Thursday, December 20, 2012

CHRISTMAS LEGEND (Legend of the Christmas Tree)

Legend of the Christmas Tree
     There once was a woodcutter who lived with his family deep in the forest. One Christmas Eve, they sat down for supper when they heard a knock at the door.
     When they went to answer, they opened the door and on the other side stood a child in torn and ragged clothes, pale and hungry. They invited the child inside, gave him a portion of their food, even though they did not have much to share, and they allowed him to warm up in front of the fireplace.
     The family gathered in another room and they prayed to God for the poor child. They thanked God that they were able to help him and they also thanked God that they had food, clothing, shelter and comfortable beds, unlike the stranger child they accepted into their home. 
     Then, having compassion for the child, the woodcutters two children offered their comfortable bed to the child while they slept on a hard and very uncomfortable bench.
     In the early morning, they awoke to the most beautiful singing they had ever heard. They went to the window and they saw the orphaned child standing with a choir of angels singing a lovely Christmas carol. The child was no  longer wearing the tattered clothing but was dressed in a magnificent robe surrounded by a glowing light.
     When the child saw the woodcutter and his family he said, "I Am the Christ Child. I have received your kindness and now this is My gift to you." He broke a branch from a small fir tree and planted it. He told them, "From this day forward, this tree shall bear fruit at Christmas and you shall have plenty even in the cold winter."
     As they stood listening, the branch grew into a beautiful tree covered with fruit.

FAST FACT: The Christmas tree originated in Germany. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, people in Europe performed miracle or mystery plays in front of Cathedrals during the Advent season. This was a means to teach the Bible since few people could read the Scriptures.
     The evergreen tree was often used as a prop. It's image lasted in the minds of those attending and influenced the German people to bring trees into their homes at Christmas.
     The fir tree in the plays represented the tree of life as well as sin, so people first decorated trees with little religious figurines on the branches.
     This cherished tradition of celebrating Christ's birth around a decorated tree is one of the most popular and beloved parts of our Chrsitmas season.