The Real Origins of Santa Claus

Ask that and you’ll get answers as varied as “Of course!” from children and the young at heart, to “Oh, don’t be silly.” from old Scrooges and young “free thinkers.”

There really was a Santa Claus, of course, and we all acknowledge that, even the Scrooges, young and old. Where did it all start, though? This jolly little fat man who rides an airborne sleigh and slips down a sometimes nonexistent chimney started out to be a serious young man born in Turkey.

Either his parents died of the plague when he was young and he went to live in a monastery… or his parents sent him to a monastery because they knew he was “special.”

Or not.

It’s possible that he became a priest at 17 years old, and that he was imprisoned by the anti – Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian. He could have been released by Emperor Constantine later. He no doubt attended the first council in Nicaea in 325 when the Nicene Creed was established.

He might have given money anonymously by throwing it down the chimney of a suddenly poor family so that the daughters could be married instead of going into prostitution, at a time when no man would marry a woman without a dowry.

A sea may have been miraculously calmed by his prayers.

Is it legend or history that has this Saint throwing gold down chimneys (or through windows)? No one knows for certain. That is to say that there is no written “proof” of any of it and since our modern minds require the written word as proof, Saint Nicolas’ life seems to be mysterious.

Having survived the lack of specifics in ancient writings, the over dramatization in the Age of Romanticism, the Puritan fear of pleasure and the unimaginative treatment by our present jaded spirits, it’s small wonder that the story of the life and faith of Saint Nicholas is relegated to the realm of mythology.

It is no myth. Saint Nicholas was a real person. He was the Bishop of Myra, now Demre, Turkey. He died in 343 AD and was buried there.

Over the years and through the cultures and story telling, this generous and faithful Saint Nicholas become Father Christmas and Papa Noel and Kris Kringle and Santa Claus and more.

Since so many of these (Think: North Pole and flying reindeer!) are obviously made up stories to entertain, titillate and encourage children to be good, the original story of Saint Nicholas is, of course, clouded with the same overtones.

How To Make The Most Of Your Vacation

If there is one thing most of us never seem to get enough of, it is vacation time. It’s like it ends before our bags are fully unpacked. However, these strategies can help you make the most of your time.

  1. Keep The Anticipation At Bay
    The thought of taking your vacation gets your adrenaline rushing. The numerous trips to choose from gets us all excited. Surprisingly, for some people, this excitement wears off soon after reaching the destination. To counter these drops in energy, it is advisable to plan the trip in advance so as to have ample time for anticipation.
  3. Make A Plan To Suit Your Budget
    Once you know exactly how much you are willing to spend, you should come up with a plan on how to properly spend that money to make it worth your while. Of course we all go overboard sometimes and spend more than we had actually planned for. Still, if you can, stick to your budget to avoid unnecessary financial problems when you get back home.
  4. Prepare Well In Advance
    It is advisable to prepare yourself for the trip in advance. Do not let things like packing, plane tickets, visas or even vaccinations if required, wait until the last minute. Have a list of everything you should do before your trip and make the time to do it.
  6. Keep A Sensible Schedule
    With a new environment and all, it is tempting to want to stretch ourselves to do as much as we can. This can actually be very stressing. Choose ample time to enjoy each activity as much as you can and leave the remainder for the next vacation.
  7. Relax.
    However tempting the idea of carrying your work with you may be, remember this is a vacation. This is your time to rest. It is good to inform your work associates of your trip in advance to avoid unnecessary communication during the trip.
    With the above pointers, we hope that in your next vacation and all thereafter, you will be able to make the most of it.

Holiday Hot Tips Every Parent Needs!

Here comes the long much-awaited December holidays! Every parent looks forward towards having a happy time while to others, it is the opposite! The long December holidays comes with great demand and attention needed especially when young and growing children are involved. However, the only key to succeeding towards achieving that requires lots of getting to know each other well and bonding for both the parents and the children. Children prefer spending the long December holidays with either parents, schoolmates, friends or guardians. Here are a few hot tips to grab along during the long December holidays as a parent or as a guardian to the children!

  • Provide a Friendly Environment

Find and create some time to get to know and learn the children well. Not all children have similar traits and personalities thus each need handling differently. For example, give the necessary care and support to that particular child, if need be a friendly environment also comes in handy. Provide and allow that same school type environment for the ones that need to catch up with their homework carried from school during the long December holidays.

  • Feeding and Eating Healthy

Feeding and Eating healthy comes handy too during the long December holidays for the children. Keep off both purchase and cooking of unhealthy junk-like foodstuff in the house. For example, children need to grow up eating healthy food, be aware of the benefits of healthy eating to prevent related illnesses and disorders such as obesity and malnutrition. Drinking a few glasses of clean treated water comes in handy too as this very vital body ingredient helps the blood to circulate in the body well, water also cools the body organs, refreshes the body and mind too. Not forgetting the essential daily exercises and healthy eating are a plus for a healthy growing mind and body!

  • Engaging in Parental Networking

Share and exchange notes by networking with other parents, attend and participate in various community and online parenting groups, online social media parental groups or pages and forums around that your home area or society at large. For example, engaging in outdoor games and activities help refresh minds. Allow the children to discover other outdoor talents during the long December holidays.

  • Follow Strict Planned Budgets

Stick to a daily routine program and strict planned budget to skip the common mistake of impulse buying, a habit most parents find hard to explain later when finances start drying up yet the holiday is still not over. For example, when going for shopping, avoid purchasing and stocking unwanted, unnecessary and uncalled of household supplies and food as this digs into the holiday’s budget thus cutting most expected expenses short.

Most families come together to spend that precious time and period during the long December holidays. A family that keeps themselves busy together and eats and drinks healthy will not realize that the holidays are over since the clock ticks faster! Each bright day brings along a different activity for each family member, sharing the love that comes with a sunny day is the key to a healthy happy family. Healthy eating and drinking clean treated water is one critical essential not to miss during these long December holidays. Happy Holidays To You All!