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Did You Know? December 2021

“Did You Know” Holiday-Style

Did you know that there are three main holidays in December and occasionally a fourth? We have Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and depending how the Islamic calendar swings, we sometimes have the Muslim holiday of Ramadan also fall in what has become known as the Festive Season. When that happens, I like to wish everyone a “Merry RamaHanuKwanzMas.”

Did you know that it was not until around 336 AD that Pope Julius 1 declared December 25th as the day to celebrate the birth of Christ? Like many Christian holidays, it was closely aligned with a pagan holiday which made the transition easier for the populace to accept. December 25 falls near the Winter Solstice, which signifies that a new season is about to begin and could be duly celebrated. Evergreens were also used as decorations

Did you know that December 25th is also A’phabet Day, more commonly referred to as “No L” (not “Noel”) Day? On this day, purists – like this author – skip the “L” in all written correspondence. So I hope I don’t have to write any newsletters or technical papers that day; might be confusing to the readers!  

Did you know how much it’s going to cost your true love to purchase all the items in the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” this year? Based upon the figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics Consumer Price Index, in 2020, it was $41,205.58. There were increases all around, but the largest increase was in the vast array of those seven swans, six geese, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and the lone partridge. This was mainly due to the price of labor, food, and shipping costs estimated at $4,400.00! As mentioned, these cost estimates are for 2020, so with inflation, your extravagant true love will be out of pocket even more this year. The big problem I see is getting those ten lords-a-leaping into the country with the present Covid restrictions.

Did you know that turkey is not the most popular traditional meat for Christmas dinner? In the US, according to Google Trends Data, ham edges out the big bird as the most popular choice. For me, a spiral cut ham makes carving so easy. I wish they would come up with a spiral cut turkey!

Did you know that Santa Claus is based upon a fourth century Christian Bishop, Sinterklaas, whose name later morphed into Santa Claus? Now, regarding the jolly old man with the white beard and red suit, we can thank good old marketing and commercialism for that image. Did you know we can thank Coca-Cola and Montgomery Ward department store for the modern image of Santa and his entourage of reindeer and elves? In 1931, Coca-Cola hired an illustrator to dress up Santa, who depicted him as the jolly old man in the red suit, aligning with the beverage company’s red color scheme. A few years later, “Monty Ward’s” commissioned the marketing of a Christmas story for children, which featured Rudolph, his herd of reindeer friends, and the load of underpaid worker elves. Where was the Fair Labor Standards Act then?

Did you know that reindeers can’t eat carrots? According to the UK Independent Newspaper, “reindeer don’t like carrots and struggle to eat them.” Evidently reindeer have a hard time digesting them because they don’t have any incisor teeth in their upper jaw. So, maybe you should think about leaving out carrot juice this year instead.

Did you know that “Jingle Bells” was originally written for a Thanksgiving concert in the mid-19th century? So, before you go “dashing through the snow” you should maybe have been dreaming of a White Thanksgiving rather than a White Christmas!

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