Kid’s Craic: ‘Tis the Season for Giving

Kid’s Craic: ‘Tis the Season for Giving

By Megan Lardie

All across the world, the most popular tradition on Christmas is giving and receiving gifts. Families usually gather around the Christmas tree to open them together. How did all this start, when Christmas was set as a day to remember the birth of Jesus?

The idea of gift giving actually dates back to ancient Roman times. Before Christmas was celebrated, the Romans celebrated Saturnalia and the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

This was a way to honor the Roman god Saturn, who was the god of agriculture. It was believed that he was responsible for the vegetation and fruitfulness of the year. 
Ancient Romans would give gifts to friends and families on Saturnalia and during the New Year’s celebrations.  |

Gift giving ceremonies were seen as a way of gaining fortune for the following year. These gifts were often handmade items or food, such as candles, fruits, or nuts.
When Christianity began to spread throughout Europe, Christmas replaced Saturnalia. Gift giving continued but was different from one place to another. In Germany and Norway, children received presents on Christmas which they believed were brought by the Christ Child. Some of the adults in these countries would also exchange gifts.

In Sweden, neighbors would leave gifts at front doors, knock, and then run away. The neighbors would then try to guess who left the gifts.

In some European countries, the rich gave charitable gifts only to servants and employees. It was unfashionable for one rich person to give another rich person a gift.

In Ireland on the day after Christmas, many celebrate the Wren Boy Procession. This celebration has changed over the years, but the procession still takes place. The boys, and now girls, go door to door collecting money for charities. The festival features music, dancing, and food.

Does your family have a way to make a charitable gift during the holidays? Giving of your time, talent, or treasure is better than any gift from the store. It could be something that takes a small amount of time or an entire day. If your family does not have a tradition of giving, maybe this could be the year you could start one.

Kids in the Kitchen
White Chocolate Party Mix
Make up a batch of this sweet treat, put it in festive bags, and give it as a gift to all the sweet people in your life!
5 cups Cheerios
5 cups Corn Chex
2 cups salted peanuts
1 pound chocolate M&M’s (use green and red for Christmas)
1 package (10 ounces) mini pretzels
2 packages (12 ounces each) white baking chips
3 tablespoons canola oil

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients; set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat chips and oil at 70% power for one minute, stirring once. Microwave on high for five seconds; stir until smooth.

Pour over cereal mixture and mix well. Spread onto three waxed paper-lined baking sheets  

Cool; break apart. Store in an airtight container.

Literature Corner
The Gift of the Magi
by O. Henry
This is a true holiday classic tale of love, devotion, and sacrifice. A young woman cries while counting the small amount of money she has to buy a gift for her husband. She decides to make a great sacrifice to get him a wonderful gift for Christmas. Her husband has the same struggle wanting to get her a magnificent gift but must make a great sacrifice as well. Find out what the couple learns about the true gift of Christmas.

by Megan Shull
Ever spend too much time with your own family and wish you could trade them in for a different family? Find out what happens when Frannie makes one crazy wish and finds herself in a whole new life with a whole new family. She meets unforgettable friends and families and has amazing adventures, but Frannie begins to wonder, will she ever get back home?



Lardie’s Laughs

  1. Why does everyone love Frosty the Snowman?
  2. Because he’s so cool.
  3. Where does Santa keep all his money?
  4. At the local snow bank.

Gab in Gaelic
Happy Christmas to you! = Nollaig Shona duit (pron: nullig hunna dwit)

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