Kỳ giáng sinh đáng nhớ
Most Memorable Christmas
Ever since I could remember, I have spent Christmas at my grandmother’s house, a house which is full of comfort, warmth, and happiness. At Christmas, I have always been able to escape the cold and dark real world allowing myself to truly enjoy just several moments in time. These moments have left impressionable memories from my childhood making Christmas a holiday that is special to me and my family. It is a time for my family to get together, share stories, laugh, and even cry.
My most memorable Christmas is one from my past. I was about six years old. I clearly remember sitting in class on the last day of school before Christmas vacation anticipating the bell to ring and signify that the classes were finally over. As the bell rang, I ran out of that class, and once I got home I was ready in an instant to leave for my grandmother’s where I would spend my holidays. It was a two hour drive to my grandmother’s house. I was very impatient throughout the entire drive. I couldn’t wait to see my grandma, my cousin, and my aunts. To make things better, however, snow started to fall filling me with hopes of a snowball fight the next day.
Finally, we arrived at our destination. I left the car leaving my parents and little brother behind and ran up the steps to my grandma’s house. I just had to be the first one to knock on her door, so I did. She opened the door for me, and I went inside parting with the bitter cold and darkness surrounding me. Inside the house I was immediately encircled with the aromas of her Christmas cooking and baking. A real fresh Christmas tree which was already beautifully adorned with old family ornaments perforated the air with more holiday aromas. I went into the kitchen with my mom, and together we helped my grandma finish preparing the Christmas Eve dinner.
Soon, we all sat around the dinner table enjoying my grandma’s culinary specialties. There was one dish that had stuck in my mind though, possibly because it was the last dish served that night. The dessert was pears in hot chocolate and it was delicious. I can still taste the sweetness of the pear and the way the chocolate melted at the tip of my tongue. It was a perfect way to end the evening meal. As I prepared to go to midnight mass with my family that evening, I knew the next day would be even better for it was Christmas, the most magical time of the year.
Ý nghĩa của giáng sinh
The True Meaning of Christmas
The True Meaning of Christmas
The birth of Christ
Since about 400 AD, Christians have celebrated the birth of Jesus.
'Christ' means 'Messiah' or 'Anointed One' - the title given to Jesus
- and 'Mass' was a religious festival.
In the West today, the real meaning of Christmas is often forgotten.
It has become a non-religious holiday! More children believe in Father
Christmas than in Jesus. Christmas Day is a time for eating and
drinking too much and watching television.
But the real Christmas story is found in the Christian Bible. It is
told in two different books: Matthew and Luke chapters 1 and 2. You
may think that the story of the birth of Jesus, and the way that the
West celebrates Christmas today, do not seem to have many connections
.These chapters tell how Jesus was born as a baby to Mary. This was no
ordinary birth! She was not married, she was a virgin, (yes, really!)
and an angel had told her she would bear a special baby. Her
husband-to-be, Joseph, did not believe her at first. Who would? Then
an angel told him in a dream that it was true! Probably no one else
believed it. So when they had to travel from their home in Nazareth to
Bethlehem (near Jerusalem), to register their names with the ruling
Roman government, they probably escaped many hard words from other
Arrival in Bethlehem brought worry and upset: there was no room for
them to stay at the hotel. There was only space in the stable - the
animal house for travellers' donkeys and horses. Jesus was born that
night, and as they had no bed for him, they used an animal feeding box
filled with the dry grass the animals ate. Christmas cards and
pictures today make it all seem very nice. In truth, it must have been
dirty and frightening for a young couple, far from their home and
families. Possibly the birth was premature after the stress of the
journey. This was a very poor place for Jesus to start his life on
earth. This symbolized that God wasn't only to be prayed by the rich
but also by the poor.
Christmas, what is it really about?
From November onwards, it is impossible to forget that Christmas is
coming. Coloured lights decorate many town centers and shops, along
with shiny decorations, and artificial snow painted on shop windows.
In streets and shops, 'Christmas trees' (real or plastic evergreen
'conifer' trees) will also be decorated with lights and Christmas
Shopping centers become busier as December approaches and often stay
open till late.Shopping centre speaker systems will play Christmas
'carols' - the traditional Christmas Christian songs, and groups of
people will often sing carols on the streets to raise money for
charity. Most places of work will hold a short Christmas party about a
week before Christmas. Although traditional Christmas foods may be
eaten, drink (and plenty of it) means that little work will be done
after the party! By mid-December, most homes will also be decorated
with Christmas trees, coloured lights and paper or plastic decorations
around the rooms. These days, many more people also decorate garden
trees or house walls with coloured electric lights, a habit which has
long been popular in USA.
In many countries, most people post Christmas greeting cards to their
friends and family, and these cards will be hung on the walls of their
homes. In UK this year, the British Post Office expects to handle over
100 million cards EACH DAY, in the three weeks before Christmas.
The custom of sending Christmas cards started in Britain in 1840 when
the first 'Penny Post' public postal deliveries began. (Helped by the
new railway system, the public postal service was the 19th century's
communication revolution, just as email is for us today.) As printing
methods improved, Christmas cards were produced in large numbers from
about 1860. They became even more popular in Britain when a card could
be posted in an unsealed envelope for one half-penny - half the price
of an ordinary letter.
Traditionally, Christmas cards showed religious pictures - Mary,
Joseph and baby Jesus, or other parts of the Christmas story. Today,
pictures are often jokes, winter pictures, Father Christmas, or
romantic scenes of life in past times.
The old man with the sack
'Father Christmas' (or 'Santa Claus') has become the human face of
Christmas. Pictures will be seen everywhere of the old man with long
white beard, red coat, and bag of toys. Children are taught that he
brings them presents the night before Christmas (or in some countries
on December 6th - St. Nicholas' Day), and many children up to the age
of 7 or 8 really believe this is true. In most countries, it is said
that he lives near the North Pole, and arrives through the sky on a
sledge (snow-cart) pulled by reindeer. He comes into houses down the
chimney at midnight and places presents for the children in socks or
bags by their beds or in front of the family Christmas tree.
In shops or at children's parties, someone will dress up as Father
Christmas and give small presents to children, or ask them what gifts
they want for Christmas. Christmas can be a time of magic and
excitement for children.
Who was he?
Father Christmas is based on a real person, St. Nicholas, which
explains his other name 'Santa Claus' which comes from the Dutch
'Sinterklaas'. Nicholas was a Christian leader from Myra (in
modern-day Turkey) in the 4th century AD. He was very shy, and wanted
to give money to poor people without them knowing about it. It is said
that one day, he climbed the roof of a house and dropped a purse of
money down the chimney. It landed in the stocking which a girl had put
to dry by the fire! This may explain the belief that Father Christmas
comes down the chimney and places gifts in children's stockings
In English-speaking countries, the day following Christmas Day is
called 'Boxing Day'. This word comes from the custom which started in
the middle Ages around 800 years ago: churches would open their 'alms
boxe' (boxes in which people had placed gifts of money) and distribute
the contents to poor people in the neighbourhood on the day after
Christmas. The tradition continues today - small gifts are often given
to delivery workers such as postal staff and children who deliver
I myself am not very religious but when it comes to special religious
holidays I make sure I go to the service they are holding such as the
Christmas eve and day mass service.
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