Santa Claus

The Jolly Red man we know today has a history of his own that dates back to almost 3rd Century. Santa Claus has his roots connected to a monk St. Nicholas who lived hundreds of year back. St. Nicholas was known for kindness and piety. His heart of gold made him famous and many legends came to be associated with him. St. Nicholas gave up all his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside, helping the needy and the sick. There are many stories that recount St. Nicholas's generosity. One such story is that of the three sisters whom St. Nicholas had saved from being sold away by their father. He not just saved them but also gave them the dowry to get them married. As time passed, St. Nicholas became more and more popular, and was deemed as the savior and protector of sailors and children. Born sometime in 280 A.D., St. Nicholas's kindness is celebrated across the globe on December 6 which marks his death anniversary.
Sinter Klaas in New York

"Santa Claus" has its etymological origin in the Dutch nickname of Saint Nikolaas (Nicholas). It was not until the 18th Century that St. Nicholas made advent in the American culture. In 1809, Washington Irving made efforts to popularize thge stories of Sinter Klaas by referring St. Nicholas as the 'patron saint of New York' is his book "The History of New York". With time, he became a prominent figure and was described as a "rascal" who wore three-cornered hat, a red waist coat and yellow stocking.



Santa Claus comes "LIVE"

In the early 19th century, giving gifts to children during the time of Christmas became an integral part of the celebration, courtesy the holiday's rejuvenation. Christmas shopping became themes for advertisements in stores during the years of 1820s. By 1840s, newspapers started creating separate ad space for Christmas shopping. A Philadelphia shop had put up a live sized Santa Claus in 1841 attracting children and adults alike. In the 1890s, the salvation army fell short of money in order to provide free Christmas meals to the needy families. Thus, they called upon unemployed men an dressed them up in Santa Claus suits. These men went around the city corners ringing bells and asking for donations. The salvation army Santa Claus still ring bells on the American streets.

Saint Nicholas's evolution into today's happy, larger-than-life Santa Claus is a wonderful example of the blending of countless beliefs and practices from around the world. This benevolent figure encompasses all the goodness and innocence of childhood. And because goodness is his very essence, Santa will always be remembered.



Treasure Gift Box
Materials required: :

  • Tacky glue
  • Assorted decorating supplies (stamps, magazine pictures, photos, labels, stickers, wrapping paper, wooden or plastic toys)
  • Nontoxic acrylic sealer

Instructions

  • First, apply a light coat of paint or colored stain to the box.
  • While it's drying, pick a theme for the box, such as jungle animals, golf, travel, classical music, cars or ballet dancing, and choose a bunch of fitting decorations.
  • Glue the decorating supplies onto the box.
  • When finished, brush on a coat of acrylic sealer or Mod-Podge.
  • Lastly, glue a three-dimensional object -- a golf ball, a plastic toy or a wooden figurine -- to the top of the box.



Foamy Frame
Materials required: :

  • Scissors
  • One 9-by-12-inch sheet of colored craft foam
  • Flexible pocket magnet frame (we used Original Soft Pocket Magnetic Photo Frames by Lytle, available in 3 1/2 by 5 inches, 4 by 6 inches, and 5 by 7 inches)
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Assorted accessories such as beads, buttons, fake jewels, glitter, googly eyes, or prepackaged foam cutouts

Instructions

  • Cut a shape slightly smaller than the magnetic photo frame from the center of the foam sheet.
  • Be sure the inside edge of the foam frame overlaps the magnetic frame by at least 1/4 inch
  • Next, apply a thin line of hot glue to one edge of the magnetic frame's clear front and firmly press the foam frame in place.
  • Repeat with the remaining edges, one at a time, being careful not to glue over the pocket's opening.
  • You can also glue on decorative accessories, then slip a favorite photo into the pocket.



Bath Salt Recipe
Materials required: :

  • Bottle or Jar
  • Epsom Salts
  • Food Coloring
  • Perfume or Essential Oil

Instructions

  • Combine the desired amount of Epsom salts (enough to fit in the bottle or jar) with food coloring.
  • Mix well so color is even.
  • Add perfume or essential oil and mix again
  • Spread the mixture out on a sheet of wax paper to dry for a couple of hours and then put it in the bottle or jar.
  • While the salts can be used right away, the perfume or essential oil will blend better with the salt if it is allowed to set in the jar for a few weeks.



Blooming Flower Pen
Materials required: :

  • Pen
  • Silk or Plastic Flower with Stem
  • Green Floral Tape
  • Scissors

Instructions

  • Hold the flower next to the pen and clip the flower stem so it is about 2-inches up from the tip of the pen.
  • The flower should sit on the end of the pen.
  • While holding the flower stem tightly against the pen, wrap the entire length of the pen with floral tape.
  • This will secure the pen and flower together.
  • With the floral tape you do not need tape or glue!



Rag Wreath
Materials required: :

  • Fabric scraps in a variety of colors
  • Metal hanger
  • Duct tape
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors

Instructions

  • Dig through your fabric stash, and round up all of your fabric scraps the more colors and patterns the better.
  • Then, tear the scraps into pieces that are approximately 12-inches long and 1-inch wide.
  • Use a pair of wire cutters to clip the hook off of the top of the hanger.
  • Then, shape the remaining wire into a circle, and tape the two ends together with duct tape.
  • This will serve as the form for your wreath.
  • Place the first piece of fabric over the wire form, to have an equal length of fabric on either side of the wire.
  • Then, tie the fabric in place.
  • Repeat step 5 until the entire wire is covered in fabric.
  • Hang, and enjoy.



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