I saw this review of my first book just now. Jim is very honest about how he feels. Considering many guys can’t get into this book, I was pleased with what he had to say. 🙂 Thank you, Jim!
As we have settled into our modern day holiday traditions, the history of such traditions becomes lost. If you find that you would like to switch up the holiday experience, bring the family home for a bit of a lesson in how our culture adopted the ways of olde and still celebrate it in the style of yesterday.
Be creative when sending out your invitations (or delivering them) to those you would like to have present. Printed parchment rolled into scrolls and sealed with wax really set the stage. They are expensive to mail, so you may want to hand deliver all of them that you can. Another fun idea is to use the parchment paper like a summons to the lord’s court but instead of spearing it with an arrow in your guest’s door, you can use stickers that look like a wax seal to post it. Don’t knock on the door for delivery, just post it and leave it as a surprise. In the information printed, you should request that everyone come dressed in costume to further the experience.
In the early days, gifts were not exchanged as they are now. It was not until later that the tradition in lieu of the Three Wisemen began. If any gifts were given, it was usually the landlord of the town bestowing gifts on his staff or specific tenants depending on their station. It might have been a meal or a new tunic (shirt), never anything of great monetary value. There were many varying degrees of status in those days. The wealthier you were, the better your gift. That might mean that Jack down the street was privileged to a meal that included a boar’s head! Yet Mike was of a lesser station so he had to bring his napkin and plate with him and eat goose. However, Mike was allowed to take the leftovers with him in his napkin to share with others. Boy, how we have changed through time! How you handle the giving of gifts is up to you. Taking away the burden of finding that perfect gift from the family might make for an even more lighthearted evening!
At one time, it was not allowed to decorate within the home. Many pious people would decorate outdoor trees with hanging apples. Holly and Ivy would deck the entry doors of the home. Both plants are evergreen and symbolize new life that is promised to return in the spring, but Holly is said to begin with white berries that turn red, which refreshes within our minds the moment when the crown of thorns was placed on Jesus’ head. It is considered a very holy plant. The Christmas tree was a German tradition that was practiced in England many, many years later. Yet, medieval England did use the boughs for decoration.
The typical spread for either the Christmas feast or Epiphany (Jan. 6th) was a boar on the table, an apple in its mouth, mincemeat pies, and puddings like Frumenty. Less fortunate families would sport a goose or other waterfowl unless they were not lucky enough to have gotten a boar on a hunt. Turkey is an American bird and was not present on any table until settling the colonies.
Carols went through a time, when religion was cast in dark shadow, that it was outlawed. The carols we sing today took root in those days. However, it was viewed as being vulgar by the church. The carol of “The 12 Days of Christmas” was a learning song of memorization. Each of the gifts that were given by the true love (God) represented values of their church that they committed to song in order to worship and pass the ideals to their children. If you have time, decode some of the carols and trace their origins back in history. Share that with your guests as you sing songs through the night and think of those who were not free to worship God how they felt was appropriate.
In all, Christmas was a time of reverence and love. Often times in our day, much of the emotion is lost in the expectation of gifts. Taking a step back in time may take some of the commercialism out of your holiday celebrations. It could very well bring a sense of belonging and unity to your family this year.
My youngest son is a hilarious kid.
So what do you do as a parent when all he wants to dress up as for Halloween is food? His birthday falls just three days after the holiday, and all he wanted a few years back was a “hotdog” costume. Really? Really. So, I obliged him and found a “hotdog” costume and since it was after Halloween, I think it cost me less than $10. He was overjoyed!
So this year, while we were trying to figure out costumes, I asked him what he wanted to be. He said, “Ketchup”. I just looked at him for a minute. “Or I would settle for Mustard.”
This kind of personality, dear readers, is what my fun little children’s book is based on. While Zeek is not Dimitri, he loves the same dinner, his mom, and is very compassionate and sensitive to other people while having a crazy and fun personality. Zeek is just as curious and motivated as my son.
I love this kid with all my heart…as I love my other three. He just has that kind of aura about him that makes people gravitate to him. Ketchup or not. By the way, I talked him into being a dark overlord type character for Halloween. lol
How different children are today than they used to be. I see the differences in my own kids from when I was a kid their age. Don’t get me wrong here, there are many similarities too…
I have tried my hardest to instill in my children the value of work. They are more than eager to go work for someone else (like mowing lawns or washing cars, lol) but they won’t do chores around the house to help out. Why is that?
I remember when five dollars a week for allowance was nice cash to have! However, nowadays kids would rather go without the five bucks in their pocket to be able to do their own thing. No, they want twenty bucks to mow the lawn. They want ten bucks to wash the car. They expect money for doing the simple everyday chores around the house.
I can understand wanting to make your way in the world, but it takes work to do that. I will pay for a stellar job done and great work ethic. Few kids possess this anymore. Why is that? Because they are Millennial kids. They have been raised in a technological society that hands them things almost instantly and they are used to that. They want more of that in everything that they do…including work. These kids really do want money for doing nothing.
So it rests upon us to continue to train them up and teach them the way we were taught and mold them into good responsible adults. Perhaps one day, our technology will no longer be around. These kids won’t know what to do. But it will bring back the fairly forgotten imagination again and force us all to do more for ourselves.
I love my kids with all my heart. I think they will be great people in society as they continue to grow and I am proud of my son who is putting himself through college because he wants a better life. I hope I had something to do with that. 🙂
“I thought I could stay here and do chores for you. See how pretty she is? I can be her pretty helper and you could pay me some tiny money, my lord,” she begged.
Money isn’t so tiny anymore, from a child’s perspective. But Mira was motivated and haunted. She also wanted a better life. I suppose we should all be careful what we wish for and find happiness in what we have around us. Do something to make each day a great one and pass our ethics, our morals, and our knowledge to them so they can be successful too!
*Get your copy of Noble Courage for .99 on Kindle
So there was another blogger that challenged authors to be able to wrap the entire book into one sentence. How’s this?
Noble Courage is a medieval tale of love, greed, and power in which Aspen Tiller finds her way to become an angel for a lost and downtrodden people, wherein she finds out the difference between love at first sight and a deep, true love but must fight with all her might to hang onto everything she holds dear. ~ Daisha Marie Korth
From today until September 8th, I have Noble Courage on Smashwords for free! Read it and love it! When you are done with that one, there are three more to go! Happy Reading!