Christmas is so close now, and you are probably like me checking lists, perhaps still wrapping presents and doing your best to be as organised as possible.
I certainly hope this scenario hasn’t happened to you!
“After queuing up to get your turkey, you arrive home only to find the cat has swallowed most of the tinsel and you completely forgot to buy any tangerines!”
But have you ever stopped to wonder how these Christmas traditions started – why we kiss under the mistletoe, or give each other stockings full of goodies?
US scientists calculated that Santa visits 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
Robins on cards were a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics and were named after them.
Although now mostly vegetarian, in Victorian times, mince pies were made with beef and spices.
The tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and tangerines at the houses of the poor.
Carols began as an old English custom called wassailing, toasting neighbours to a long life.
Carols weren’t sung in churches until they were introduced by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century.
Hanging stockings out comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas’s donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.
Nearly 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe.
The word Noel derives from the French expression “les bonnes nouvelles” or “the good news”.
The abbreviation Xmas isn’t religious. The letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ.
The world’s tallest Xmas tree at 221ft high was erected in a Washington shopping mall in 1950.
James Pierpont’s 1857 song Jingle Bells was first called One Horse Open Sleigh and was written for Thanksgiving.
Before turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig’s head and mustard.
In 1647, after the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell banned festivities. The law wasn’t lifted until 1660.
World’s Biggest Snowman
In 1999, residents of the state of Maine in America built the world’s biggest ever snowman. He stood at 113ft tall.
The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843.
The largest Christmas cracker – 45.72m long and 3.04m in diameter – was pulled in Australia in 1991.
The bestselling Xmas single ever is Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, shifting over 50million copies worldwide since 1942.
In Britain, the best-selling festive single is Band Aid’s 1984 track, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which sold 3.5million copies. Wham! is next in the same year with Last Christmas, selling 1.4million.
Christmas pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine.
London sweet-maker Tom Smith created the first Christmas crackers in 1847, based on the sweet wrapper design.
Kissing under the mistletoe is thought to spring from Frigga, the Norse goddess of love, who was associated with the plant.
Early Christmas Trees
They may date back to pagan traditions, but the earliest known reference to a Christmas tree is in a German pamphlet from 1570.
The First Christmas
The first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.
Other names of Christmas
There are many names for Christmas from the old times and these include ‘Midwinter’, ‘Nativity’ and ‘Yule’.
And how about this!
Fruit Cake A Low Carb Alternative
“Please come into my kitchen and discover this ‘low carb fruit cake which is a great alternative to a traditional fruit cake.’ It can be enjoyed at any time of year but could prove a popular low carb Christmas alternative.”
Finally, in the midst of all the Christmas preparations, please take time to sit down and enjoy a refreshing cuppa – will it be tea or coffee?
Readers – you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas, are within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
We wish all our readers the compliments of the Season and a happy, peaceful and healthy New Year.
Thank you so much for reading our blog, and a special thank you to the very kind people who take the time to comment.
Jan and Eddie