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Christmas is a time for love, and Love, to me, AWAYS means GIVING without expecting something in return. Yet, ask any child what Christmas is all about and you will be told it is about GETTING. We have educated them into this way of thinking.

Santa, like the original St. Nicholas, traditionally comes in the night, unseen, expecting no return for his generosity. Giving to those who are in need, not to those who merely want. We should all, including children, be Santas at Christmas time and, indeed, at all times.

We hear parents saying they have taken the children to "see" the Crib with its lights and shepherds and animals. Yet the Crib is supposed to remind us that God has GIVEN us a Saviour because we NEED a Saviour.

Maltese Crib in St. Peter's Square, Rome, 2016.


Have a joyous Christmas my friend!

A favourite by Benozzo Gozzoli

Thank you. I have never seen any of his work before.
This one lives in Assisi so I'm surprised you haven't seen it.

Edited at 2016-12-23 13:50 (UTC)
I must admit that I like a more modern nativity. Rather like this one by Lalo Garcia.


Have a wonderful Christmas, however. Blessings upon you and yours.

- Erulisse (one L)

I think that over-simplifies a bit. Gratitude is a loving virtue as well as generosity.
Surely gratitude is giving thanks.
I have no faith in religion but I do celebrate Christmas as a family time, because the days are set as public holidays, so we can all spend this time together. My children are not raised with a belief in a fairy tale being who magically sneaks into your house and delivers presents, rather they know where their presents come from, and they get them because they are loved.

Part of their present, every year, is a donation in their name. We discuss where to donate (this year it was to a local homeless shelter) We also put presents under the local giving tree. I usually choose presents suitable for a teenager, because most people forget about them. Christmas should be magic, whether you believe, or not.