The Roman emperor Herod decreed that every citizen return to their home town to be counted in the census. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary made the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census. Many other people also came to Bethlehem. When Joseph and Mary arrived, there was no room at the Inn. They were allowed to spend the night in the stable. Mary was very close to giving birth to her child. They filled a manger with straw to prepare for the birth of the child.
An angel appeared to the people and said “Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy. In Bethlehem, in the stable of an inn, Jesus, Our Savior, has been born.”
This was the first Christmas!
Merry Christmas everyone!
The Basilica di San Nicola in Bari Italy. The tomb of Saint Nicholas is in the lower level of the basilica. Saint Nicholas gave everything he could to the poor. His reputation and stories grew. The Dutch celebrated him every year on December 6th, the day of his death. They brought the tradition with them to New Amsterdam (New York). The Dutch name for Saint Nicholas translated to Santa Claus. Over the years the story and the traditions morphed into the Santa Claus that we know and love today.
I visited the Church of The Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine last month. It was an interesting place to visit. I thought it would be nice to make a Christmas post with some of the photos. Merry Christmas!