Santa’s Reindeer

Christmas sky.: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen are the names of Santa’s original reindeer. The animals who pull Santa’s sleigh from house to house across the world delivering presents. The names were given to them by Clement Clarke Moore in his poem a “Visit from St. Nicholas.” Today this poem is known as “The Night Before Christmas.” This is the way it was from the time the poem was published in the year 1823 to 1939 when Rudolph made his debut.

Vintage Greeting Card Christmas Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer RLM Snowman 1950s: Robert L. May wrote Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in a verse for the Montgomery Ward department store chain. Sold as a book to children, Rudolph became a Christmas classic for all to enjoy across America. We all know what the story is about. An ostracized reindeer due to his red nose leads to him saving the day when a terrible fog affects Santa’s site for delivering presents. Rudolph leads Santa’s sleigh saving Christmas for all to enjoy.

1883 St Nicholas Magazine When I was a small child in the early sixties, we used to have "St. Nicholas Day". All it was was that our parents would leave one toy on our living room mantel and say that St. Nicholas stopped by. I think it was in early December.Ah, memories.: Santa’s reindeer came from poems. Although, a century apart, the reindeer have made their mark on Christmas. Clement Clarke Moore and Robert L. May created popular Christmas characters for all to enjoy. The legend of the reindeer lives on all do the words children enjoy.


Santa Claus

Vintage Greeting Card Christmas Santa Claus Sleigh Cheerio! v197: Right now children around the world are preparing for the annual visit from Santa Claus. The jolly elf who dresses in a red suit and deliver presents to children on Christmas Eve. There are many different origins from where Santa Claus came from. Such as Germanic paganism with the god Odin. Today many people believe the origin of Santa Claus to be Saint Nicholas. The man who is believed to have partaken in secret gift giving. Commonly, called Saint Nick due to the poem “The Night Before Christmas,” the tradition of Santa Clause started long ago.

Do you know the names of Santa around the World? Before he was checking his list twice deciding who was good and bad. Santa Claus made his debut on Christmas Eve in the poem, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.” Written by a pastor who was ashamed of what would people would think of the poem, Clement Clarke Moore published it anonymous. Little did he know that this poem would go on to be a hit with the children.

Soon children every where started preparing for a visit from Saint Nicholas. Children already had an image in their mind of what Saint Nicholas looked like because of an illustration that went along with the poem. Clement Moore’s poem would become known as “The Night Before Christams.”As time went on the name St. Nicholas went out and Santa Claus came in taking the name from the Dutch character.

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS Postcard: There was Santa Claus around in many different religions and practices before Clement Moore’s poem became published. But, what made him popular for Christmas Eve was a poem. Santa Claus is a legend that will live on for future generations to enjoy.

The Battle of the Bulge

117th Infantry North Carolina NG at St. Vith 1945.jpg

Today 70 years ago the Battle of the Bulge took place. This is a battle that is well known. However, some people do not know the significance of this historic battle. After the Allies, had invaded Europe, Adolf Hitler launched a major offensive against them. The Americans were moving close to Berlin with impressive speed and Hitler need to stop them.

In the forest of the Ardennes forest of Belgium, this battle began. The Allies were pushed back with many casualties. This battle was a sneak attack because the Germans were able to sneak in undetected. Dressed in Allied army uniforms, some German soldiers were able to obtain information beforehand. This gave the Germans valuable information. During the battle some of them were caught, admitting their goal was to kill the generals. This lead to their being mistrust among the soldiers. This battle would rage on until General Patten came with his troops to stop the Nazis.

The Battle of the Bulge would last longer than a month. Hitler’s Nazis were able to pull of the surprise of the war. The Allies were able to pursue and accomplish winning the war. The Battle of the Bulge cost the lives of 89.500 Americans and 1,408 Britons.

Oh, Christmas Tree

Vintage Christmas card.* 1500 free paper dolls toys at Arielle Gabriels The International Paper Doll Society Christmas gift for Pinterest pals also free Asian paper dolls The China Adventures of Arielle Gabriel Merry Christmas to Pinterest users *: Many homes right now have a Christmas tree, whether it be real or fake there is one. This tradition that started in Germany has quite the history behind it. There is the belief that there are several different countries that had a Christmas tree like tradition dating back to the 16th century. Here are some facts about, what is considered, to be the origins of the Christmas tree from several different countries.

  • Georgia: Chichilaki is a white tree that the Georgians use today. This shape is very similar to that of a Christmas tree, the biggest difference is the color of the tree is white. It is said to resemble the beard of St. Basil the Great, a man similar to Santa Claus.
  • Poland: An old pagan custom of a branch of fir, spruce or pine from the ceiling. This is called  Podłaźniczka, which is associated with Koliada a winter festival. The branch would be decorated with fruits, nuts, cookie, colored paper, and stars. Eventually, this was replaced in the late 18th century with the German tradition of the Christmas tree.
  • In the good old days when there were REAL candles on the tree!: Scandanavia and Germany: The Norse mythology, the oak was sacred to the god Thor. Eventually, with the Christianize this lead to the oaks replacement of Thor by those who honored Saint Boniface.
  • Estonia and Latvia: The tradition of decorating trees is believed to have started with entertaining the children and store apprentices during the winter season. The Brotherhood of Blackheads would put up the tree until the end of the season they would take the tree down and dance around it. The tree’s would primarily be up in guild halls and other places of gathering.

Not Biltmore House, but a vintage Christmas tree (ca. 1900s) with real candles. What a great picture from the past!: As time goes on the tradition of using a tree to decorate started to evolve. Around the 18th century, several countries began to start up the tradition of the Christmas tree we know today.

  • Germany: Although, this tradition had not spread to the mainland, in Rhineland this custom became well known. The use of wax candles and expensive items were used to decorate the tree. Around 1815, the custom began to gain recognition when Prussian officials emigrated Germany following the Congress of Vienna. One of the decisive factors in deciding the use of the Christmas tree was placing them in the Army barracks during the Franco-Prussian War.
  • The History of Christmas Trees -- Christmas Customs and Traditions -- whychristmas?com: European Nobility: I know this isn’t a specific country, but the use of the Christmas tree in European Nobility spread as far as Russia. Introduced by nobility in Austria and Denmark this tradition began to grow and become enjoyed by all.
  • Britain: When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert the use of the Christmas tree would become a fast Christmas decoration within the next year. Prince Albert was German, so he brought over the tradition of the Christmas tree with him. In 1841, the use of the tree in the middle class became more widespread.
  • A Vintage 1950's Christmas tree. | I love trees dripping with silver tinsel...looks like icicles!: Canada: In 1781, the Christmas tree was introduced by Brunswick soldiers. Eventually, it became a custom in holiday parties once army generals began using them.
  • United States: With many immigrants, those of German descent brought over the custom of the Christmas tree with them. However, the use of the Christmas tree became more widespread when a newspaper showed a clipping of the Christmas tree in Windsor Castle in 1841. Yes, once again, Prince Albert inspired the decoration of the Christmas tree.

Victorian Celebration. Repinned by From the 20th century to today, the Christmas tree has become a custom that many partake in. When electricity came out, the use of Christmas lights became more common. Families go out to tree farms to cut down the perfect tree to place in their living room to decorate with ornaments. Then  there are those, who decide to get buy a fake one and not deal with the mess that a Christmas tree leaves. Today, all around the world, there are public displays of Christmas tree leading to a spectacle for all to enjoy.

Nanjing Massacre Anniversary

Many of us know about the mass murders that took place during the Nazi Germany occupation of Poland, Belgium, France and other countries they took over. What many of us don’ learn about is the brutal Nanjing Massacre that took place 78 years ago during the second Sino-Japanese War. After the Battle of Nanjing, the Japanese soldiers began rape, shoot, and torture the innocent citizens of this city is remembered. Learning about the horrors of the Nanjing Massacre horrified me. There were people who were buried alive, elderly women and young girls who were raped until they bled to death, and a contest to see who could decapitate the most people at one time. The Nanjing Massacre is something that must not be denied and learned about. Unfortunately, many people over look the Nanjing Massacre. However, I feel that this massacre must be remembered. It is believed that 300,000 people died. There are many pictures of this horrific ordeal, many of  them are to brutal to be shown.

Hanukkah: Gelt

A couple of days I did a blog post on the dreidel, the top that is played during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. While playing dreidel there is a pot of chocolate coins called gelt. According to Rabbi A.P. Bloch, the tradition of gelt began in the 17th century in Poland for children to give money to their teachers. As time went on this evolved into a custom for rabbis to approve of giving gelt to children during the holiday of Hanukkah. In legend there is the story of Maccabees victory and giving out Hasmoneans minted coins. By the 20th century chocolatiers had come across the tradition of giving out gelt during Hanukkah and started giving out chocolate coins. The history of giving out gelt during Hanukkah is a tradition that started long ago and still lives on today.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is known not only for using her freedom of expression, but also helped immensly in the movement of civil rights and African-American equality. Parks was asked to move to the back of the bus where black people were expected to sit, by the whites. When she refused, police became involved, essentially leading to her arrest. She remained anynonymous and did not take credit for this scenario until later in life.:

Sixty years ago today Rosa Parks sat in a bus seat and refused to move. Little did she know that this would catapult her to fame by refusing to move and standing up for herself. She sat their on the bus first with tired feet. At the time, the law in Alabama was written that any black person had to move for a white person on the city bus. There was already segregation by white and black, these laws were unjust and Rosa Parks proved it more that day. By refusing to move she was handcuffed and taken to jail. From there she gained many supporters leading to the Montgomery Boycott lead by Martin Luther King Jr. The boycott was a success in time. None the less, Rosa Parks made a difference in, not just America, but the world when she refused to move from the bus seat.

Nuremberg Trials

The Nuremberg Trials were held in order to punish Nazis for the crimes that were committed during the Holocaust and World War II. Victims of these horrible occurrences deserved justice. These trials were somewhat effective. Not all Nazi leaders were found guilty. For example, Adolf Hitler committed suicide before he could be tried and punished.:

This day in history comes a couple of days late. On November 20, 1945 the Nuremberg Trials started in Germany to punish the Nazis who had caused the death of so many. There were people who were exterminated by the Nazis for: Jewish, Romani, Poles, Homosexuality, Jehovah Witnesse, etc. When the Nuremberg Trials started the tragedy of the Holocaust was exposed to the world about what these men had done. The Nuremberg Trials will go down in history as a reminder to what had happened during the mass extermination in the concentration camps. Many of the men who went to trial were sentenced to death or prison for crimes against humanity and war crimes. Seventy years ago these trials happened that exposed everything wrong that the Nazi regime had caused.

The Gettysburg Address

abraham lincoln gettysburg address images | Bill of Rights Institute: Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address ...Nov. 19, 1863.:

All of us have probably heard the saying “Four score and seven years ago” spoken by Abraham Lincoln. This quote is part of the Gettysburg Address, that Lincoln gave following the historic Battle of Gettysburg. This famous speech covers the history of the United States of America up until 1863. By espousing the dreams of the Found Fathers through using the Declaration of Independence and the preservation of the Union, Lincoln had to craft his words carefully. He went into the importance of human equality in a country that was founded on principles of equality. The Gettysburg Address is still known today as one of the best known speeches spoken by a president in the United States of America.

History in Light

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison: One of the things we take for granted is the power of the electric light bulb. On this day in 1882, Thomas Edison officially lit the first commercial light bulb. Soon, the days where light came from gas lamps and candles only were to be gone. Thomas Edison became one of America’s great inventors. But, not before he had suffered from scarlet fever which lead to deafness. In school, he was forced out after three months. However, he continued on with his education through reading. Thomas Edison would go on, not only to invent the light bulb, but the phonograph and the motion picture camera. Just think where we would be today, in technological terms, if Thomas Edison gave up on learning after all the trouble he went through in school. Where would we be? Thomas Edison was one of America’s greatest inventors with a story of overcoming the odds leading to success.