Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas A to Z Letter X

Welcome Back to Christmas A to Z
X …is for SoX, JoyeauX Noel, ViXen
“X” is a difficult letter for Christmas. So I chose words that have an “X” in them.
Have you ever wondered where the stockings hung by the fire originated? There are several stories in which this tradition could come…
1879 stocking print
One of these legends tells us that St.Nicholas is traveling through a small village when he learns of the plight of a merchant and his daughters. In one popular version of the story, the once wealthy merchant has fallen on difficult times and is worried for the future of his three beautiful daughters. Without dowries, the daughters have nothing to offer a prospective husband, therefore they would have not prospects for marriage.
Upon hearing of this predicament, St. Nicholas set forth to secretly help the proud merchant, knowing he would not accept an outright gift of charity. Riding his horse by the merchant's house one night, St. Nicholas tossed three bags of gold coins down the home's chimney. The bags were captured in the girls' stockings, which had been hung by the fireplace mantle to dry. When the gold coins were discovered the next morning, the merchant and his daughters rejoiced. The young women went on the make advantageous marriages and all lived happily ever after. After this story spread, children began hanging their stockings by the fireplace, in hopes that they too would receive gifts from St. Nicholas.
There are other legends of how the Christmas stocking got started. This is a tradition many continue to use today, but the sox or stockings have become more elaborate.
JoyeauX Noel
At Christmastime I see cards with the words Joyeux Noel written on them.
This is the French version for 'Happy Christmas' but it means 'joyous birth'. If we feel neither happy nor merry, then the biblical concept of 'joy at all times' is something else we can strive to attain. A desire, choice and longing to see the good in all things.
Do you know the names of the reindeer in the Clement Moore poem? One of them was named Vixen…
In the poem written by Clement C. Moore, in 1823, “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, he wrote about the flying reindeer. In fact, in the original poem, he mentions eight reindeer. Their names are listed as Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
The name Dasher means to be quick or a name of speed. Dancer and Prancer describe names that are graceful and elegant. Vixen is a female fox, which also symbolizes speed or swiftness.
Comet is a large ball of fire that travels through space at a very high speed. Cupid also has to do with flying since he has wings. The last two reindeer names are Donner and Blitzen.
Throughout the years, the names have been changed and no one seems to know why or exactly when. Dunder and Blixem were the original names, which mean Thunder and Lightning in Dutch. Of course, thunder and lightning means power and force. Dunder was later changed to Donner and Blixem was changed to Blitzen.
Then There Was Rudolph…Rudolph came along later than the other eight reindeer. Robert L. May created Rudolph in 1939. He did this as part of his job with Montgomery Ward. The Rudolph Co., L.P. owns the original story about Rudolph who was Santa’s ninth reindeer.
He was a misfit and not accepted by all the other reindeer. It wasn’t until one night that Santa used Rudolph as the leader of the reindeer team since he had the glowing red nose to guide them through the snowstorm.
With only a few days left, I hope you will join me again tomorrow as the Christmas Celebration continues…
Carolyn and the Bears

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