The changing face of Christmas
Christmas has changed down the years. This has been due to many things, including technological advances but Father Christmas is still a magical constant, isn't he?
Christmas remains a magical time of year for children. For those of the Christian faith it is a time to come together and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Families still tend to use the time to reinforce relationships and of course giving gifts, for some, is the best bit of Christmas.
Christmas has changed down the years though and never so much as in the 21st Century.
Has Santa been able to keep up with modern advances? Of course he has, what a question.
Computers and the spread of the Internet has probably single-handedly changed so much of our lives and Christmas. People are less inclined to shop on the actual High Street anymore but rather virtually, online.
Christmas Cards look set to die a death with many people these days preferring to make a donation to a charity instead or send an electronic card. However if you do send and receive traditional Christmas cards they are still fun. Yes they can be costly to post, dust gathering and a pain to display but once they are in situ they add to the Christmas feel of your home.
Then there is Santa
Santa Claus, Father Christmas or plain old Santa, call the big guy what you will has changed little down the years. That is his magic. The elves who work hard alongside Santa at the North Pole have been able to utilise modern advances though which means they can make more gifts than ever before. This has proved useful with an ever increasing population in the modern World.
In the 20th Century there were destructive World Wars. With resources at a premium the gifts were less awesome but one way or another Santa always got through. Wars are taking hold in some places again but Santa's use of modern technology means he can cope much better than in the past.
Santa's sleigh has also been upgraded to help Rudolph and the other reindeer get Santa around the globe faster. There are few if any undiscovered countries these days and the same goes for those that used to be uninhabited. This would have put an impossible burden on Santa and the reindeer. Thank the Lord for modern technology.
Challenges for Father Christmas
In the 20th and 2ist Century Father Christmas has faced many challenges, not least a lack of belief in the Big Guy. Added to this people have built homes with no chimneys and fireplaces, have blocked off old chimneys and more. Modern day security systems have been a further challenge for St Nicholas, that is Santa. Thankfully he has an excellent team of experts that help him all the way. Just as technology has moved on so has the magic of Christmas. It has had to. Failing to keep pace was simply not an option.
As far as believing in Santa goes that is down to us. There is not much he can do. He never could. Perhaps in the past believing was easier but it is still possible. Just hold the spirit of Christmas in your heart as you search the night sky for a glimpse of his sleigh. I bet if you look hard enough and listen intently you will see a brief flash of red as the gift giving team race across the sky. If he proves too fast these days you will surely still hear a tinkle of sleigh bells.
Track Santa's journey
One useful tool that could help you catch a glimpse of Santa, Rudolph, Blitzen and the other reindeer is the NORAD Santa tracking System. It is not active until Christmas Eve. The timescale for this event varies according to where you are in the World. Santa has a job keeping up with time differences but he usually manages to. Again it is modern technology with sophisticated sensitive world clocks that help him on his travels.
The NORAD site is already preparing for Christmas Eve, fine tuning its tracking systems and more. If you want to see how it's going check here.
One of the things that has had a negative impact on some traditional Christmas foods is their all year round availability. These days you can buy mince pies or have a "Christmas dinner" at almost any time of year. As a child in the fifties certain food stuffs were not readily available. This meant that some foods were only available for a short time. That made them extra special.
In the past more of the Christmas fayre was made at home at not store bought. Home made Christmas pudding, sweets cakes and Christmas biscuits all added to that special feel. With modern appliances that help cooking and baking time in the kitchen it has never been so easy to get stuck in and make a wide range of Christmas foods. Yes there is a little effort involved but that superior taste will be well worth it.Yes the face of Christmas has changed, some things for the better and some not. Father Christmas remains an eternal part of our celebrations though and long may he do so.
Season's Greetings folks.