Christmas, with holly, ivy and mistletoe, winter's evergreens. What though we rove the woods no more Should....
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Salvation Sound - December 2007/January 2008

Posted on December 7, 2007

This article was published in December 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Salvation ArmyChristmas, with holly, ivy and mistletoe, winter's evergreens.

What though we rove the woods no more
Should we not still be gay.
When winter hoar, has leaves in store
That never fade away.? "

Holly was sacred to Saturn - thanks to its distinctive appearance the Church was able to eradicate the pagan beliefs and give the holly a new symbolism; the spiked leaves representing the crown of thorns, the berries, Christ's blood. Ivy was dedicated to the god Bacchus; he is usually depicted wearing a crown of ivy and carrying a staff entwined with it. Ivy was believed to ward of drunkenness. Mistletoe is held by Druids in great reverence; they esteem it as a gift sent from heaven, and hold the tree on which it is found as sacred.

"Then let us all each other aid,
Where friendships wreath is seen,
'Tis never made of flowers that fade
But of the evergreen."

Christmas box, Christmas card, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas pudding, Christmas rose, Christmas tree; a young conifer, decorated with baubles and lights. The custom was a Medieval German tradition, but is now practised in many Western countries. The tree most commonly used is the Norway Spruce.

So cometh that busy time of year we call CHRISTMAS.........

I thought of Christmas and the nativity,
Of promised joy, families and festivity,
Bells ringing from church spire,
The smell of pine from an open fire.
I thought of Jack Frost and icy tableaux,
Of misty breath, and blue winter shadows,
Of moonlight and starshine,
Of black velvet nights and cold winds whine.
I thought of ivy and mistletoe, and tall fir trees;
And of men and women upon their knees
Whispering a prayer of hope
That crabbed mankind on earth might cope.
I thought of presents, gifts to delight,
Of feasting, of crackers, of candlelight;
Of carols and choirs singing;
Of angels through heaven winging.
I thought of Santa, and children, trying to sleep,
I thought of shepherds herding sheep.
I thought of a donkey heavily laden,
That beast of burden, carrying a maiden.
I thought of Mary. and Joseph, awaiting a 'stranger';
I thought then of the baby, lying in a manger.
That tiny babe born in a stall;
At His feet, wise men did fall,
For He was the gift of God's own Son,
Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Blessed One.
He came to earth for our salvation,
Sing songs to Him of exultation.
The Saviour who was once a child
Walked this earth all undefiled.
I thought then how once again
He soon will come as king to reign,
So let us now our homage pay,
And look forward to that glorious day......

May you all be blessed this Christmastime and may the New Year bring health and happiness to each one.

Soon 'twill be Spring......

Source: Focus - December/January 2008

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