Christmas is a truly special and magical season for almost anyone! However, it is even more special for children, who look forward to the festive celebrations, joyous moments, and wonderful gifts that will be waiting for them under the Christmas tree. During the Christmas holidays, children get to spend most of their time playing with their friends and engaging in quality time with their parents. So, how about sharing some amazing facts about Christmas with them this year?
It is quite beneficial for kids not to associate Christmas only with presents and games but to actually learn about its customs and origins. You should explain to your children that Christmas is an annual Christian holiday which celebrates the birth of God’s son, Jesus Christ. After Jesus’ death, the Church chose the 25th day of December to commemorate His birthday, and hence this day holds religious significance for all Christians, from any part of the world. This is precisely why Christmas is also referred to as X mas, since the “X” in “X Mas” is the word “Christ” in the Greek language. To elaborate on Christmas’ religious symbolism, the branches of the Christmas tree symbolize the thorn crown that Jesus Christ was wearing during His crucifixion. The origin of the custom of decorating a tree though comes from the ancient Egyptians and Romans who used evergreen trees, like fir or pine trees, and embellished them with wreaths and garlands. In the 16th century, the Germans started decorating Christmas trees with fruits and nuts and, over time, the decoration of the Christmas tree came to be as we know it today, with so many different types, shapes, and sizes of ornaments and, of course, colourful lights. The first electric tree lights, however, were used much later, specifically in 1895! Another interesting detail about Christmas trees is that they are also called Yule trees. In fact, Yule is the name of an Old Winter Solstice festival that takes place in many parts of Northern Europe.
Every child tries to be good throughout the year to be rewarded by Santa and his little helpers. Nonetheless, you should think about Santa, who travels all around the world bearing gifts for thousands of children and offer him gifts too. What Santa wants is cookies and milk to keep him happy and give him energy to continue his long but jubilant journey. Interestingly, in the Netherlands and Germany, as well as in other European countries, children fill their shoes with hay and carrot so that the reindeers have something to eat as well! In return, St Nicholas leaves them candies and apples to reward them if they have been nice and not naughty. While most gifts are usually placed under the Christmas tree, another pretty exiting tradition is the nailing of big and festive Christmas stockings for Santa to fill with various kinds of candy and chocolate, giving the children the most delicious treats! While kids get gifts, adults usually exchange Christmas cards to express love and appreciation to each other. Some people even offer handmade cards that they draw, cut and, embellish themselves.
If you are looking for unique travel destinations, there are two islands that are called Christmas. The first one, which was initially known as Kiritimati, is in the Pacific Ocean, it has less than 2000 inhabitants, and it is the ideal destination for nature lovers who want to observe a rich diversity of fauna and flora. The second one is in the Indian Ocean and is famous for its red crabs, sea birds, and impressive coral reefs.
Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones, sharing wonderful moments, and creating special memories that will last a lifetime. RMHC® Cyprus’ goal is to keep families close so that parents can be there for their children during difficult times. We constantly try to accomplish our vision to provide a home away from home to the families of hospitalized children so that all children can be as happy as possible.