‘Twas the Jolly Monday before Christmas,
And all ‘round the ‘net,
Every creature was stirring,
And making me fret.
Okay, folks, that’s the extent of my poetic talent. The part about every creature stirring is true … the kitties get restless when there are goings-on afoot, such as present wrapping, packages being carried in, and they have been in rare form tonight … only two fights so far, but Boo has been doing his best to turn the television over trying to get at the kitty he thinks is inside of it. Young Boo has recently developed a television addiction. I blame daughter Chris for this, as she plays kitty videos for him when she’s home. When she’s not home, he’s fine, but the minute she walks through the door in the evening, he jumps up on the table in front of the t.v. and waits for her to turn it on for him!
Since this is the last Jolly Monday before Christmas, naturally Jolly and I have done a bit of festive baking. (Jolly’s cookies came out a bit burnt, but he worked so hard on them that I hope you’ll eat one anyway, so as not to hurt his feelings) So, grab a treat and a cuppa, and let’s work on that Christmas spirit, shall we? Oh, and Hugh … there’s a special treat for you … you’ll know it when you see it! Cheers!
And for our young friend Benjamin, who is back for the first time in over a month …
I found some interesting, fun Christmas-related trivia I think you might enjoy …
- Jingle Bells was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title One Horse Open Sleigh. It was supposed to be played in the composer’s Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. Jingle Bells was also the first song to be broadcast from space. Nine days before Christmas in 1965, the two astronauts aboard Gemini 6 suddenly sent an odd report to Mission Control that they saw an “unidentified flying object” about to enter Earth’s atmosphere, traveling in the polar orbit from north to south. They interrupted the tense report with the sound of “Jingle Bells” with Wally Schirra playing a small harmonica and accompanied by Tom Stafford with a handful of small sleigh bells they had smuggled aboard for that very occasion.
- Japanese people traditionally eat at KFC for Christmas dinner. Although the percentage of Christian people in Japan is close to zero, every Christmas, kids and grown-ups head to the closest KFC to enjoy some fried chicken – the closest food to turkey that you can get in Japan. It’s all thanks to a successful “Kentucky for Christmas!” marketing campaign in 1947. First aimed at foreigners, KFC offered a “Christmas dinner” that contained chicken and wine – a meal that remotely resembled the food expats and tourists had at home. After a huge success, Kentucky Fried Chicken started promoting this offer every year, until the fast food chain became strongly associated with the holiday season.
- Iceland has 13 Santas and an old lady who kidnaps children. Christmas in Iceland is a colorful fusion of religion, fairy tales and folklore. Instead of one Santa, the kids are visited by 13 Yule Lads that either reward children for good behavior or punish them if they were naughty. The holiday period begins 13 days before Christmas and each day one of the 13 Yule Lads comes to houses and fills the shoes that kids leave under the Christmas tree either with sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes, depending on how that particular child has behaved on the preceding day. The mother of Yule Lads, half-troll, half-beast, horrifying old woman Grýla, kidnaps naughty kids and boils them in her cauldron.
- You might want to brew a cup o’ tea when decking your halls this year. The origin of Christmas trees goes all the way back to ancient Egyptians and Romans, who marked the winter solstice with evergreens as a reminder that spring would return soon. But it wasn’t until Prince Albert of Germany introduced the tree to his new wife, Queen Victoria of England, that the tradition really took off. A drawing of the couple in front of a Christmas tree appeared in Illustrated London News way back in 1848 and as we say today, the idea went viral.
- According to Coca-Cola, Santa used to look a lot less jolly — even spooky. It wasn’t until the beverage company hired an illustrator named Haddon Sundblom in 1931 to create images of Santa for magazine advertisements that we got the warm and friendly Santa we know today. Now, kids wouldn’t fear interrupting Santa’s nightly work.
According to legend, we hang our stockings by the chimney with care thanks to a poor man who didn’t have the money for his three daughters’ dowries. Generous old St. Nick dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night, where the girls had hung their stockings to dry by the fire. That’s where the gold ended up, and allegedly how the tradition began.
A few Christmas cartoons …
And of course Jolly Monday must have a cute animal video, and since it is the holiday season …
Friends, I would like to just take this opportunity to let you all know how much you mean to me … and Jolly. The very best thing about this blog has been the wonderful people I’ve met … I feel as if I’ve actually acquired a whole new family. A couple of times, in times of extreme angst, I have considered giving up this blog … but the thought never lasts for long, for I would miss you all entirely too much. Thank you all for being such great friends! Jolly and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!