Compunere engleza my family03.25.10

What Family Is To Me

Since birth, I have grown up with a different concept of family than most people do.  Instead of being born into my biological family, I was adopted into my given family.  I have known I was adopted, for as long as I can remember because my parents made sure to tell me so, at the earliest age that I could understand.  By adopting me and my sister into the family, my parents showed that family means love, respect and sacrifice.  My adoption gave me a family to belong to and be loved by. Love is the first part in any family.  I can be defined in more ways than one.

Family love is the strongest type because it is unconditional.  This unconditional love means that no matter what happens my family will still love me.  They have shown this love for twenty years now.  And after all the things I have done wrong, or done badly, my family still shows this unconditional love to me and to each other. The second part in a family is respect and trust.  Trust is something that can take years to build, but can be broken very easily.  By breaking trust with a family member one is also breaking respect of the family.  The two ideas go hand in hand.  My parents respected me enough to tell me that I was adopted, instead of  lying to me and having me find out later in life that I wasn’t their biological son.  This respect that my parents gave me, in turn gave me their trust.  And I gave them the respect and trust that was given to me.

Without sacrifice, a family cannot be.  The sacrifices that family members make for each other show the willingness to be an unselfish part of a family.  Sacrifices also display the love, respect and trust in a family.  I know that even though some of the time it may not seem that my parents would sacrifice anything for me, I realize that they would do anything for and everything for me and that I would do the same for them.  At times it’s the smallest sacrifices that make the biggest difference in a family.

Families do not have to be biological.  Here in Altoona, I have a chosen family o friends who I consider to be just as close as a family.  Among my chosen family, one can find love, respect and trust, and sacrifice for one another.  As a chosen family we still work the same way that a given family does, by having a sense of belonging and a sense of love toward each other.

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Compunere engleza Craciun03.25.10

Christmas

The year’s most celebrated holiday is celebrated on December 25th, both in homes and churches worldwide. The meaning for Christmas is to recognize Christ’s birth, of which the exact date is not known. During the fourth century the Bishop of Rome set December 25th as Christ’s birth date. Some authorities claim that the choice of December 25th was made because it coincided with Chanukah, Mithraic’s feast of the sun god, and the people of northern Europe’s winter solstice feast. The winter solstice is the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when the noon sun appears to be farthest south. (All About American Holidays, 1962 Encyclopedia Encarta, 1998) The Saturnalia was celebrated for seven days, during the period of time when the winter solstice occurred. During this, slaves were given freedom, gifts were exchanged, and banquets and happiness prevailed. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998) Holiday Greenery Evergreens, the symbol of eternal life, have long been used for Christmas time decorations. The Christmas wreath represents everlasting life and God’s endless love for us. Kissing under a mistletoe supposedly started out when early Roman enemies stopped fighting when they met under a mistletoe. Holly is the most known Christmas greenery, and there are several legends about it, one is that Jesus’ crown was made of holly, and the holly berries represented his blood. (All About American Holidays, 1962) The Christmas tree: The Christmas tree is an evergreen trimmed with lights, decorations, and tinsel, is derived from a “paradise tree”, or the tree in the Garden of Eden. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998) The use of the Christmas tree began early in the 17th century, in Strasbourg, France, spreading from there through Germany and then into northern Europe. In 1841 Prince Albert introduced the Christmas tree to Great Britain, where from there immigrants brought it to the United States. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998) Santa Claus The beginning of gift giving during Christmas started from the three wise men, with their three gifts for the Christ child. Since then people have made up different things to tell their children where their Christmas presents came from. The historical Saint Nicholas was known in early Christian legends for saving storm-tossed sailors, standing up for children, and giving gifts to the poor. Although many of his stories can’t be proven true, his legend spread throughout Europe, and he was soon know for his extreme generosity and gift giving. Many stories include him riding through the sky on a horse and wearing his red bishop’s cloak, sometimes accompanied by Black Peter, an elf whose job was to whip the bad children. His most known legend is when he would walk through the streets in his bishop clothes, carrying a sack full of presents, and leaving a gift on the windowsills of children’s houses. (All About American Holiday’s, 1962 Compton’s Encyclopedia, 1994) >From the different parts of the world, there are different names, but the spirit of Christmas remains the same. Spanish children call their Santa Balthasar, children in Italy have a female Santa named La Belfana, Denmark has a gnome named Jule-Nissen, Holland has Sinter Klaas, Germany has Sanct Herr, and there are even some places that believe the Christ child brings their presents. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998) The Christmas Feast On Christmas day, the year’s greatest feast was served, people went, and still do, all out. Although now we have different foods, the idea is still the same. The feast was started off with drinks and music, followed by a procession of the food. Once everyone was seated, the food was served and eaten, after dessert, people drank and danced. The banquet lasted hours and was the highlight of the day. Some of the food served was: beef, meat pies, roasted duck, geese, pigs, plumb porridge, fancy cakes, bowls of wassail, and toast. Christmas was a huge celebration filled with lots of eating, drinking, singing, dancing, and gift giving. (All About American Holidays, 1962) Christmas Decorations Centuries ago, Romans decorated their homes, public buildings, and temples on festive occasions, and we have followed this ancient custom. During Christmas time, store windows, malls, streetlights, and parking lot poles are decorated to celebrate this joyous time filled with shopping, gift giving, and happiness. Some popular and well-known Christmas decorations are: New York’s Rockefeller Plaza’s Christmas tree, when set up, the first lighting of the tree signifies the official opening of the Christmas season. Another popular attraction is Christmas Tree Lane, in Fresno, California. People there string lights around the great cedars lining Van Ness Avenue. Homeowners there also set up holiday displays on their lawns and houses. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998 All About American Holidays, 1962)

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