Friday, December 21, 2012

The origins of the Santa Claus Tradition

     Dr Clement Moore wrote this poem, "Twas the Night before Christmas" and had it published in 1822 after reading the "Knickerbocker History"  by the famous writer Washington Irving. This poem describes old St. Nicholas as Santa Claus, a white bearded man flying a sleigh pulled by eight reindeers.


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 mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny 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, 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 of 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 bowlful 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!"

T\;

courtesy of sonofthesouth.net

 This is the original image of Santa Claus illustrated by Political cartoonist, Thomas Nast based on the poem by Dr. Clement Moore. It was published in January 3, 1863 in the Harper's Weekly edition. It showed Santa Claus handing gifts to children and soldiers in the Civil War camp. From then on til 1886, Nast has drawn more than 2,200 images of Santa Claus for the magazine, Harper's  Weekly.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Gift of Persons



We must periodically take time out
to look at each of our experiences
and the people that we have been
and reflect on how they are shaping the person that we are.


Sometimes when things have become too heavy, hurting or that we think our lives is not taking any direction at all, we find ourselves sitting alone and thinking how our life has gone by these days. We stop and ask ourselves how we are after all these times. We travel past our experiences and the people we have encountered. There were those who have been truly good, and still there are others whom we’d rather not talk about. There were good, bad and even bitter experiences.

            I have enjoyed the company of people who are truly honest and good. There are lots to talk about and share. Time becomes too short for us. Everyday is not a bore. Though our personalities vary, we are not afraid to show who we truly are because we have accepted each other’s personalities. Yes, there were misunderstandings but there was always room for communication. If we look back over the years and think about the stages and journeys and the risks we have taken, we couldn’t help being grateful for the gifts of persons who have truly loved us and have shown us real friendship. The gift of a person is shown not only through good times and smooth roads but even through hard times and tough roads. It was worth the journey traveling with them.

            On the other hand, we too are met with persons who are incredibly selfish and are not very honest…persons who have not contributed to our growth but rather to our own detriment. I have encountered such people. To some point we think that they are a challenge to us but having done everything and nothing has changed for the better and you know your personhood is getting destroyed and growth has no place then, by all means…leave. Some just give you a good face and lavish you with sweet talks and yet you never know some ugly stories have already been passed around behind your back. Ruthless people take advantage of what we are and what they can get from us, belittle us, hurt us, insult us, destroy us, etc. Evidently these people do not contribute to our development. If our own relationship too has this pattern I think it is about time to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “hey, I deserve more than this, I can make a great future ahead of me, there is a lot more to love and appreciate in this world”  then, shake  the dust off your sandals and walk on. There are persons out there waiting to hand the gift of them selves and support our success. The lessons we have learned from the good even the hurtful and bitter ones will have made us a seasoned person.

Born Slippy by Tom Lutz: A Review

Title :  Born Slippy: A Novel Author : Tom Lutz Genre : noir, thriller Publish date : January 14, 2020 Publisher : Repeater/Peng...