CHRISTMAS STORIES

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The little shepherd boy                                                

 

Once upon a time there was a little shepherd boy sleeping beneath his warm featherbed. Suddenly he saw - before his inner eye - without knowing if he was awake or dreaming - how the little baby was lying in the hard cryb, freezing on a handful of straw, because it didn't have any cuilt at all. He clearly saw both the baby in it's poor bed, and himself under the huge featherbed. "This is too bad", he thought. "Here am I, warm and comfortable, while he little baby has to be freezing in that cold stable". 

With a jump he was out of bed and rolled up his featherbed. He put it under his arm to carry to the place where he had seen the child.

While walking, barefoot in the snow, over the fields, suddenly an angel stood in front of him. And the angel said ;" Be without fear and sorrow - you good little human beeing. This little child is freezing for the sake of all mankind, yours included. But some time you will be seated next to Him in heaven. And when the churchbells chime for Christmas, then you can shake your featherbed over the earth, so that the feathers can dance and whirle over the fields."

And when the snow falls on Christmas Day, then we know that it's the little shepherd boy shaking his featherbed, so that the light, white feathers whirl and cover everything in the colour of innosence. And bushes and trees, forest and fields go to sleep under the sheltered ciult that once was given to the heavenly child - and therefore benefits all creatures. 

 

 
 

Why do we hang up a stocking ?

According to legend the practice of hanging up stockings originated with St. Nicholas. 

It was claimed that once while trying to help a man who needed a dowry for his daughter, Nicholas threw a bag of gold through the man's window. The bag of gold landed in one of the girl's stockings that had been hung up to dry.

 

 

Legend of the Christmas Candle

The practice of placing candles in windows in December probably originated in pre Christian times as part of winter solstice celebrations. However the legend recounted below demonstrated how Christians reinterpreted these candles to represent the light and peace of Christ.

Many years ago an old cobbler and his wife lived in a little village in Austria. Although very poor, whatever they owned they shared with others. Each night they placed a lighted candle in the window of their cottage.. a sign of hospitality to any traveler needing shelter.

Through the years this little village was plagued with war and famine. Yet as though some mysterious charm guarded them, the cobbler and his wife suffered far less that their neighbors.

One evening, on the night before Christmas, the villagers gathered to discuss their plight. "There is something special about the cobbler and his wife. They are always spared our misfortunes. What do they do that we do not? Let us put a candle in our windows too," said one villager, "perhaps that is the charm "

That night a candle was lighted in the window of every home, and lo, before the sun rose, a messenger brought great news to the village. Peace had come! The villagers gave thanks to God for this blessing of Peace and vowed to always light candles on  Christmas Eve.

This beautiful custom spread throughout the world and each Christmas millions of candles light up our world with their message of love, and everlasting joy.

 
 
Snekker Andersen og julenissen. (Alf PrÝysen)

It's not really Christmas time in Norway until this gordious story about "Carpenter Andersen and Santa" is read. If you manage to read Norwegian language, you'll find the story here ; http://westwood.fortunecity.com/hermes/404/jul/jhistorie2b.htm

 

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