Ratchford: The gift of Christmas

Dec. 2, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by The Tony Ratchford Group.

By Tony Ratchford

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

― Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas is known mostly as a religious celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. Although the actual birth date of Christ is unknown, the Catholic Church proclaimed Dec. 25 as the official date in 336.

Today, Christmas is still celebrated by many as a religious event and simply as a holiday with time for gatherings and gifts. Regardless, it is a festive time of great celebration.

One might wonder how Christmas evolved into the giving of gifts. Some believe it began with the gift of Jesus to the world, some think of it as an example of the three wise men who brought gifts to the baby Jesus, and others believe it was from earlier years of the pagan celebration for the winter solstice.

Our present tradition may be traced back to St. Nicholas and his anonymous giving of gold to a poor man and his daughters. As stories go with time, different versions emerged until 1823 when Clement Clarke Moore wrote “’Twas the Night before Christmas” for his children, followed by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” in 1843 and with the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in 1949.

And so we have it: St Nicholas delivers gifts to kids with the help of ghosts and reindeer. The story and celebrations evolve as we expand into an even larger season of giving.

Today, there are many forms of celebration, but nearly all of them circle around the idea of giving someone a gift to show you care. This is usually in the form of song, food or toys or just a gathering of friends and family.

Whatever the gift, it always brings energy and laughter. And when there are no gifts, there are many others who look for those without and share what they can. It warms the hearts of those who give as much as those who receive. It brings hope that for one day we can forget all the ugliness and be filled with joy and gratitude.

May you have the best this holiday season and a Merry Christmas with abundance and fond memories of family and friends.

And from my world, I wish you a joyous celebration for the birth of Jesus Christ.

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Ratchford: The gift of Christmas

You’ll find a little history and a lot of holiday cheer in real estate columnist Tony Ratchford’s message this month.

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