Posts Tagged ‘St. Nicholas’

December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016

This is the sixth year we have shared stories on our Victorian Advent Blog.  As we have done since the beginning, on Christmas Eve, we share the classic poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, by Clement C. Moore, originally published in 1823.

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016

St. Nicholas was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra in Lycia. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.

Santa became popular in Christmas tradition when Sinter Klaus, Dutch for “Saint Nicholas,” was brought over by Dutch immigrants and they honored his death.  New York newspapers reported on this and his popularity grew!

St. Nicholas is the patron Saint of the Netherlands, and his feast day is observed every December 6, or December 19 in Eastern Christian countries.

December 24, 2015

December 24, 2015

This is the fifth year we have shared stories on our Victorian Advent Blog.  As we have done since the beginning, on Christmas Eve, we share the classic poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, by Clement C. Moore, originally published in 1823.  We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house.

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the housetop the coursers they flew

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

 

December 20, 2015

December 20, 2015

Up on the Rooftop

“Up on the rooftop, reindeer pause; out jumps good old Santa Claus”

And so opens the second oldest secular Christmas song, second only to Jingle Bells.  It is considered the oldest yuletide song as Jingle Bells, today associated with Christmas, was originally written as a Thanksgiving song.

This familiar carol was written in 1864 by Benjamin Hanby, clearly influenced by the myths and legends popularized by Clement C. Moore in his poem A Visit From St. Nicholas.

The first stanza and chorus are well known:

Up on the housetop reindeer pause,
Out jumps Good Old Santa Claus
Down through the chimney with lots of toys
All for the little ones, Christmas joys

Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn’t go? Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn’t go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with old Saint Nick

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

December 22, 2013

December 22, 2013

Christmas stockings!

In medieval times people across Europe celebrated St. Nicholas’s Day on December 6. In a number of northern European countries, folk traditions developed around the idea of St. Nicholas bringing treats to children on St. Nicholas Eve. Adults instructed children to leave their shoes by the fire that evening so that the saint could pop down the chimney and fill them up with fruit, nuts, and cookies. In some parts of Europe families substituted stockings for shoes. In Germany children began to hang stockings by the end of their beds on Christmas Eve so that the Christ child could fill them with treats. This stocking custom migrated to the United States, England, France and Italy during the nineteenth century.

December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012

We posted this one year ago today, but seeing as today is the night before Christmas, sharing this poem is only fitting.

Happy Christmas Eve to all of our readers.

 

A Visit from St. Nicholas

by Clement C. Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads, and Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap, when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the winder I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the lustre of midday to objects below, when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, with a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As the dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky, so up to the housetop the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard of the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, down the chimney came St. Nicholas with a bound.

He was all dressed in fur, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes – how they twinkled, his dimples – how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; the stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke of it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; a wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, and laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; he sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”