As we begin the preparations- the decorations, the shopping, the planning, the baking, the parties, and hopefully, the church activities-here's a little holiday trivia to help get you set the proper tone for the Christmas season.
1. Listen to the song "Twelve Days of Christmas" and count the number of gifts in the song. You will realize that gifts were exchanged 364 times. Thus the gifts are exchanged everyday of the year, except one.
2. The American Puritans wanted to make the festival of Thanksgiving Day the prime festival instead of Christmas.
3. The first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday was Alabama in 1836.
4. Noel is the word which is used in place of Christmas in France. The word was derived from the French phrase "les bonnes nouvelles" which means "the good news" and it refers to the gospel.
5. The poinsettia is a traditional Christmas flower. In Mexico (its original birthplace), the poinsettia is known as the "Flower of the Holy Night."
6. Louis Prang, a Bavarian-born lithographer who came to the USA from Germany in the 19th century, popularized the sending of printed Christmas cards. He invented a way of reproducing color oil paintings, the "chromolithograph technique," and created a card with the message "Merry Christmas" as a way of showing it off.
7. If you are thinking about a Christmas shopping trip, then here's something to remember. Statistics reveal that you are going to be elbowed three times, if not more, while shopping.
8. According to an old wives’ tale if you bake bread on Christmas Eve then it will be fresh forever. It’s yet to be known how many people actually believe in this story and how many of them have ever tried it.
9. Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, has two addresses, Edinburg and the North Pole. If someone writes a letter and wants to send it to "Toyland" or "Snow land", then that particular letter goes to Edinburg. But, if someone sends the letter to "The North Pole," then it has to go to the North Pole because there is a place called North Pole.
10. At Christmas, it is traditional to exchange kisses beneath the mistletoe. In ancient Scandinavia, mistletoe was associated with peace and friendship. That may account for the custom of "kissing beneath the mistletoe."
My hope is that your Christmas season will be full of rich blessings and time to appreciate each other! Happy Holidays!