The Night of Saint Nicholas

December 6, 2021 at 9:28 pm (Christmas, Culture, Folklore, History, Personal essays) (, , , , , , , , , )

It was December 6th 2021.

December 6th was the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicholas was the bishop of Myra in Asia Minor (what is now modern day Turkey).

He was known for his generous gifts to poor people.

He was also the Patron Saint of Children.

As such he was noted for giving gifts on the night of his Feast Day of Saint Nicholas when in Medieval Europe a person dressed up as the bishop Saint Nicholas would go around giving gifts to children in the respective village or town.

Later it became the saying that Saint Nicholas only gave presents to good children on his Feast Day.

And the figure of Krampus (a demon goat) was invented who was said to whip naughty children on the night before Saint Nicholas’ Day which was called Krampusnacht (December 5th).

And the really bad children (like Bill Gates and Dr. Anthony Fauci) it was said he put in a sack and carried down to Hell on that night.

In the centuries following the Reformation, the custom started developing in some towns and regions that it was Saint Nicholas who gave out gifts right at Christmas.

And eventually the idea developed that it was not the 4th Century bishop who gave out gifts on Christmas Eve but rather a very tall elf who wore a red costume and was white bearded and was called Santa Claus (the English equivalent of Sinterklaas which was the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas).

The more recent contemporary folklore mythology expanded to say that Santa Claus lived at the North Pole, had a magic sled pulled by seven magic reindeer (Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen) plus an eighth very shiney red nosed reindeer named Rudolph who guided the sled by the light of his nose and they delivered presents to all of the good children of the world all on one night.

However for a thousand years from 500 AD to 1500 AD, it was not the jolly old elf Santa Claus or the 4th Century bishop Saint Nicholas who brought gifts to children on Christmas Eve but rather Das Christkind (which literally translates to Christ Child).

Yes for much of Christianity’s long history, it was the Christ Child Himself who brought gifts to children on Christmas Eve.

Jesus would come down from Heaven and would resume the form He had when He was 5 or 6 years old and bring gifts to children that night.

The tradition was for children to do good deeds during the Season of Advent.

On the first day of Advent, a crib or creche was brought into the home.

Every time a child did a good deed, he or she would be allowed to put a piece of straw on the crib.

If there was enough straw on the crib, Das Christkind or the Christ Child would lay on the crib in the children’s home the night before Christmas.

And the Christ Child would give gifts to children on Christmas morning.

On the night of December 23rd, the crib or creche was placed behind a veil in the home.

If the child looked behind the veil before 7 PM on Christmas Eve, Das Christkind (the Christ Child) would not come on Christmas Eve.

At 7 PM on Christmas Eve, the father would part the veil.

And there in the crib would be placed a figure of the Christ Child.

And on Christmas morn there would be found gifts for the children.

But the Christ Child as the bringer of gifts on Christmas Eve would later be replaced by the 4th Century bishop Saint Nicholas of Myra (who originally brought gifts on his own feast day on December 6th) and later replaced by the jolly old elf Santa Claus (whose myth was inspired by Clement Moore’s 19th Century poem The Night Before Christmas and early and mid-20th Century Coca-Cola ads).

A long journey to take Christ out of Christmas.

Forgetting without Christ, there would be no Christmas.

-A historical essay
written by Christopher
Monday December 6th
2021.

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December Woman In White

December 1, 2021 at 9:15 pm (Poetry) (, , , )

December Woman In White

Narnia a land where it was always winter
But never Christmas
C.S. Lewis once wrote

December
it seems should be a depressing month
A month where the nights are long
And darkness should abide the land

But Christmas has lights on Christmas trees
And warm wine and chilled ale
And frosty eggnog
And glasses of punch
Served fresh from the punch bowl
And music and song
And wrapped presents and bows
Under the Christmas tree
And children’s eyes lit up with wonder
As it seems magic dances
On the frosty landscape

But for Edgar Allan Poe
It was the bleak December
Where strangers rap at one’s chamber door
turning out to be stately ravens crying “Nevermore”
Bringing back sad memories of the long lost Lenore

So it is every year at this time
Christmas joy vs. the bleak December
It is only in remembering the Christ child
That Christmas joy arises
Otherwise it’s just a senseless spending spree
An evening of gluttony often spent with relatives one can’t stand
And then when the presents are open and the guests gone
A feeling of emptiness sets in

Ravens rapping at the chamber door crying “Nevermore”
Might be far more preferrable
And less a bleak December
Than the commercialism of forced-fed happiness
Which is like a vaccine that could kill you
But everyone in authority urges you to take it.

Born originally in a city
Where a satanic looking T-Rex statue dominates one side of the valley
And the statue of Christ of the Badlands dominates the other
He now resides in a trailer in a trailer park
Where a kitten called Samson sleeps on the empty bunk bed above him
And then crawls down in the middle of the night to sleep at his feet
And then lays on his stomach during the afternoon as he watches old black and white movies on his tablet
And the kitten watches the movies with him
Occasionally reaching out to touch the people on the screen
And wonders why they’re not there

Neo-Stalinist demagogues wanting everyone to take the poison of the vaccine
Talk of a dark winter coming
While 2000 years earlier an angel said to shepherds,
“Behold I bring you tidings of great joy”
A king in Jerusalem was the arbiter of death
A babe in Bethlehem was the giver of life
Death vs. Life, Lies vs. the truth,
Darkness vs. The Light,
So it has always been
So it shall always be
Until Christ’s 2nd coming in glory.

For this mysterious woman who haunts his dreams
This December Woman In White

She awaits the joy of Christmas
As does he
While a “bleak December” turns to ashes
Like the embers in his old wood stove
In the trailer.

-A poem written by Christopher
Wednesday December 1st 2021.

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Towards Christmas

November 25, 2021 at 8:50 pm (Christmas, Poetry) (, , )

Christmas
A month away from today
Neo-Stalinist dictators
sitting in the Oval Office
are calling for a “Dark Winter”

The smile of the Neo-Stalinist dictator
As he diabolically whispers into his microphone
Is strikingly like the smile of the Grinch
Have you noticed?

Well if you steal an election
Why not steal Christmas?

C.S. Lewis said of Narnia under the rule of the White Witch
It was a land where it was always winter but never Christmas
People have always tried to prevent Christmas
From Judea’s King Herod
To Hitler who called it Julfest the Winter Solstice

In North America the supply chains are down
Ports at Long Beach and Los Angeles
Are backed up with ships waiting to be unloaded
(You’d see more than 3 ships on Christmas Day in the morning
This coming California Christmas)
In British Columbia, roads on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland are washed out due to flooding
The supply chain from Vancouver (Canada’s largest port)
to the rest of Canada now gone.

Pachamama has given her answer to B.C.’s Marxist government on its vaccine mandates
and hysteria over climate change,
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”.
Leaving them without roads
And without a pot to piss in.

It is still very much autumn here
No permanent snow on the ground yet
People have placed Christmas lights
In the neighbourhood
Giving a cheery glow

It is natural to long for Christmas
Rather than a dark winter.

Even so, Come Lord Jesus.

-A poem written by Christopher
Thursday November 25th
2021.

Veronica Lake longs for Christmas
Rather than a dark winter

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Tiny Tony

December 24, 2020 at 11:58 pm (Christmas, Music, Poetry, Radio, Songs, Theatre Arts) (, )

Everyone sings of Rudolph
And Frosty the Snowman too
And all the other happy folks
That make Christmas dreams come true
But there’s one little fellow
Who’s forgotten every year
He’s Santa’s special barber
Who trims old Santa’s hair

He’s Tiny Tony
He stands upon the chair
He’s such a little shaver
To take care of Santa’s hair
He’s Tiny Tony
Who everyone should meet
Happy Tiny Tony
Keeps Santa looking neat

When Christmas Eve comes here at last
And all the bags are packed
And Santa knows which boys and girls
Have been good or bad
He’ll stop into Tony’s barbershop
And you’ll hear old Santa say,
A little off the side, a little off the top
For tomorrow is Christmas Day

He’s Tiny Tony
He stands upon the chair
He’s such a little shaver
To take care of Santa’s hair
He’s Tiny Tony
Who everyone should meet
Happy Tiny Tony
Keeps Santa looking neat

Santa’s hair is all in place
His beard is neat and trim
And you can see his jolly face
Because Tony keeps it prim
If you ever visit the North Pole
The pole is quite a sight
For it’s just like a barber pole
It’s painted red and white

He’s Tiny Tony
He stands upon the chair
He’s such a little shaver
To take care of Santa’s hair
He’s Tiny Tony
Who everyone should meet
Happy Tiny Tony
Keeps Santa looking neat.

-A song written by
Bob Bradburn
CHQT Radio Producer
and Host
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
1967.

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South Seas Christmas

December 5, 2020 at 11:32 pm (Poetry) (, , , , , , )

It was December 1946
And the war in the Pacific
had been over for a year
So Carson Cody Albion
Private Eye
Who lived and worked in
Los Angeles
But usually spent his Decembers
In winter wonderlands
To recapture the Christmas feelings
of his childhood
Had this year
decided to spend his December
in the South Pacific

As he had always dreamed of someday
visiting the South Seas
And so why not spend a Christmas
in the South Seas?
And so he had taken a ship
And landed here on a beautiful
South Seas island

And so here he was
In the South Pacific
In December
On a South Seas island
Paradise

It was a moonlit night
He was on the beach
Under the shade of a palm tree
Since there was no sun
There was no need for him to be
In the shade of a palm tree
But no matter

Within his view
Was a nearby island
That was a dormant volcano
At least he hoped
It was a dormant volcano
Otherwise his South Seas
Christmas holiday
Might turn out to be
An even bigger blast
Than he had
originally expected

From his viewpoint and perspective
In the nightsky
To the left of the dormant island volcano
Were clouds that appeared to be reindeer
Pulling Santa and his sleigh
Full of presents

It was a bit early for Santa to be flying
Another 20 days
Until the midnight hour of Christmas Eve
But maybe he was getting an early start

Albion sipped his coconut milk
Straight from a coconut
And said,
Merry Christmas to all
And to all
A good night.

-A Carson Cody Albion poem
written by Christopher
Saturday December 5th
2020.

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One Line Poetic Reflection After Having Watched A Hallmark Christmas Romance Movie This Evening

November 27, 2020 at 11:36 pm (Commentary, Inspiration, Life, love, Poetry, Romance) (, , , )

A Christmas snowfall is God’s gentle baptism of the Earth in the darkest of winter.

-Christopher Dracul Van Helsing

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Reblog of A Young Legionary In Bethlehem: The Christmas Story Never Told

December 24, 2019 at 11:28 pm (Short Story) (, , )

A Christmas short story I wrote last Christmas.

Dracul Van Helsing

The young legionary had had a bad day.

After a night of rowdy drinking, he had forgotten the standard for his regiment.

And had left it overnight in the little town of Bethlehem.

The officer in charge of the regiment was thankfully merciful.

Instead of court martialing the young legionary for his most serious offense, he just sent the young legionary back to Bethlehem to retrieve it.

Although being sent back to Bethlehem was punishment enough the young legionary figured.

For Bethlehem had to be the most god forsaken place on this earth.

“Have fun in Bethlehem, Pompey,” his fellow legionaries had said to him.

Pompey was his nickname.

Pompey of course had been the name of the Roman general who had lost to Julius Caesar in the Roman civil war.

It was an inside joke that earned the young legionary his nickname.

As Pompey set out from Jerusalem towards…

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Christmas Sweater

December 22, 2019 at 11:31 pm (Christmas, Culture, Folklore, Humour, Poetry) (, , )

Christmas Sweater

And so one might ask, who and what did Santa Claus ride
Back in the day of the dinosaurs’ stride?
And now thanks to Christmas sweaters, it can be revealed 
You can wear the sweater while, on the topic, keeping your lips sealed.

-A poem written by Christopher
Sunday December 22nd
2019.

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Cthulhu and Goat Krampus On The Feast of Stephen: A Gothic Cyberhorror Carol

December 26, 2018 at 11:50 pm (Folklore, Geopolitics and International Relations, Ghost Story, Gothic poem, Gothic romance, Horror, International Intrigue, Mystery/horror, Mythology, News, Poetry, The Occult, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

(to be sung to the tune of Good King Wenceslas the 1853 Christmastide carol written by John Mason Neale)

Cthulhu and goat Krampus on the Feast of Stephen
Donald Trump destroyed young girl’s belief in Santa dreamin’
Now Saint Nick’s dark sidekick will to Trump be cruel
And make minced meat out of the toupee wearing fool


Krampus now coming for Donald Trump

Donald Trump will wreck dreams and dreamers in effort to build a wall
to make up for the fact that his dick is really small
Into the demon goat’s bag went he with his tweets a’screamin’
he’ll be taken to a real hot place where all the walls are steamin’
No hope of escape for him you see
Francis wrong and right is Dante
while Hillary switches her broomstick for a donkey

As for Cthulhu that Great Old One, he fell in love with Riana
Indonesian ghost magician who performed for Cowell’s talent panorama
Now her country came under atack by that old Anak Krakatoa
A tsunami created when that old Anakim giant’s volcano overfloweth
Now Cthulhu is really pissed and cannot stand it much longer
He will wrestle with that anakim to see which one is stronger


Cthulhu will do battle with that evil offspring of Nephilim the Anak Krakatau in vengeance for the deaths of the Sacred Riana’s countrymen and women

So Donald Trump now roasts in Hell as old Cerberus rings a bell
and Pavlov drools expecting food in that place where dead do dwell
Hades’ realm has grown quite swell as its global warming times excel
Sacred Riana waits with her ghosts possessing
to see which giant will wind up as salad dressing

The Sacred Riana awaits the outcome of the battle between Cthulhu and the Anak Krakatau

-A Gothic Cyberhorror Carol,
Supernatural Narrative Poem
and vampire novel chapter
written by Christopher
On The Feast of Stephen
Wednesday December 26th
2018.

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A Young Legionary In Bethlehem: The Christmas Story Never Told

December 25, 2018 at 11:56 pm (Short Story) (, , )

The young legionary had had a bad day.

After a night of rowdy drinking, he had forgotten the standard for his regiment.

And had left it overnight in the little town of Bethlehem.

The officer in charge of the regiment was thankfully merciful.

Instead of court martialing the young legionary for his most serious offense, he just sent the young legionary back to Bethlehem to retrieve it.

Although being sent back to Bethlehem was punishment enough the young legionary figured.

For Bethlehem had to be the most god forsaken place on this earth.

“Have fun in Bethlehem, Pompey,” his fellow legionaries had said to him.

Pompey was his nickname.

Pompey of course had been the name of the Roman general who had lost to Julius Caesar in the Roman civil war.

It was an inside joke that earned the young legionary his nickname.

As Pompey set out from Jerusalem towards Bethelehem, he did have to admit that the star he saw in the sky that seemed to be hovering directly over the little town was indeed most impressive.

Probably the only impressive thing about the place, Pompey thought to himself.

He sighed as he rode his horse.

Last week he had gotten a Dear Antony letter from his girlfriend Julia the woman he expected to marry when he returned to Rome.

She had met someone else- the “man of her dreams” as she had put it and was going to be marrying him.

“Argh!” Pompey hit his forehead with his metallic gloved hand as he recalled the letter.

What was it about women and the men of their dreams?

Usually the dream always turned out to be a nightmare, his father had once told him.

And may that be the case with Julia’s “man of her dreams” Pompey cursed the couple.

He looked towards his left and noticed a small group of shepherds tending their flocks by night.

“What an exciting job that must be,” Pompey remarked to himself sarcastically as he laughed.

He brought the horse to a halt for a minute.

He thought he had heard something.

He turned and looked in every direction.

And listened.

But now nothing.

What was it? he had heard.

For one brief shining moment, it sounded like music.

Heavenly music.

Surely it must have been the “music of the spheres” that the great philosopher Aristotle had written about.

And for one moment, he had been privileged to hear it.

Pompey looked up in the sky.

It seemed like a bunch of lesser lights were now surrounding that great star.

He rode on until he came to the inn where he and his fellow legionaries had stayed last night.

“I say, innkeeper,” he addressed the man pouring wine amongst the raucous crowd of guests, “could you tell me where I ahem! left my standard last night?”.

A rather beautiful and alluring young woman giggled at the way he had asked the question and looked at him appreciatively.

“And is your standard up to mine?” She winked at him.

Pompey looked at her.

That would certainly be a dish of revenge best served hot against Julia’s betrayal the young legionary thought to himself.

But no he best get the standard and return to Jerusalem.

He looked back to the innkeeper.

“Your comrade Drusillus took it with him this morning when he left,” the innkeeper answered.

What?

Pompey was shocked.

Drusillus had taken the standard?

That bastard.

And Drusillus had never told him.

Pompey turned back to the beautiful and alluring young woman.

She might be the prize worth waiting for on this useless trip to Bethlehem.

But already her eyes and her attention were elsewhere.

“Do you love me?” She teasingly asked a man.

“What is love?” He answered back to laughs and back slaps from his male companions.

“Come on,” she pretended to pout, “do you love me?”.

“All right,” the man answered, “I do love you and that is the gods’ honest truth.”

“What is truth?” Asked one of the man’s companions to much laughter.

The woman raised her dress and beckoned him, “Then come on. Show me your truth, baby.”

Pompey winced and turned away.

As he did so, through the window, he caught sight of a stable in a cave just behind the inn.

Anyways it was time to get back to Jerusalem.

Pompey got on his horse and pointed it in the direction of Jerusalem.

The horse started to walk but with great difficulty.

“Blessed Mercury,” Pompey sighed, “he’s broken a horseshoe.”

Fortunately for Pompey, there was a blacksmith’s shop right next to the inn.

The blacksmith was rather angry at being wakened but when Pompey showed the man what he could pay him, the man set to work.

Pompey stood watching the man pound nails into the new horseshoe and then decided to buy himself some wine from the inn.

Seeing as how the night was starting to turn cold, Pompey asked for a cup of hot spiced wine.

The wine was nice and hot, Pompey thought to himself as he put hands around the cup to warm them.

“Blessed Juno, what a chilly night,” the young legionary thought to himself, “definitely not a night for men or beasts to be about. As the gods like Augustus in Rome and the Olympians on Mount Olympus keep warm in their palaces, we of a lesser breed freeze. The cold is definitely not a place for a true god to be found.”

Pompey, warmed by the wine, decided to take a walk around Bethlehem.

There was not much to see around the town the young legionary noticed.

But as he walked he noticed the bright star in the sky seemed to be directly over the stable in the cave behind the inn.

Pompey decided to walk there and take a look.

As he stood outside the cave manger, the young legionary took a sip from his cup.

“Great Bacchus,” Pompey sighed, “I really should have been drinking it as I walked around town. The wine has turned cold.”

As he stood there, the young legionary thought he could hear a baby gurgling from inside the cave.

Pompey was familiar with the sound of babies gurgling because he had been present at his older sister’s house when his nephew had been born.

Pompey entered the cave.

And the sight he saw shook him to the very core of his being.

For inside the cave was a young man standing protectively over a beautiful young woman (probably the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life) who lay on straw holding a recently born baby.

“What child is this?” Pompey thought when he looked at the babe.

No sooner had he thought that question than he thought he heard again (albeit momentarily) the beautiful heavenly music of the spheres he had heard earlier on the road into Bethlehem.

“What do you want?” Asked the young man who protectively clasped the shoulder of the beautiful young woman.

The young woman herself looked at the young legionary without fear.

Great unknown god, she was beautiful, Pompey thought to himself.

A different sort of beauty from the alluring beauty of the temptress he had encountered in the inn.

A pure beauty.

A most pure beauty.

A beauty capable of capturing a man’s soul and not just his body.

The baby gurgled again.

“I thought I heard a baby gurgling,” Pompey answered the young man’s question, “and wondered what a baby was doing inside a stable inside a cave.”

“There was no room in the inn,” the young man answered simply.

The baby seemed to beckon to the young legionary.

The legionary approached.

The child then grasped the young legionary’s cup and stuck his tiny hands inside the cup and washed them.

“I’m so sorry,” the young woman gasped.

“Quite all right,” Pompey smiled and bowed, “I wish you a wonderful evening.”

He quickly left the cave.

And as he did so, the same group of shepherds he had seen earlier this evening were now entering the cave.

Astonished, Pompey started sipping the wine again.

Good Lord, Pompey thought to himself, the wine is warm again.

The wine had turned cold from his walk around town.

Then this baby had stuck his hands in the cup and washed them.

And now the wine was warm again.

What child is this? Pompey once again thought to himself.

He was still pondering that question as he finished the wine (which also seemed to have improved in taste as a result of the child touching it), returned the cup to the inn and then walked next door to the blacksmith.

Thankfully the blacksmith had finished the horseshoe and had put it on the young legionary’s horse.

Well, the young legionary nicknamed Pompey thought to himself, at least the last days of Pompey wouldn’t be spent in Bethlehem.

He returned his thoughts again to the child inside the cave.

What child is this? The young legionary thought to himself a third time.

Oh well, probably greater things to ponder in the scheme of things, the young legionary thought to himself, after all it’s not likely I’ll ever encounter this child again.

And with that, the young legionary named Pontius Pilate got on his horse and rode out of Bethlehem.

-A short story written by Christopher
Christmas Day December 25th 2018.

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