View Full Version : Christmas Items of Little Interest

10th Dec 2014, 23:34
The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) got its name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the U.S. in 1825.

Donner and Blitzen's names in the original poem (Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas), were Dunder and Blixem.

"Jingle Bells", written in 1857, was intended for a different holiday : Thanksgiving.

Mrs. Claus has a different first name depending on where you live:
Switzerland: Lucy
Austria: Nikolofrau
Netherlands: Molly Grietja

What's red and white and black all over?
Father Christmas at the bottom of a chimney.

The first Christmas card was created in 1843.

10th Dec 2014, 23:50
How have I lived all these years without knowing those things???

11th Dec 2014, 15:51
In 2005, Forbes ranked Santa Claus as the richest fictional pop culture character. His net worth?

Though it's generally discouraged in publications, Xmas comes from the Greek translation of Christ, Χριστός. Artists and writers have historically used "X" to symbolize Christ.

Despite being an American movie, many scenes in the classic "A Christmas Story" were filmed in Canada.

Christmas was ruled illegal between 1659 and 1681 in Massachusetts after the American Puritans enacted a law that banned the celebrating of the holiday.

How to say Merry Christmas in:
French: Joyeux Noel
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Polish: Boze Narodzenie
Albanian: Gazur Krislinjden
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha

11th Dec 2014, 16:14
Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka

Ancient Mariner
11th Dec 2014, 16:15
Norwegian: God Jul!

11th Dec 2014, 16:31
German: Frohe Weihnachten
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest

11th Dec 2014, 18:40

"Nikolo" is the guy that drops by on 6th December with some sweets and a paedagogic word or two. He is traditionally accompagnied by a "Krampus" to take care of the naughty kids:


As he is a good, staunch Catholic though, I would have considered him celibate - and the notion of a female Nikolo is completely unheard of here.

11th Dec 2014, 18:42
6 December was also commonly referred to as "Little Christmas." Don't know if that's the case anymore. Probably not politically correct. "Little holiday" instead? :}

Nice monster for the naughty kids. After encountering that thing I'm sure they won't be naughty any more. (Might not sleep for a year after, either.)

Rob Courtney
11th Dec 2014, 20:16
Is it true that Father Christmas tunic was originally green and was changed to red by coca cola for an advertising campaign or just an urban myth? :confused:

11th Dec 2014, 20:18
Why Santa Wears Red (http://www.colourlovers.com/blog/2008/12/23/the-colors-of-christmas-why-santa-wears-red)

11th Dec 2014, 20:31
Most people in Armenia celebrate Christmas on the 6th January and Santa visits Armenian children on the 31st December.

11th Dec 2014, 21:03
To quote meadowrun "Donner and Blitzen's names in the original poem (Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas), were Dunder and Blixem."

Wasn't "Dunder & Blixem" a pulp and paper company?

By the way, Jesus was probably born in the spring, perhaps April. Christmas is a bastardized winter solstice celebration of the Feast of Saturnalia.

Rob Courtney
11th Dec 2014, 21:08
6th of January is the feast of the epiphany when the 3 wise men reached the stable. Quite a few countries use this date for giving presents instead of Christmas day.

Ascend Charlie
11th Dec 2014, 21:39
So the 3 wise guys rocked up 2 weeks late, and the family was still in the stable? Why didn't they go home after the census? Didn't any rooms become available at the inn?

Did the 3 wise men still consider themselves wise to give away their gold, frankincense and myrrrrrrh to a baby and then hear nothing of their investment for 32 years? Was the baby named Ponzi?

11th Dec 2014, 21:53
In Mexico the Poinsettia is known as La Flor de Noche Buena. This is more or less the story.......drivel of course but nice drivel......

The Legend of “Flor de Noche Buena” There is also a legend in Mexico as to how the flower became used to celebrate Christmas. It begins with a poor girl named Maria or Pepita and her little brother Pablo or cousin Pedro depending on who tells the story. She was very sad, being so poor that she had nothing to give baby Jesus in the manger scene in the Village Church.

On Christmas Eve ( Noche Buena) on the way to the church Maria picked some weeds to make a bouquet to bring to the manger scene. Her little brother said to her “it does not matter what she gives as long as it was given in love”. The children of the village, of course teased them until they saw the plants turn from green to a bright red on top right before their eyes as Maria knelt at the alter. The whole village then realized they had just witnessed a true Christmas miracle and from that day on the plant became known as the “Flor de Noche Buena”.

747 jock
11th Dec 2014, 22:12
The original plan was for Jesus to be born in Essex but God realised that he would have a hard time finding 3 wise men and a virgin.

11th Dec 2014, 23:37
In Russia Father Christmas is known as Дед Мороз (Djed Moroz), which translates as Grandfather Frost'

Most people in Armenia celebrate Christmas on the 6th January

Most Eastern Orthodox Churches still use the old Julian calendar for fixing the dates of major feast days. Christmas is thus celebrated 13 days later as this is the current difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

Christmas is a bastardized winter solstice celebration of the Feast of Saturnalia.

...which is itself a Roman version of the much earlier pagan celebrations such as Yule, Beltane etc. I dont think a Christian of any intellect would deny the existence of earlier mid winter celebrations, probably going back into pre-history, but I dont think that in anyway diminishes the significance of Christmas to Christians.

12th Dec 2014, 01:28
By the way, Jesus was probably born in the spring, perhaps April.
And with a name like that, more than likely in Puerto Rico.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/s480x480/10371904_990850967608373_7660700662717813425_n.jpg?oh=089974 474e86c835a5bb6b453e1c255f&oe=54FEB536&__gda__=1425862353_09c3eff3d6521b1f68a919edf11f9971

12th Dec 2014, 01:47
The latest facial hair craze this Christmas is beard baubles. Grey London advertising agency is selling the yuletide facial hair accessory for £5.

12th Dec 2014, 07:35
Buon Natale in Italy.

And you shouldn't hang Father Christmas up by the balls (according to the Waltons).

Anybody else loved Terry Pratchett's "The Hogfather"? Great book.

13th Dec 2014, 18:03
A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

According to a 1995 survey, 7 out of 10 British dogs get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.

During the ancient 12-day Christmas celebration, the log burned was called the "Yule log". Sometimes a piece of the Yule log would be kept to kindle the fire the following winter, to ensure that the good luck carried on from year to year. The Yule log custom was handed down from the Druids.

After "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens wrote several other Christmas stories, one each year, but none was as successful as the original.

In Britain, the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551, which has not yet been repealed, states that every citizen must attend a Christian church service on Christmas Day, and must not use any kind of vehicle to get to the service.

13th Dec 2014, 22:24
That last bit about the Act of 1551 would've made a great Monty Python sketch...

13th Dec 2014, 22:52
A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

One up for Christmas dinner :ok:

Can't stand the oh so twee habit of calling it Christmas lunch! Doesnt matter what time of day you eat it, it's Christmas dinner as far as I'm concerned.

Solid Rust Twotter
14th Dec 2014, 04:18
Afrikaans: Geseende Kersfees (Blessed Christmas).

A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

Hot mustard brawn - Now there's an idea....:ok:

14th Dec 2014, 16:09
The legendary Christmas pudding is actually an off shoot of the Celtic dish frumenty. The strangeness of the pudding is inspired by the myth that surrounds it. Supposedly people believed it was unlucky to cut a Christmas cake before Christmas Eve. But, the pudding wasn't the only thing that was guarded by a long-standing myth.

Mince pie was said to be unlucky if cut with a knife, additionally it was considered to encourage bad luck when eaten outside of the period between Christmas Eve and Twelfth Night. The great thing about Mince pie however, is that it somehow had the magical power to give you good luck if you ate one every day for the twelve days of Christmas.

George I of England tasted his first Christmas pudding in 1714. It included 5 pounds of suet and 1 pound of plums.

In 1769 the crew of Captain Cook's 'Endeavour' celebrated Christmas in the Pacific with a goose pie and "all hands as drunk as our forefathers used to be upon like occasion."

In the year 1213, England's King John (1166-1216) ordered 3,000 capons, 1,000 salted eels, 400 hogs, 100 pounds of almonds, and 24 casks of wine for his Christmas festivities.

14th Dec 2014, 18:04
According to a 1995 survey, 7 out of 10 British dogs get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.

We've given my dogs Christmas presents since I was a kid.

They love it, the cats on the other hand, they really don't care if they get a present or not.

Lon More
14th Dec 2014, 19:58
and seven out of ten British dogs will probably later regurgitate, or otherwise, deposit it behind the sofa

15th Dec 2014, 20:52
In 1852 a 446 pound baron of beef was served to Queen Victoria and the royal family.

In Queen Victoria's day, oranges were a treasured Christmas gift in England.

Camel was listed on the Voison restaurant's Christmas Eve menu during the siege of Paris in 1870.

In 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle' by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes investigates the mystery of a Christmas goose that swallowed a jewel.

Stargazy pie is a fish pie of Cornish origin. It is made with the fishes' heads sticking out of the crust all round the rim, and presumably takes its name from their appearance of gazing skywards. In her Observer Guide to British Cookery (1984) Jane Grigson notes that 'it is a specialty of Mousehole where they make it on 23 December every year, Tom Bawcock's Eve, in memory of the fisherman who saved the town from a hungry Christmas one stormy winter.'

In 1580, the Christmas feasts of Sir William Petrie includes 17 oxen, 14 steers, 29 calves, 5 hogs, 13 bucks, 54 lambs, 129 sheep and one ton of cheese.

15th Dec 2014, 21:32
CP's Cat:

Oh wait....there's a bare empty box. I shall investigate. It's perfect. My new home! Ha Ha - you can't see me!

15th Dec 2014, 23:05
CP's Cat:

Uh, which one?

We've got five. :\

16th Dec 2014, 07:26
MrsP made a patchwork quilted skirt thingie (technical term) that goes around the base of the Christmas tree and hides the stand. The tree had only been up about 5 minutes when Milo the Mental Mog was seen curled up asleep on the quilt. He likes Christmas. :rolleyes:

Pinky the pilot
16th Dec 2014, 08:47
We've got five

Forgive my curiousity con-pilot but would you care to tell us their names?:ok:

And how on earth did you manage to become Chief of Staff to five of 'em??:confused::D

16th Dec 2014, 09:11
One's in-laws were Welsh - although Mrs R had not spoken to them for 40 years because of some perceived slight - and had large (very large) families; one lot celebrated New Year 11 days after the rest of the UK because the area stuck with the Julian calendar after the Gregorian calendar was introduced. However, they celebrated Christmas along with the rest of the country

16th Dec 2014, 09:13
We have been promised Christmas without load shedding. If that's as valid as the rest of the ANC's promises I shall be keeping the braai going.

16th Dec 2014, 14:45
"When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow, we hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago, and etched on vacant places are half-forgotten faces of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know." - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

16th Dec 2014, 15:12
In three days time I hoist a large whisky in memory of eight of the finest men Cornwall ever made.

Here's to ye, heroes all

You will never be forgotten.

16th Dec 2014, 15:14
Agreed, C-S. If I still drank whisky, I'd do the same.

wings folded
16th Dec 2014, 15:58
And how on earth did you manage to become Chief of Staff to five of 'em??

Wrong question. Better question: "Is it possible to serve as domestic staff to five employers with varied and disparate requirements?

16th Dec 2014, 16:58
...... but an hour after making that posting, I heard that four power stations have problems and load shedding is looking like a distinct possibility.

Solid Rust Twotter
16th Dec 2014, 17:19
No surprises then. Twenty years being warned this was going to happen and it still comes as a complete surprise to those clowns.

16th Dec 2014, 17:36
Yes, but you obviously didn't read the great leader's ramblings about it all being the fault of apartheid and the evil white colonialists.

Solid Rust Twotter
16th Dec 2014, 18:11
Yup, no surprises there....

Got a load of bierkraut in the cool room. Need to try that mustard brawn and see how it goes mit senf und bierkraut on a Berliner Landbrot. Project for next year.:ok:

16th Dec 2014, 18:14
SRT wrote:

mit senf und bierkraut on a Berliner LandbrotYou forgot something here. Das Berliner Weisse damit!


The straw is optional depending on how quickly one wants to become shit-faced. Which is why I usually use two straws.
And then don my pink Ranger tutu, prancing and frolicking around the neighborhood yodeling.

Solid Rust Twotter
16th Dec 2014, 18:44
Fick meine alte stiefeln, Herr Rock! Pink drinks now? That surely explains a lot....:}

One will stick to a dunkel or perhaps even urbock to go with the black bread.:ok:

16th Dec 2014, 18:58
Dunkel beer is very good depending on where it's brewed. Dunkel Weissbier is disgusting no matter where it's brewed. (My own taste here.)

Urbock schmeckt sehr gut, jawohl!

Brewed and bottled in Bamberg, Deutschland. The best!


17th Dec 2014, 07:12
frolicking around the neighborhood yodeling

It will take some time to expunge that from my imagination. :eek:

When I worked from time to time at the Anglo-Australian telescope in NSW, there were nights when prime focus photography was done. This involved a photographer sitting up in the small enclosure at the top of the telescope to insert the photographic plates. There were loudspeakers up there, so that music could be played by those in the control room to while away the long cold hours for the photographer. On evil nights, a cassette of some daft bint and her 9-year-old daughter yodelling would be left on repeat. A gibbering wreck of a photographer is a very sad sight. :E

17th Dec 2014, 08:14
speaking of kinda-pink, I had this
http://www.beersofeurope.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/165x180/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/pimages/GreeneKingAbbotAle.jpgyesterday and really liked it.

Windy Militant
17th Dec 2014, 11:14
Even if you don't like the music any Band that arranges to have a dray load of Wadworths delivered to a gig is fine by me! Especially if its Stringbag* ;)


Swordfish Ale as in the Fairey Stringbag!

18th Dec 2014, 16:34
1861: Mrs Beeton's Christmas Cake.
Ingredients. - 5 teacupfuls of flour, 1 teacupful of melted butter, 1 teacupful of cream, 1 teacupful of treacle, 1 teacupful of moist sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 oz. of powdered ginger, 1/2 lb. of raisins, 1 teaspoonful of carbonate of soda, 1 tablespoonful of vinegar.
Mode. - Make the butter sufficiently warm to melt it, but do not allow it to oil; put the flour into a basin; add to it the sugar, ginger, and raisins, which should be stoned and cut into small pieces. When these dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, stir in the butter, cream, treacle, and well-whisked eggs, and beat the mixture for a few minutes. Dissolve the soda in the vinegar, add it to the dough, and be particular that these latter ingredients are well incorporated with the others; put the cake into a buttered mould or tin, place it in a moderate oven immediately, and bake it from 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ hours.

1861: Mrs Beeton's Christmas Plum Pudding
(Very Good.)
Ingredients.—l ½ lb. of raisins, ½ lb. of currants, ½ lb. of mixed peel, ¾ lb. of bread crumbs, ¾ lb. of suet, 8 eggs, 1 wineglassful of brandy.
Mode.—Stone and cut the raisins in halves, but do not chop them; wash, pick, and dry the currants, and mince the suet finely; cut the candied peel into thin slices, and grate down the bread into fine crumbs. When all these dry ingredients are prepared, mix them well together; then moisten the mixture with the eggs, which should be well beaten, and the brandy; stir well, that every thing may be very thoroughly blended, and press the pudding into a buttered
mould; tie it down tightly with a floured cloth, and boil for 5 or 6 hours.
It may be boiled in a cloth without a mould, and will require the same time allowed for cooking.
As Christmas puddings are usually made a few days before they are required for table, when the pudding is taken out of the pot, hang it up immediately, and put a plate or saucer underneath to catch the water that may drain from it. The day it is to be eaten, plunge it into boiling water, and keep it boiling for at least 2 hours; then turn it out of the mould, and serve with brandy-sauce. On Christmas-day a sprig of holly is usually placed in the middle of the pudding, and about a wineglassful of brandy poured round it, which, at the moment of serving, is lighted, and the pudding thus brought to table encircled in flame.
Time.—5 or C hours the first time of boiling; 2 hours the day it is to be served.
Average cost, 4s.
Sufficient for a quart mould for 7 or 8 persons.
Seasonable on the 25th of December, and on various festive occasions till March.
Note.—Five or six of these puddings should be made at one time, as they will keep good for many weeks, and in cases where unexpected guests arrive, will be found and acceptable, and as it only requires warming through, a quickly-prepared dish.

19th Dec 2014, 19:07
"Christmas is the time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell government what they want and their kids pay for it." - Richard Lamm

20th Dec 2014, 17:25
Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukka" and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukka!" or (to the atheists) "Look out for the wall!" ~Dave Barry

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens

20th Dec 2014, 23:16
Last year, Uncle Robin filmed a trip to Lapland to see the real Father Christmas. Our grandchildren have been in awe of him ever since. The man who met the REAL Father Christmas!

(Actually, he runs a media company and they were making an advertising film for Cosmos Holidays.)

21st Dec 2014, 10:35
Happy solstice to all our pagan readers!

23rd Dec 2014, 22:22
Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included. ~Author Unknown

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included. ~Bernard Manning

Krystal n chips
24th Dec 2014, 04:23
The UK television schedules for the next two weeks would appear to be the outright winners for the title of this thread.....dross / repeats / repeated dross.....we are truly spoilt for choice this year.

24th Dec 2014, 04:31
Camel was listed on the Voison restaurant's Christmas Eve menu during the siege of Paris in 1870.

The Auchan French supermarket has Dromedary, Ostrich, Alligator, Wapiti and other exotic species in its festive meat section.

I'll stick with the Sanglier, if that's OK!

Solid Rust Twotter
24th Dec 2014, 07:06
Santa is a brewer. Who knew....?:}

Well, apart from Con, Mr Rock and a few others....


24th Dec 2014, 13:03
When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things —
not the great occasions —
give off the greatest glow of happiness.
~Bob Hope