Christmas is a magical, warm, family holiday following New Year’s Eve. Almost all children love and celebrate Christmas, however, few of them understand why the holiday has such a name, how it appeared, and what meaning it carries. Therefore, the task of all parents is to tell their kids about the holiday, its history, traditions, and rituals, for which Christmas is extremely rich.
For your kids to really be interested, the story should be simple and easy to understand. The best way out is to read the children’s Bible with the kids, where everything is written exactly like that. However, not all children can read and not all love to be read to. Some people just love to listen to stories from mom or dad, so prepare your knowledge in advance.
The Birth of Jesus Christ: the origins of the Holiday
An amazing story happened more than 2000 years ago, and the scene was Nazareth. A family lived in this city – Anna and Jokaim, who for a long time did not have children, whom they very much desired. But, finally, their wish came true, and the couple had a daughter, who was named Mary. But it so happened that the girl had to be orphaned, and a relative of the family, Joseph, who was already in advanced years, took up her upbringing. While still a girl, Mary made a vow that she would devote herself to God and would not have a husband.
But it so happened that the Archangel appeared to Mary and revealed to her the secret that soon she would have a child – the Son of God, who would become the savior of the world from evil and all troubles. And she began to expect the birth of a child.
At the same time, a decree was issued by Emperor Augustus, according to which a census was to be carried out. Therefore, all people had to return to the settlements where their relatives came from. So Mary and Joseph were forced to go to Bethlehem. Their journey was exhausting and long, and when they finally managed to get to the city, all the rooming houses were already occupied. Therefore, they had to hide in a cave where the shepherds stopped in order to hide from bad weather and wait it out. In addition, the time has come for Mary to give birth, because the newborn was born in a cave. The hem served as a diaper for the baby, and ingenuous pet feeders served as a cradle.
As soon as the child was born, an angel descended to earth and told all people that great joy had come, and the Son of God was born – the defender of mankind from torment and poverty. People rejoiced and began to celebrate. And since that time this great day is celebrated every year, and it is called the feast of the Nativity of Christ.
Evolution of Christmas Traditions
It is generally accepted that Christmas night is endowed with incredible energy, and everything that happens at this time is magical in nature. It is said that it is on this night that Angels descend to earth in order to listen to people’s dreams and bring them to life. That is why the custom of making wishes appeared at this time. So, some say their desires before going to bed. Others specifically write out their dreams on a piece of paper and leave it by the window so that the Angels can read them. And if what a person desires is sincere and does not harm anyone, his desire will certainly be fulfilled.
However, Angels do not fly to all houses. Therefore, you need to prepare in order to attract them. To do this, you can use candles that need to be installed on the windowsill, colorful New Year’s garlands, or a beautiful Christmas tree star mounted on top of a festive tree.
There are other ways of making wishes that you should definitely practice with the kids. So, on the eve of Christmas night, take a piece of white paper, draw an angel on it, and then carefully cut it out. Then, after making a wish, take a pen or pencil and draw one eye on it. When the wish made begins to come true little by little, draw the second eye to the angel. This site is considered incredibly powerful. Try it at least once – and you will definitely be surprised. It is necessary to save the angel where it is definitely not seen by strangers.
Events for the Christmas holiday
Perhaps the most interesting and provocative rite of Ukrainian Christmas is the custom of caroling. Toddlers, teenagers, and even grown-up boys and girls can join in singing carols. As a rule, carolers walk with a special stick, to which a star or a month is attached.
The main purpose of the caroling ceremony is to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, wish them health and happy life, and also congratulate them with Christmas songs. When carolers enter the house, the owners greet them joyfully. And after all the carols are sung, cheerful guests will certainly receive sweet treats, fruits, nuts, and sometimes money.
Caroling in Ukraine has turned into a full-fledged theater with costumes, which has no analogs in the world. Sometimes carolers use a nativity scene, and then a real performance unfolds before the audience, telling about the birth of the Son of God. And surely the companions of such performances are in a good mood, with perky laughter and funny jokes. Well, would you refuse to have your family receive a Merry Christmas greeting from such carolers?
You can try to learn carols yourself by connecting to these kids. And then go sing them to relatives, friends, and neighbors. If the age of the kids does not yet allow memorizing a whole song, you can try to learn a small Christmas rhyme:
Isusik little does not sleep, does not doze off.
With his hands The whole world embraces.
And your hut, and your family!
And all Ukraine! Christ is born!
Another option sounds like this:
I am a little shepherd
Wrapped up in a sheepskin coat,
I play the violin,
I congratulate you all.
And you, people, hear,
cook Kolyada –
For children for nursery rhymes!
Older children can try to learn a more difficult Carol:
Oh, there was a carol
On the streets of the city,
In silver ribbons,
In a light necklace.
scattered on the snow,
“The Son of God was born!” –
I told everyone.
Traditional table for Christmas
On the eve of Christmas, on the evening of January 6, Christmas Eve is celebrated, during which the whole family gathers at the same table. The meal begins with the appearance of the first star in the sky, and there should be 12 Lenten dishes on the table – according to the number of apostles.
Preceding the holiday is the Advent fast, which is not strict, but very important. On certain days of this fast, fish and wine are allowed. Therefore, they can be included in the Christmas menu.
The night before Christmas, from January 6 to 7, is considered by many to be the best time for divination. There are many ways to know your destiny – here are some of them:
- Tie a thread from the fingers to the elbow to the wedding ring. Take it by the free edge and ask a question that can be answered “yes” or “no”. If the ring swings are perpendicular to the body, the answer is “yes”, in parallel – “no”.
- After dinner, take an apple from the table and cut it into two parts. If the bones inside form an even star, then next year will be successful.
- Divination for love. Before going to bed with the words: “Narrowed-mummer, comb my head” put a comb under the pillow. Whoever dreams and combs his hair, he will be a lover.
Significance of Christmas Symbols
People’s signs, with which many Orthodox holidays are associated, also help to try to look into the future:
- Meeting a big dog on a holiday is a symbol of good luck.
- If a dark-haired man enters the house first among the guests, the whole new year will be happy.
- A thaw on Christmas day leads to a cold spring.
- A hard frost at Christmas leads to a hot summer.
- Blizzard – by early spring.
- A clear day – to a rich harvest and prosperity.
- Lots of snow on Christmas Eve is good news.
Christmas is almost knocking on the door, and we hope that with our tips you will be well prepared for the big celebration. No matter how you plan to celebrate Christmas, we wish you and your family happiness, health, and inspiration. May there always be harmony in your home, and may the Angels become reliable helpers.