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  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Default Wild and Wonderful Wednesday?.....mmmmm, Trivia!

    Christmas is an ancient celebration, heaped in literally centuries of tradition. But some of our seasonal favorites have surprising origins.

    - It wasn't always on December 25. Though Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, there is no mention of December 25 in the Bible. (Most historians believe he was actually born in the spring.) It wasn't chosen as the official holiday until the 3rd Century. Some argue that the date was picked because it coincided with the pagan festival of Saturnalia, celebrating agricultural god Saturn with partying and gift-giving.

    - Thank Prince Albert for your tree. Another Christmas tradition stemming from Saturnalia was the Christmas tree: During the winter solstice, branches served as a reminder of spring — and became the root of our Christmas tree. The Germans are credited with first bringing evergreens into their homes and decorating them, a tradition which made it's way to the United States in the 1830s. But it wasn't until Germany's Prince Albert introduced the tree to his new wife, England's Queen Victoria, that the tradition took off. The couple were sketched in front of a Christmas tree in 1848 — and royal fever did its work.

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    - Coca-Cola came up with the red suit. Well, Santa wore a variety of colorful suits through the years — including red, blue, white, and green — but legend has it that the popular image of his red coat came from a 1930s ad by Coca Cola.

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    - St. Nick was more generous than jolly. Sure, you probably knew that Santa Claus came from St. Nicholas, a Christian bishop living in the fourth century AD. St. Nicholas gave away his abundant inheritance to help the needy. He also was known for good deeds like rescuing sisters from prostitution. As his legend spread, he was eventually known by names like as Sinter Klaas in Dutch — which morphed into Santa Claus. He's not just the protector of children, either: St. Nicholas is also the patron saint of unmarried women, prisoners, thieves and pawnbrokers. How's that for a naughty list?

    - Stockings have a funny start. Gift-giving also came from Holland. There, St. Nicholas' feast day is celebrated December 6 by children leaving out shoes overnight and finding little gifts from St. Nicolas in the morning. According to legend, hanging stockings came from the take of a poor man who couldn't afford his three daughters dowries: St. Nick dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night so that the eldest could wed — but it fell into a stocking that was drying by the fire!

    - Rudolph was almost named Reginald. A copywriter named Robert L. May first invented the oddball reindeer in 1939 as a marketing gimmick for Montgomery Ward's holiday coloring books. (May considered naming the beloved misfit Reginald and Rollo.) And his nose wasn't originally going to be red: A red nose was viewed as a sign of sign of chronic alcoholism, and Montgomery Ward didn't want him to seem like a drunkard. Good thing they changed it. "Reginald, the blue-nosed reindeer" doesn't have quite the same ring … or charm.

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    - Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song. James Lord Pierpont, an organist from Savannah, Georgia, first performed a song he wrote, "The One Horse Open Sleigh," at his church's Thanksgiving concert. The song was re-published in 1857 and given the title of today. Bonus fact: It's also the first song broadcast from space. On December 16, 1965, the Gemini 6 crew serenaded Mission Control after they reported seeing a "red-suited" astronaut.

    - Christmas sends at least 15,000 people to the ER. From hanging lights on ladders to taking roast out of the oven, making merry can prove hazardous. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that an average of 15,000 Americans visit hospital emergency rooms each November and December from holiday-related decorating accidents. To top it off, dried Christmas trees spark hundreds of fires, an average of 17 deaths, and $13 million in property damage annually.

    - Merrymaking used to be illegal. Though the first American batch of eggnog was created by the Jamestown settlers, by the time the Puritans settled Boston, Christmas was illegal. (The word nog comes from the word grog; that is, any drink made with rum.) From 1659 to 1681, celebrating the once-pagan day could cost you a fine of as much as five shillings. And after the Revolutionary War, the new Congress found the day so unimportant that they held the first session on Christmas Day, 1789. It wasn't proclaimed a federal holiday for nearly another century.

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    ......to be continued......

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  3. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wild and Wonderful Wednesday?.....mmmmm, Trivia!

    Keep them coming Anita.
    Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts!

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  5. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wild and Wonderful Wednesday?.....mmmmm, Trivia!

    Wow. You had me absorbed in the trivia this morning. Much better than the news.

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  7. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wild and Wonderful Wednesday?.....mmmmm, Trivia!

    I agree Terry! The news was on the TV when I turned it on this morning. It's funny, the Christmas Tree in Rome, looked pretty much like the picture up there. I couldn't believe how much they paid for the delivery and disposal of that tree that's obviously not the norm for what everyone expected. It even has a facebook page. Poor huge Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.
    Katrina


    “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
    ― Maya Angelou

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  9. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wild and Wonderful Wednesday?.....mmmmm, Trivia!

    Thanks again!!

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  11. #6
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Wild and Wonderful Wednesday?.....mmmmm, Trivia!

    As always, very informative! Thanks!

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  13. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wild and Wonderful Wednesday?.....mmmmm, Trivia!

    Very interesting, thanks for posting!

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  15. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wild and Wonderful Wednesday?.....mmmmm, Trivia!

    Fascinating! Thanks for sharing and keep it coming - I always look forward to reading your post.

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