Did You Know . . .


. . . That there are three stages in life?

1. You believe there really is a Santa Claus!
2. You absolutely do not believe in Santa Claus!
3. You ARE Santa Claus!

. . . That:

“There’d be no Christmas greetings,

there’d be no Christmas morn;

there’d be no Christmas season

if our Lord had not been born”?

poem, by M. Staddon

. . . That poinsettia plants:

  • are not poisonous,
  • are native to Mexico but now grow wild in many countries, and
  • were named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico (under Andrew Jackson), who sent a specimen back to the States for the first time?

– various sources


  1. Denise December 20, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Today in my class we read The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola and my students made poinsettias. Great story about the love of family and a girl’s desire to give tribute to Jesus.

  2. Crystal December 21, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Okay – I’m a little mystified by the first section of the article. We never did Santa in our family.

    That’s one short poem with a powerful message.

    Nice to know about the poinsettia. However, after reading the link I *don’t* think I’ll be adding it to our salads (doesn’t even sound like ranch dressing would help!). 😀

  3. Donald December 23, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    By the way I was reminded recently of a couple more interesting tidbits. Did you know that Handel, in addition to Messiah, was responsible for the carol “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”? And while Luther may have been responsible for more than one verse of “Away in a Manger”, Bach wrote the original music for the less-well-known carol: “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light. So Christmas carolers are in good company. 🙂

    To answer Crystal’s question, we don’t have a lot of regard for Santa either. (The real Saint Nicholas was Bishop of Mira one who set an example for generosity and benevolence in his day.) My perspective on that famous little trilogy is:
    1. Children may like picturing the Christmas spirit or generosity or secret gift-giving as a person if they are so taught, but
    2. As they grow up they realize that their parents’ hard work and love are responsible for the gifts, not “Santa Claus”, and
    3. Eventually, as Christians, we should learn that it is Christ (Emmanuel, God with us) who can live within, change our very character and embolden us with His genuine generosity, as it says in Ephesians 2:7-9:
    “That in the ages to come he might [show] the exceeding riches of his gracein his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

    Glory to God in the highest! And on earth peace goodwill toward men.

  4. Denise December 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    I taught my children the historical development of the current Santa Claus that is popular in our culture today. Santa, as he is currently portrayed in the US, is a combination of different cultural perspectives brought to this country by the early immigrants. The Dutch had Sinter Claes, and the English had Father Christmas and in the 1600’s the two fables merged. The immigrants from Norway, Sweden and Denmark added the elves.

    Santa’s image as we know it was developed in 1809 when Washington Irving wrote the wildly popular Knickerbocker History of New York. In his writing he used the image of his dutch servant to describe what he believed Santa looked like. Clement Moore borrowed and embelished this image when he wrote The Night Before Christmas soon after, and in 1863 Thomas Nast created Santa’s current artistic rendering in the Harper Weekly. It was only later that Mrs. Claus, and a north pole residence was added to the myth.

    A great childrens’ book that explains the development of Santa in the US is Santa Who? written by Gail Gibbons. The story begins in a stable in Bethlehem, discusses the Bishop of Myra and the gift giving traditions in Europe, and then describes the creation of the US version of Santa.

    Merry Christmas to all!

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