Our 10 most popular recipes for the month delivered right to your inbox!
Oops - when I lost my hard drive, I lost all the Christmas Stories / Legends / Poems I had collected (many of them were from you!). SO . . . I'm looking for them again!! Every year we have a handout about how to care for your Christmas tree, and I also include a Christian Christmas Story / Legend / Poem.
I've done: It's CHRISTmas, Not x-mas!
Jesus vs Santa
Legend of the Christmas Tree
and I don't remember what else.
But I'm looking for a new one for this year . . . and ideas/suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated!!
The History of Silent Night
The carol was first performed in the Nikolaus-Kirche (Church of St. Nicholas) in Oberndorf, Austria on December 24, 1818. Mohr had composed the words two years earlier, in 1816, but on Christmas Eve brought them to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the church service.
In his written account regarding the composition of the carol, Gruber gives no mention of the specific inspiration for creating the song. According to the song's history provided by Austria's Silent Night Society, one supposition is that the church organ was no longer working so that Mohr and Gruber therefore created a song for accompaniment by guitar. Silent Night historian, Renate Ebeling-Winkler Berenguer says that the first mention of a broken organ was in a book published in the U.S.
Some  believe that Mohr simply wanted a new Christmas carol that he could play on his guitar. The Silent Night Society says that there are "many romantic stories and legends" that add their own anecdotal details to the known facts.
The Nikolaus-Kirche was demolished in the early 1900s due to flood damage and because the town's center was moved up the river to a safer location, with a new church being built there close to the new bridge. A tiny chapel, called the "Stille-Nacht-Gedächtniskapelle" (Silent Night Memorial Chapel), was built in the place of the demolished church and a nearby house was converted into a museum, attracting tourists from all over the world, not only but primarily in December.
The original manuscript has been lost. However a manuscript was discovered in 1995 in Mohr's handwriting and dated by researchers at ca. 1820. It shows that Mohr wrote the words in 1816 when he was assigned to a pilgrim church in Mariapfarr, Austria, and shows that the music was composed by Gruber in 1818. This is the earliest manuscript that exists and the only one in Mohr's handwriting. Gruber's composition was influenced by the musical tradition of his rural domicile. The melody of "Silent Night" bears resemblance to aspects of Austrian folk music and yodelling.
Another popular story claims that the carol, once performed, was promptly forgotten until an organ repairman found the manuscript in 1825 and revived it. However, Gruber published various arrangements of it throughout his lifetime and we now have the Mohr arrangement (ca. 1820) that is kept at the Museum Carolino Augusteum in Salzburg.
The carol has been translated into over 44 languages. It is sometimes sung without musical accompaniment.
The song was sung simultaneously in French, English and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914, as it was one of the few carols that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew.
The song has been recorded by over 300 artists, particularly successful in hit versions by Enya (sung in Irish), Andrea Bocelli (sung in Italian), Stevie Nicks, Bing Crosby, Mahalia Jackson, an acoustic version by American R 'n' B group Boyz II Men, and an instrumental version by Mannheim Steamroller. The Mannheim Steamroller backs narratives known as "The God Song" or "God's Silent Night" which have been distributed to radio stations across the USA. Simon and Garfunkel recorded an ironic version of the song in which a depressing radio news report is overheard in the background (7 O'Clock News/Silent Night). There have also been choral recordings by the King's College Choir and the Vienna Boys Choir. Other recordings include Linda Ronstadt from A Merry Little Christmas (2000); Christina Aguilera from My Kind of Christmas (2000), Elvis Presley from Elvis' Christmas Album (1957); and Tori Amos from Midwinter Graces (2009).
In 1943, the Austrian exile Hertha Pauli wrote the book "Silent Night. A Story of a Song", in which she explained to American children the origin of the song. The book was illustrated by Fritz Kredel and published by Alfred A. Knopf.
A 1988 dramatised television documentary called Silent Mouse tells the story of the creation of the carol from a mouse's point of view. It featured Lynn Redgrave as narrator, and Gregor Fisher in one of the leading roles.
Was recorded by The Supremes but remained unreleased until 1999 when their Christmas Album, Merry Christmas", was re-released with additional tracks.
In 2004, Clay Aiken recorded the song for his album Merry Christmas With Love.
Westlife performed the song live in 2002. In 2006, Brad Paisley recorded the song for Brad Paisley Christmas. In 2007, Damien Leith included a recording on a limited special Christmas edition of Where We Land. In 2009 a version by Susan Boyle reached #5 on the US Adult Contemporary billboard chart. Shelby Lynne recorded her version of Silent Night on her 2010 album Merry Christmas.
This site has a LOT of Christmas legends! I especially like the one about the Christmas spider, that explains the tradition of putting tinsel on the tree! I must say that we have NEVER hung a spider in our tree, however!
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come...Shakespeare
The day the LORD created hope was probably the same day that HE created Spring...Bern Williams
Here is a favorite of mine regarding the 12 Days of Christmas:
You're all familiar with the Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" I think. To most it's a delightful nonsense rhyme set to music. But it had a quite serious purpose when it was written.
It is a good deal more than just a repetitious melody with pretty phrases and a list of strange gifts.
Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829, when Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England, were prohibited from ANY practice of their faith by law - private OR public. It was a crime to BE a Catholic.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith - a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in *writing* indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged, or shortened by a head - or hanged, drawn and quartered, a rather peculiar and ghastly punishment I'm not aware was ever practiced anywhere else. Hanging, drawing and quartering involved hanging a person by the neck until they had almost, but not quite, suffocated to death; then the party was taken down from the gallows, and disembowelled while still alive; and while the entrails were still lying on the street, where the executioners stomped all over them, the victim was tied to four large farm horses, and literally torn into five parts - one to each limb and the remaining torso.
The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so..."
The other symbols mean the following:
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
I've not read your "It's CHRISTmas, Not x-mas!" but want to let you know that X-mas is just as legitimate as Christmas since the X is the Greek symbol for Christ. You can look at this link to learn more: http://www.womenoffaith.com/blog/2011/11/xmas/ ... referring to Christmas as X-mas is actually a very Christian thing. :)
© Reiman Media Group, LLC., 2013