returned the boy.
`Do you know the Poulterer's, in the next street but one, at the corner.' Scrooge inquired.
`I should hope I did,' replied the lad.
`An intelligent boy.' said Scrooge. `A remarkable boy. Do you know whether they've sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there -- Not the little prize Turkey: the big one.'
`What, the one as big as me.' returned the boy.
`What a delightful boy.' said Scrooge. `It's a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck.'
`It's hanging there now,' replied the boy.
`Is it.' said Scrooge. `Go and buy it.'
`Walk-er.' exclaimed the boy.
`No, no,' said Scrooge, `I am in earnest. Go and buy it, and tell them to bring it here, that I may give them the direction where to take it. Come back with the man, and I'll give you a shilling. Come back with him in less than five minutes and I'll give you half-a-crown.'
The boy was off like a shot. He must have had a steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast.
`I'll send it to Bon Cratchit's.' whispered Scrooge, rubbing his hands, and splitting with a laugh. `He shan't know who sends it. It's twice the size of Tiny Tim. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob's will be.'
The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one, but write it he did, somehow, and went down-stairs to open the street door, ready for the coming of the poulterer's man. As he stood there, waiting his arrival, the knocker caught his eye.
`I shall love it, as long as I live.' cried Scrooge, patting it with his hand. `I scarcely ever looked at it before. What an honest expression it has in its face. It's a wonderful knocker. -- Here's the Turkey. Hallo. Whoop. How are you. Merry Christmas.'
It was a Turkey. He never could have stood upon his legs, that bird. He would have snapped them short off in a minute, like sticks of sealing-wax.
`Why, it's impossible to carry that to Camden Town,' said Scrooge. `You must have a cab.'
The chuckle with which he said this, and the chuckle with which he paid for the Turkey, and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab, and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy, were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless in his chair again, and chuckled till he cried.
Shaving was not an easy task, for his hand continued to shake very much; and shaving requires attention, even when you don't dance while you are at it. But if he had cut the end of his nose off, he would have put a piece of sticking-plaister over it, and been quite satisfied.
He dressed himself all in his best, and at last got out into the streets. The people were by this time pouring forth, as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present; and walking with his hands behind him, Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile. He looked so irresistibly pleasant, in a word, that three or four good-humoured fellows said,' Good morning, sir. A merry Christmas to you.' And Scrooge said often afterwards, that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard, those were the blithest in his ears.
He had not gone far, when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman, who had walked into his counting-house the day before, and said,' Scrooge and Marley's, I believe.' It sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met; but he knew what path lay straight before him, and he took it.
`My dear sir,' said Scrooge, quickening his pace, and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. `How do you do. I hope you succeeded yesterday. It was very kind of you. A merry Christmas to you, sir.'
`Mr Scrooge.'
`Yes,' said Scrooge. `That is my name, and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. Allow me to ask your pardon. And will you have the goodness' -- here Scrooge whispered in his ear.
`Lord bless me.' cried the gentleman, as if his breath were taken away. `My dear Mr Scrooge, are you serious.'
`If you please,' said Scrooge. `Not a farthing less. A great many back-payments are included in it, I assure you. Will you do me that favour.'
`My dear sir,' said the other, shaking hands with him. `I don't know what to say to such munificence.'
`Don't say anything please,' retorted Scrooge. `Come and see me. Will you come and see me.'
`I will.' cried the old gentleman. And it was clear he meant to do it.
`Thank you,' said Scrooge. `I am much obliged to you. I thank you fifty times. Bless you.'
He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk -- that anything -- could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew's house.
He passed the door a dozen times, before he had the courage to go up and knock. But he made a dash, and did it:
`Is your master at home, my dear.' said Scrooge to the girl. Nice girl. Very.
`Yes, sir.'
`Where is he, my love.' said Scrooge.
`He's in the dining-room, sir, along with mistress. I'll show you up-stairs, if you please.'
`Thank you. He knows me,' said Scrooge, with his hand already on the dining-room lock. `I'll go in here, my dear.'
He turned it gently, and sidled his face in, round the door. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array); for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points, and like to see that everything is right.
`Fred.' said Scrooge.
Dear heart alive, how his niece by marriage started. Scrooge had forgotten, for the moment, about her sitting in the corner with the footstool, or he wouldn't have done it, on any account.
`Why bless my soul.' cried Fred,' who's that.'
`It's I. Your uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred.'
Let him in. It is a mercy he didn't shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. Nothing could be heartier. His niece looked just the same. So did Topper when he came. So did the plump sister when she came. So did every one when they came. Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, wonderful happiness.
But he was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only be there first, and catch Bob Cratchit coming late. That was the thing he had set his heart upon.
And he did it; yes, he did. The clock struck nine. No Bob. A quarter past. No Bob. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come into the Tank.
His hat was off, before he opened the door; his comforter too. He was on his stool in a jiffy; driving away with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o'clock.
`Hallo.' growled Scrooge, in his accustomed voice, as near as he could feign it. `What do you mean by coming here at this time of day.'
`I am very sorry, sir,' said Bob. `I am behind my time.'
`You are.' repeated Scrooge. `Yes. I think you are. Step this way, sir, if you please.'
`It's only once a year, sir,' pleaded Bob, appearing from the Tank. `It shall not be repeated. I was making rather merry yesterday, sir.'
`Now, I'll tell you what, my friend,' said Scrooge,' I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,' he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again;' and therefore I am about to raise your salary.'
Bob trembled, and got a little nearer to the ruler. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it, holding him, and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat.
`A merry Christmas, Bob,' said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. `A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year. I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob. Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit.'
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

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