Christmas Gifts

In ancient Rome, from December 17 to 23, a festival called Saturnalia was celebrated with a sacrifice, banquets, and gift-giving. It was a time of giving thanks to the god of agriculture, Saturn. Extravagant gifts were in contradiction to the spirit of Saturn, so the lowliest, silliest, or mundane gift was considered the best.

In 312 AD, the Roman emperor, Constantine, converted to Christianity. The gift giving as represented by the magi gradually replaced the gifts from plain to the best or richest. Nickolas of Myra was known for his love of giving gifts. After his death, he was named Saint Nicholas, the saint of gift-giving. As Christianity spread across Europe, various traditions and interpretations emerged including the story of Santa Claus.

When one gives gifts from the heart, there is a natural benefit to the giver: the heart is healthier, stress is reduced, and endorphins are released. The giver does not expect anything in return.

Wishing you each a blessed Christmas.

GIVING THANKS DAY

My Tanka poem about thankfulness.

  A hand reaches out
A mystical light surrounds
One's heart soars with love
Touching, embracing, filling
Lifting, teaching,and guiding.

For me, this day is about “Giving Thanks Day” rather than Thanksgiving Day. Today, I celebrate my family, friends, acquaintances, physicians, nurses, teachers, and even strangers, who have touched my life. I give thanks to each who has been with me on my path: leading, following, lifting, encouraging, and helping me. To each of you who read and follow my blogs, “thank you”.

Let’s give thanks at every opportunity, every day.