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Christmas Characters


By Christine Lovatt

Have you ever noticed how many different characters are involved in our Christmas celebrations? When I was young, I remember cards mainly featured a nativity scene, with Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus with the shepherds, angels and the three Wise Kings. And maybe some camels and sheep. And little drummer boys.

Now we have elves, reindeer and turkeys, and of course Santa Claus figures large, in every sense. I recently got a card with an angel holding a wand. Are they getting angels and fairies mixed up or are there Christmas fairies now? And I don’t understand where the toy soldiers come from in Christmas tradition. Mrs Claus often makes an appearance, which is nice, as she’s probably the one who wrapped Santa’s sackload of presents and fed and watered the reindeer.

It’s interesting to see how many Christmas symbols there are, such as tinsel, holly, snowflakes, fir trees, presents, holly wreaths, candles, bells, stars, mistletoe and stockings which at least means that no two cards are ever the same.

Countries in the southern hemisphere that celebrate Christmas in summer still feature snowmen, robins and snow-covered landscapes on their cards, despite never seeing snow at that time of year. But then, there are nativity scenes with snow falling all around. I don’t believe it ever snows in Bethlehem, so there’s a lot of poetic licence going on.

And talking of licence, we are supposed to be politically correct. So may I wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

In other words, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!






8 Responses to

Christmas Characters

spekkie said:
December 21, 2007 at 7:41 PM


I do believe it snowed in Bethlehem, maybe not on the night itself. It was 2000 year ago and the world has changed since. I to remember the Christmas cards having only the scene in from the three Kings. The cards are more neutral now and I do like them more for it. Have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year From Spekkie


dalqueen said:
December 22, 2007 at 6:27 PM

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Christine! And thanks for keeping our minds active all these years. I have always enjoyed your puzzles. Hope you keep up the good work for many years to come.

Scruffy1 said:
December 22, 2007 at 7:23 PM


I have noticed all the different characters too! And It doesn't stop with what you see either - there's all the different carols. When i was younger i thought there was about 10-20 'carols' that everyone knew and sung at christmas time each year - but how wrong was i! there's like zillions of them in all forms from traditional to contemporary and even parody/comedy ones. And it seems just about every artist on earth has had the idea to bombard us with 'their' version of these songs. Since i've grown up, i've learnt how little i knew back then when i was little and not just to do with christmas, but everything else. Tinsel, decorations & pretty lights looks nice as does the trees which now days you get many choices of tree kind from real to plastic copy's of real trees to fibre optic etc. and in green or white depending on the tree. The cards give people a choice of what they add to their family and friends homes decoratively as well as wishing them well. and as far as i know from what i've read on a christmas site toy soldiers at christmas time originated from some time in the late 1800's or early 1900's from toy's given to boy's at christmas. Mrs Claus, well she's Santa's wife and probably works just as hard as santa and the elves (santa's true helpers)but she doesn't get noticed as much as Santa since he is one of the most well known of christmas characters. Also there is different knids of 'christmas' for different religions to not just the christian version, and not everyone has the same beliefs. Really these days christmas is too commercialised - people go nuts buying enough groceries to feed a entire army cramming it in multiple number of trolleys like the shops being shut for a day, maybe two is the end of the world - i used to work on a checkout at a supermarket so i know. Then there's the decorations etc appearing earlier every single year and the sales it goes on and on. This politically correctness has gone way too far. surely it uses less time, energy (and greenhouse gases), brain-power to just say what we mean in the shortest simplest way instead of these long drawn out, complicated, cotton wool wrapping ways - there are plenty of words to make up a sentence that won't insult people, without resorting to lengthy time consuming considerate phrasing. There was this Santa on the news a couple weeks back that got fired for telling a little boy infront of the boy's mom that he had a pretty mom and he was a nice little boy and she went and kicked up a stink and had him fired - for that!? couldn't she have just taken it as a complement and left it at that instead of going and making a fuss,most people are of the opinion that was not offensive at all. just another example of so called political correctness gone mad. So's this idea of saying Happy Holiday's INSTEAD of Merry Christmas, not as an alternative greeting but instead of it completely. Yes, their both respectively nice greetings but ruling out one way of saying it for another takes away the most basic right of everyone (other than Food, water, Shelter etc) and that's freedom of choice, oh and freedom of speech too. What's next kick a toe - go see a shrink, oops psychologist or is it refered to as mental professional now? it's all gone too far overboard. And don't get me started on the issue of to HO HO HO or not. So - MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.. and to all a good night.


whoelse said:
December 31, 2007 at 3:03 PM


Could the toy soldiers be from the little drummer boy or perhaps the nutcracker suite which is a story of a Christmas present? I agree with the characters - try buying a little nativity scene to hang on the tree but there will be more snowflakes than you can shake a leg at! Well may everyone had a peaceful puzzling Christmas and may 2008 be full of youplay challenges and fun! Sudoku challenge bring it on - its my new year resolution to win just one!! Happy New Year to all the midnighters tonight in chat - I'll be auld lang syneing you in or should that be out?- lucky you can't hear in chat rooms!


January 01, 2008 at 5:16 PM


As a very new member I am a little reticent about comments on a subject which seems to have outgrown its meaning entirely. Most of my friends feel the same as myself, Christmas means very little these days except excessive expenditure on food, drink and gifts for people you probably don't even like. As a probably "grumpy old woman" I am personally glad to see the end of the "silly season". I'll bet there are a lot of others out there who feel the same way. Any other comments?


shirlgirl said:
January 02, 2008 at 2:35 AM


Hi Christine, read your comments and it seems to me that you are probably well educated...unlike some!!!I am not but appreciate people who are. Wouyld love to hear more about you Regards Shirley (In England)


jasue said:
January 02, 2008 at 7:52 PM


Very interesting and what a lot of words to be politically correct. Its plain English for me and I say, Raise your glasses to a toast for good health and well being throughout 2008!




January 03, 2008 at 3:14 PM


You may be right, Spekkie, maybe the Middle East was a colder place 2000 years ago, although I feel sorry for those shepherds that had to sit around on the snowy hillside! I agree with you, Scruffy1, that we should keep Christmas simple and speak plain English as well, as Jasue also says. Of course, Whoelese, I hadn't thought about the soldier/drummer boy connection, that must be it. Happy New Year to you and to Dalqueen, Shirlgirl and Toxophilite and all our youplay players. Thanks for your feedback