1984-11-28; Central Michigan Life
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.'^^W&mWf^T^lgf. irvyTi City, county efforts help needy families not historically documented byTOMWICKHAM UFE Staff Writer Christmas often is associated with joy and Riving, but for some people it is a time spent alone, praying for love and food to fill an empty soul and stomach. But through a city- and county-wide consolidation of caring people, the poor, homeless and needy are being treated to Christmas full of joy and giving. "What wc offer people is a toy for every child in their household that is school age andiunder," Bill White, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, 320 S. Bradley, said. A food basket and "all the used clothing they can carry" also will beoffered toneedy families. Called Christmas Outreach, volunteers from local churches and numerous civic and private organizations have been working since September to raise money for purchasing toys and food, White said. Last year about $11,000 was spent on food and toys in Mount Pleasant and Isabella County, he said. A total of 1,684 people in 445 homes were touched by the holiday spirit. White said he hopes Christmas Outreach can help up to 500 households this year. But financing for the purchase of toys and food for that many households is lagging behind, he added. About S12.000 is needed. However, monetary donations usually pick up around the first part of December when people are struck by the spirit of giving. White said. But finding money to buy the food and toys for the households fails to cloud the significance of the Christmas Outreach effort, he said. "We recognize that Christmas is a joyous, happy time but for others it is a devastating time," White said. "I don't know if most of us know what to do about the hunger situation. Poverty is bad anytime of the year." Distribution of the food, toys and clothing will begin Dec. 18 and run through Dec. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wesley Foundation, 1400 Washington, White said. Donations of clothing or toys can be made at the Wesley Foundation and monetary donations can be made to the Christmas Outreach effort at any of the branches of the Isabella Bank and Trust. by JAMES GEMMELL UFE Staff Writer Most of our Christmas traditions trace their historical roots to European customs, many of which have been Americanized during the past 150 years. A glimpse into various Christmas origins reveals many of our traditions cannot be historically documented. Such is the case with the Dec. 25 date wc set aside for celebrating the birth of Christ. In reality, there is no firm evidence to suggest Jesus Christ was born in December, or for that matter, even during the winter season. "December has nothing to do with Biblical evidence of any kind," Kendall Folkert, professor of religion, said. "It is set there because it has symbolic value. From the winter solstice (Dec. 21) onward, the days start to get longer. The image was that Christmas would celebrate the coming of light into the world," Folkert said. The issue has long been one of debate, W.F. Dawson states in his book, "Christmas and Its Associations." "Whether the 25th of December, which is now observed as Christmas Day, correctly fixes the period of the year when Christ was born is still doubtful, although it is a question upon which there has been much controversy," Folkert said. The notion of "Santa Claus" has only evolved from European traditionsduringthepast 150years, Folkert said. "Principally, it is a North European folk figure. He's not associated with Christmas in any way except recently. Because America's such a melting pot, you get so many different immigrant traditions from different parts of Europe. You begin to get the holiday practices all getting rolled up together into one great cheeseball," Folkert said. The person of Santa Claus resulted literally from Clement Moore's short story, "The Night Before Christmas." "Moore wrote this poem for his children in which he provided the standard notion of the Santa Claus story, which caught on very fast, and spread all over this country," he said. "The first image we have of him comes from the New York region, which is not surprising because there's always been a strong Dutch influence in that area. The idea of Saint Nicholas bringing gifts was especially a Dutch holiday," Folkert said. Santa's legendary companion, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, is only about 45 years old, having been invented as a Christian shopping promotion in Chicago, he said. TheChristmas tree symbolized the return of life to the world. "A custom in North Europe was to take something green, namely evergreens, because they're the only things that stay green all winter, and bring it into the house in anticipation of spring," Folkert said. The Christmas tree, however, has been ma inly a recent American tradition. "The tree still is not a big deal in most European countries. It's fundamentally a German custom. "If you read Charles Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol,' (1880s) you won't see any mention of a tree," Folkert said. Gift-giving was originally associated with Jan. 6, Folkert said. "The account of the Wise Men in the Bible (Matthew) does not have them coming to the manger scene. So the church originally did not celebrate the Wise Men coming on Christmas Eve. It was on Jan. 6, which is 12 days after Christmas, and that's where the song,'The 12 Daysof Christmas' came from." Folkert said. ♦See "Traditions" — page ISA PB drops holiday programs Program Board will not sponsor any Christmas programs this year due to a lack of funds and poor student interest in the past. "We've had the Nutcracker and a Christmas Carol in the past, but the attendance has been low, PB chairwoman Ann Higgins said. Last year, attendance at a Christmas Carol was 628 in a 1,300 seating capacity. The Nutcracker, in 1982, attracted 826. Higgins said the attendance was too low to pay for the programs. "These shows are expensive and since we didn't get funding from the Student Budget Review and Allocation Committee this year, we can't afford to sponsor them," Higgins, Ohio senior, said. A Christmas show costs about four times as much as a lecture, Higgins said. "We looked all summer for a Christmas show but we couldn't find a show to fit our campus that was in our price range," Higgins said. Higgins said it is not advantageous for PB to invest its funds in a show that does not have great student interest. Higgins said Program Board will sponsor the Kinks concert and a Coffeehouse program before Christmas vacation. The Kinks will perform next Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Rose Arena. The concert is sponsored by Program Board and WCHP. Tommy Shaw will give a special guest appearance and tickets are available at Full Moon Records, 1901 S. Mission, and the Warriner Box Office. Ticket prices are S10 general admission and $12 reserved seating. White Christmas dreams may come true bySHERRYYAEK UFE A*s'L News Editor -. Dreaming and wishing probably will not increase the chances ofa white Christmas, but the forecast — for those who like snow —looks positive. Based on history, chances are 80 percent in favor of Christmas day snow this year. Of the past 10 years, snow was a part of Dec 25 activities during eight years. Michigan weather Consultant Bruce Pape said. "It's hard to say at this point. All you can do is look at the past," Pape, instructor of geography, said. '; The National Weather Service has predicted a winter with slightly above-normal precipitation. An update from the NWS should be issued about Friday, Pape said. : Winter temperatures in Mount Pleasant average about 30 or 31 degrees for the high and about 17 for the low, he added. Based on history, chances are 80 percent in favor of Christmas day snow this year. —Bruce Pape, Michigan Weather Consultant During a typical year, the town has three inches of snow by Dec. 14, Pape said. "Right now the general trend seems to be in a typical pattern, but the system hasn't settled down yet," Pape said. Pape said during an early November interview Mount Pleasant also can expect a colder than usual winter. At that time healso predicted an inch of snow shortly after Thanksgiving. Pape also has predicted an ice storm for Michigan. He said he has no absolute proof supporting the prediction, but Mount Pleasant is due for such a storm based on the fact it has not experienced one during the past 20 years. The Reader's Digest 1984 Almanac and Yearbook has reported, based on a research study of the relationship between bad storms and phases of the moon, December's worst storms will occur between the llthand 13th and the 23rd and 25th. For November, the digest reported the worst storms to be between the 11th and 13th — when Mount Pleasant experienced its first snow — and between the 23rd and 25th. Dec 25 last year, according to Physical Plant records, was marked by about 5 inches of snow and temperatures between -4 an 7 degrees Fahrenheit.
|Title||1984-11-28; Central Michigan Life|
|Publisher||Students of Central Michigan University|
|Description||Wednesday, November 28, 1984 issue of the student newspaper of Central Michigan University. Also known as CM-Life. Originally published biweekly. Later published three times a week during the academic year and once a week during the summer. Began publication in 1941. Previously known as Central State Life. Issues from 1999 to the present are available online at the CMLife website.|
|Subject/Keywords||Central Michigan University - Newspapers; Mount Pleasant (Mich.) - Newspapers; Isabella County (Mich.) - Newspapers; College student newspapers and periodicals;|
|Copyright Permission||Copyright 1984 by Central Michigan University. This material is copyrighted and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited.|