Tuesday 25 December 2012

Christmas Creations

Here are ten facts you may not know about Christmas.

1.  Pope Julius declared December 25 Christmas Day in the 4th Century.

2.  Eggnog comes from "grog" meaning any drink with rum.  The concoction was invented in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

3.  The first American Christmas carol, "Jesus is Born", was composed in 1649 by John de Brebeur.

4.  Washington Irving wrote a series of short stories called "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon" in 1819, featuring a tale about St. Nicholas flying across the sky in a weightless wagon.  Irving's story is credited with reviving the popularity of Christmas, even inspiring Charles Dickens' book A Christmas Carol.

5.  Before turkey and gravy, a boar's head and mustard was traditional Christmas fare in England.

6.  Christmas crackers were first invented in 1847 by Britain's Tom Smith who visited Paris and noticed that Parisian shopkeepers packaged candy in colourful wrappers.  He bought French novelties, packaged them in pretty packages, and added some small sticks that popped when rubbed together.   

7.  The poinsettia is known as the "flower of the Holy Night (Christmas Eve)" in Mexico.

8.  Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer first appeared in a short story in a colouring book published for the Ward Montgomery Department Store in 1939.

9.  The crew of Gemini 6 reported a strange module out their window in December of 1965.  The captain then reported eight smaller modules leading the big module and a pilot with a red suit.  The crew then pulled out a harmonica and bells they smuggled in and sang "Jingle Bells" from outer space.

10.  St. Francis of Assissi was the first person to stage a living nativity scene back in 1224.  The altar doubled as the manger.


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