Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday
and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon.
For two millennia, people around the world have been
observing it with traditions and practices
that are both religious and secular in nature.
Christians celebrate Christmas Day
as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth,
a spiritual leader whose teachings
form the basis of their religion.
Popular customs include exchanging gifts,
decorating Christmas trees, attending church,
sharing meals with family and friends and,
of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.
December 25–Christmas Day–
has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.
As we go about our busy days leading up to Christmas…
we must all try to remember that
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!…
Share the Peace of Jesus as you go about your day…
As the Peace begins with you…from a simple smile to an act of kindness…
the TRUE MEANING of CHRISTMAS
will be shared and hopefully
passed along as a
TRUE CHRISTMAS GIFT!
and have a
THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS
Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25?
Selected Scriptures QA68
December 25 is the traditional anniversary of the birth of Christ,
but most scholars are unsure about the true date for Christ’s birth.
The decision to celebrate Christmas on December 25
was made sometime during the fourth century by church bishops in Rome.
They had a specific reason for doing so.
Having turned long ago from worshiping the one true God
and creator of all things, many early cultures in the Roman empire
had fallen into sun worship.
Recognizing their dependence on the sun’s yearly course in the heavens,
they held feasts around the winter solstice in December when the days are shortest.
As part of their festivals, they built bonfires to give the sun god strength
and bring him back to life again.
When it became apparent that the days were growing longer,
there would be great rejoicing.
The church leaders in Rome decided to celebrate Christ’s birth
during the winter solstice in an attempt to Christianize
these popular pagan celebrations.
For the most part their efforts failed to make the people conform,
and the heathen festivities continued.
Today we find ourselves left with a bizarre marriage of pagan and Christian
elements that characterizes our modern celebration of Christmas.
Regardless of the pagan background of so many December traditions,
and whether or not Jesus was born on December 25th,
our goal is still to turn the eyes of all men upon the true Creator
and Christ of Christmas.
The light of the world has come.
And the Christmas season and celebration presents
the church with a wonderful opportunity to preach the good news–
that men can be made righteous and have peace with God
through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Truth of the Nativity
The Truth of the NativityThe story of the first Christmas
is so beloved that singers and storytellers across the centuries
have embellished and elaborated and mythologized the story in celebration.
However, most people now don’t know which details are biblical and which are fabricated.
People usually imagine the manger scene with snow, singing angels, many worshipers,
and a little drummer boy. None of that is found in the biblical account.
Christmas has become the product of an odd mixture of pagan ideas, superstition,
fanciful legends, and plain ignorance.
Add to that the commercialization of Christmas by marketers
and the politicization of Christmas in the culture wars,
and you’re left with one big mess.
Let’s try to sort it out. The place to begin is in God’s Word,
the Bible. Here we find not only the source of
the original account of Christmas, but also God’s commentary on it.
Why December 25th (2 min) TV-PG
Find out why Christmas is celebrated on December 25.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW…
MORE ON THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS…
THE EVOLUTION OF SANTA CLAUS
AND DRUGGED DRIVING
December has been designated National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Click here to read the proclamation from President Barack Obama.
MADD has these tips to help ensure everyone’s safety this holiday season:
- Designate a sober driver before celebrations begin.
- Never serve those under the age of 21 alcohol.
- Plan safe parties, including providing non-alcoholic drink options to guests and not serving alcohol the last hour of the gathering.
- Be prepared to get everyone home safe in case your plans or individual circumstances change.
Tie One On for Safety
Show your support for law enforcement and for MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Tie a red ribbon on your antenna or affix your window decal as a pledge to drive safe, sober and buckled up during the holidays and throughout the year.
Red ribbons and red ribbon window decals are available by contacting your local MADD affiliate.
Give the Gift of a Designated Driver
During this time of year when drunk driving crashes are most prevalent, MADD aims to deter individuals from driving drunk and encourage them to plan ahead and designate a sober driver, or arrange another safe ride home, before embarking on their holiday festivities. MADD’s Give the Gift of a Designated Driver campaign is designed to encourage people to volunteer to be a designated sober driver for their friends and family during the holiday season.
Click here to download a coupon that says “Tonight, I’ll be DD.”
Education promotes prevention. Take a stand against impaired driving…
According to USA Today, more than 1.5 million people were arrested in the United States last year for driving drunk and at least that many are estimated to have driven under the influence of drugs.
Drunk and drugged drivers continue to haunt our roads and highways causing more than 17,000 Americans to die each year; in 2003, 17,013 people died in an alcohol-related traffic crash. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, impaired driving will affect one in three Americans during their lifetimes.
In an effort to increase community awareness, December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month. First started in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan, this national holiday has experienced increased community support and continues to promote safer streets on a daily basis.
National Commission Against Drunk Driving Statistics
- 41 percent of all traffic crashes are alcohol-related.
- Nearly 600,000 Americans are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes each year.
- Someone dies in an alcohol-related traffic crash every 30 minutes. Every two minutes someone is hurt (nonfatally injured) in an alcohol-related accident.
- Three out of every 10 Americans face the possibility of being directly involved in an alcohol-related traffic crash during their lifetime.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Impaired Driving Facts
- Each year, alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost about $51 billion (Blincoe et al. 2002).
- Most drinking and driving episodes go undetected. In 2001, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics (FBI 2001). That’s slightly more than 1 percent of the 120 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year (Dellinger et al.1999).
- To further decrease alcohol-related fatal crashes, communities need to implement and enforce strategies that are known to be effective, such as sobriety checkpoints, 0.08% BAC laws, minimum legal drinking age laws, and “zero tolerance” laws for young drivers (Shults et al. 2001, Shults et al. 2002).
- Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) have been identified as factors in 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. Other drugs are generally used in combination with alcohol (NHTSA 1993).
- Male drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes are almost twice as likely as female drivers to be intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10% or greater (NHTSA 2003a). A BAC of 0.08% is equal to or greater than the legal limit in most states.
- At all levels of blood alcohol concentration, the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than it is for older people (Mayhew 1986). In 2002, 24% of drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking alcohol (NHTSA 2003b ).
- Young men ages 18 to 20 (too young to buy alcohol legally) report driving while impaired almost as frequently as men ages 21 to 34 (Liu 1997).
- In 2002, 22% of the 2,197 traffic fatalities among children ages 0 to 14 years involved alcohol (NHTSA 2003c).
- Adult drivers ages 35 and older who have been arrested for impaired driving are 11 to 12 times more likely than those who have never been arrested to die eventually in crashes involving alcohol (Brewer 1994).
- Nearly three quarters of drivers convicted of driving while impaired are either frequent heavy drinkers (alcohol abusers) or alcoholics (people who are alcohol dependent) (Miller 1986).
The statistics, though horrifying, help us to realize how imperative educating our community is. It could help save a life…
By: Mary Whitmore
- Underage Drinking
- Other Drug Use
- Impaired & Distracted Driving
- Traffic Safety
- Youth Violence & Bullying
- Sexual Activity & Risk
- Mental Heatlh
Smoking Marijuana Doubles Risk of Fatal Accidents
Larger Doses Can Triple the Risk, Study Finds
By Buddy T, About.com Guide
Updated June 18, 2011
About.com Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board
Driving after smoking even a small amount of marijuana almost doubles the risk of a fatal highway accident, according to an extensive study of 10,748 drivers involved in fatal crashes between 2001 and 2003.A study by the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research published in theBritish Medical Journal found that seven percent of drivers involved in a fatal highway crash used marijuana. READ MORE>>
|•||Alcohol Abuse and Dependence|
|•||Alcohol and Drug Problems|
|•||Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse|
|•||National Highway Traffic Safety Administration|