Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Tis the Season...."

Today is December 22. We are 2 days into Hanukkah and 3 days away from Christmas. And, here in Colorado Springs, we got hit by a huge storm and I am snowed in.

So, I guess I have nothing left to do but blog about the holidays.  The facts about the holidays. The good, the bad and the ugly.

  • The first company to offer an artificial Christmas tree was Sears and Roebuck in 1883. A 33 limbed tree would cost you 50 cents. A 50 limber would cost you $1. 
  • According to the National Christmas Tree Association (yep, that's a thing), for every Christmas tree sold, 3 seedlings are planted. I'm not sure if this is true and I'm not taking sides on the real vs. artificial debate...but I will say that it seems like a waste to cut down trees and have them slowly die in your house for a month. I will also refer you to this bit of brilliance by the comic Jim Gaffigan:
  • "Hanukkah," "Chanukah," "Chanukkah," and "Hanukah" are all acceptable ways to spell Hanukkah. I stick with that version because that is the way I learned to spell it in school. And like a stubborn old lady, I refuse to learn different ways of doing things.
  • Speaking of Hanukkah, it is not "Jewish Christmas" as politicians and departments store commercials would have you believe. It is historically older and has a totally different meaning and origin than Christmas. I don't have the time to go into the origin of Hanukkah, but if you want to know more about Hanukkah, go to: 
  • Here's something interesting: Johnny Marks, a Jewish man, wrote the songs Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, A Holly Jolly Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and The Most Wonderful Day of the Year, to name a few.
  • Some stats: 1 out of 10 xmas gifts will be broken by New Years, 7 out of 10 dogs will get gifts, and 9 out of 10 years in a row my husband will get a Lowe's gift card from my parents; a store he absolutely despises....
  • Back in Victorian times, there was a Xmas game called "Hot Cookies." This was a game in which someone was blindfolded and other players took turns striking the blindfolded person. It was up to the blindfolded person to determine who delivered the blows....I've seen a great deal office Christmas parties end in this same manor.
  • Candy canes used to be just straight sticks of peppermint, but a choir master at a Cologne cathedral wanted to keep noisy children quiet, so he made some that were bent in the shape of a shepherds hook (so as not to be sacrilegious, I guess) and handed them out to the kiddos. The shape became popular and stuck.
  • Dreidel is a common game played during Hanukkah, but did you know that there are actually dreidel tournaments? Yep. Major League Dreidel or the MLD for short, founded in New York in 2007, hosts dreidel tournaments during Hanukkah. I believe this is a sport that I could actually watch and care about. 
  • So, Christmas is December 25...but you know what else is on Dec. 25? National Pumpkin Pie Day. And to be honest, I'd much rather celebrate that with the family...seems a lot cheaper with less risk of hurt feelings and awkward moments.
Well, there's some Christmas and Hanukkah facts for you. And here's an adorable little necklace. I picked this one because, when I was a kid, I always wanted to find a fluffy, white kitten under the tree. Instead I got leaky water bed. True story.

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