Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

You know it's the Christmas season when the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation movies start playing!

Now you can bring the magic and delight of this holiday classic right into your own home.

Your kids will love the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as he overcomes all odds to pull Santa's sleigh through a snowstorm and save Christmas for everyone!

The Tradition of Christmas Stockings

Hanging stockings by the fire to be filled with "stocking stuffers" is one of the oldest traditions associated with Saint Nick.

The story goes that an old nobleman lost his wife and shortly thereafter fell into complete poverty, leaving him unable to provide for his three young daughters. The family lost their home and was forced to live in a humble shack, so poor had they become.

When the time came for his daughters to marry, he had nothing to give them for their dowries. Without dowries they would never be able to find a husband and start families of their own, and for this the old man was heavy with sorrow.

So it happened that one night after the old man's daughters had washed their clothes, they hung their stockings by the fire to dry.

Saint Nicholas stopped by their shack that night, knowing of the despair of the old man. Seeing the girls' stockings hung by the fire, he slipped a pouch of gold in each one, thereby providing the dowry for each of the girls to be married and bringing great joy to the house.

And so, the tradition of receiving gifts in stockings by the fireplace was born!

Christmas in Literature

The tradition of sending Christmas cards originated in London in 1843. In 1846 the custom was imported to America and became popular nearly overnight.

Today, around 2 billion Christmas cards are exchanged in America every year!

Christmas Cards

The tradition of sending Christmas cards originated in London in 1843. In 1846 the custom was imported to America and became popular nearly overnight.

Today, around 2 billion Christmas cards are exchanged in America every year!

Christmas Fact

Did you know?

The first electrically lighted Christmas tree appeared in 1882.

The History of the 12 Days of Christmas

There is one Christmas Carol that has always been somewhat of a mystery. What could leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge sitting in the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves were the Old and NewTestaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit-Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Kind of puts the classic song in a new light, doesn't it?

What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?

The twelve days of Christmas include the time from Christmas day on December 25th to Epiphany on January 6th.

January 6th marks the Baptism of Jesus for some churches and the day on which the Three Wisemen arrived for others.

In olden times, it was a tradition to give gifts over the entire period of twelve days rather than all on Christmas day.
Check back later for an interesting history of the 12 Days of Christmas lyrics!

Australian Christmas

No chestnuts on an open fire, no snow. Picnic dinners, sun and sailing!

Ghost of Christmas Present

Scrooge meets the second ghost, the ghost of Christmas present, from A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol

This famous Christmas story by Charles Dickens is a holiday favorite, owing to its vivid imagery and compelling themes of greed, sin, redemption and hope.

As Scrooge undergoes a transformation during a long, spirit-filled Christmas Eve, so too for us the Christmas season can be a time of growth and renewal as we seek to broaden our horizons and give to those less fortunate.

And since A Christmas Carol is in the public domain, you can read the entire text online for free!

Old Harper's Weekly

Santa hands out gifts during the Civil War.

Adoration of the Child

An image of the First Christmas, by Fra Angelico.

Cool Christmas Gifts

This is a great idea for a stocking stuff. You send in a photo of your child and they put it into a DVD movie of your child saving Christmas! It's reasonably priced at under 30 dollars, but you've got to get your photo and order in before December 18th.

Here's the link for more information:

Adoration of the Magi

This is a painting of the Three Wise Men visiting Jesus, painted by Don Lorenzo Monaco in 1422.

Holiday Fun

A great way for your kids to enjoy each day of the Holiday season is with an Advent Calendar!

Advent Calendars have a door for each day in the month of December, and behind each door is a piece of chocolate with a Christmas-themed image on it.

Your kids will love counting down the days to Christmas every year and getting their piece of chocolate each day!

Some advent calendars have pictures behind the doors, while still others are constructed of wood and have a toy for each day. The kind of advent calendar you get for your family is something they'll cherish for life as a fond Christmas memory.

Poinsetties: Beautiful or Deadly?

Poinsettias are a popular and lovely holiday decoration. But did you know that they can also cause skin rashes? Some people are mildly allergic to poinsettias and the milky sap that they produce when a leaf or stem breaks.

You may have heard the rumors that poinsettias are fatal to pets if ingested. Lucky for you, this is a myth! You might want to keep it out of reach of curious canine mouths, because poinsettias can cause mild allergic reactions (similar to the rash it might produce on humans) such as diarrhea or even vomiting in severe cases. But poinsettias are not toxic to pets.

So decorate with this festive and beautiful plant this holiday!

Cool Christmas Gifts for Your Pet

What could a dog want besides your love and attention this Christmas?

Well, how about a nice new sweater for those cold winter months, for starters? And maybe one of those fake stockings filled with toys and treats?

Any gift that enhances play time with your dog or cat is one they're sure to appreciate. Here are some suggestions:
  • A laser pointer. Cats will love chasing that light around. You can get some really cool ones now that have a green beam that is so strong, it will actually double as a pointer to constellations. That's right, you can point out stars with these things, no I'm not kidding.
  • Inflatable Remote control cars. Dogs will go wild trying to figure out what's going on when you drive a small remote control car around the living room. You and the fam will have a blast, and so will your dog! I recommend taking a little fabric to dress the car up to look like an animal. Race that thing out into the living room and let the mayhem begin!
  • Tennis ball launcher. Here's another one that the dog in the family will appreciate. With one of these devices, you can whip a tennis ball hundreds of feet with minimal effort. Your dog will love this, and they're gonna get completely tuckered out from using it! Plus, you'll have a blast slingshotting tennis balls.

There are so many options for getting your pet a cool gift this Christmas. Being creative about it is half the fun!

Saving Money This Christmas

Finding perfect gifts for everyone on your Christmas list doesn't have to be expensive if you know where to look. Buy gifts for all your loved ones from cheap online book dealers to conserve cash this Christmas, without compromising on the quality of the gifts themselves! You can find some real treasures at these places.

The books from the best of these online stores are in brand new condition, and most are way under 10 bucks. I'd say the vast majority are 75 cents plus like 3 bucks shipping. Check it out.