Saturday, December 26, 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Trivia Bits 25 December

  1. The first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.
  2. On Christmas Day in 2008 almost 39,000 copies of iFart, a flatulance simulation software app, were downloaded.
  3. Animal Cracker's were introduced at Christmastime in 1902 with the carrying string on the box designed so it could be hung on a Christmas Tree.
  4. 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."
  5. The first Christmas cards printed in the United States were sent by businesses to their customers in the 1850s with Pease's Great Variety Store in Albany, New York one of the first stores to use this form of advertising..
  6. In 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.
  7. First published in 1892, in The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes investigates the mystery of a Christmas goose that swallowed a jewel.
  8. From 1931 to 1964 annual Coca-Cola ads became a Christmas tradition after commissioning in 1931 artist Haddon Sundblom to show Santa drinking a Coke to encourage sales in the winter months., which helped reinforce the modern American image of Santa Claus as a rotund, jolly and bearded man, dressed in a red outfit trimmed in white fur with a broad black belt and black boots.
  9. Charlie Rich had a number one hit with The Most Beautiful Girl in the World on the country charts during Christmas 1973.
  10. Every elf has an  ornament of bells on the tip of their shoes.
  11. The song White Christmas was written by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby in the 1942 movie Holiday Inn which he also sang it in the 1954 movie White Christmas with the song has sold more than 100 million copies world wide and is the best selling Christmas song of all time.
  12. In Australia, Father Christmas uses six white boomers, male kangaroos, to pull his sleigh giving the reindeer a well earnt break.
  13. The Greeks celebrate Christmas on January 7, according to the old Julian calendar, while Christmas presents are opened on New Year's Day.
  14. The four ghosts in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol are Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Yet to Come, and Jacob Marley.
  15. There is no reference to angels singing anywhere in the Bible.
  16. Two of the reindeers are named after weather phenomenon - Donner, which means thunder in German, and Blitzen, which means lightning.
  17. The London Christmas period of 1813 - 14 saw the last Christmas Fair on a frozen River Thames, known as a Frost Fair.
  18. Hanging stockings out comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas's donkeys and he would leave small gifts in return.
  19. The word Noel derives from the French expression les bonnes nouvelles or the good news.
  20. English Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas between 1647 and 1660 because he believed such celebrations were immoral for the holiest day of the year.
  21. The first singing radio commercial, which aired in the US on Christmas Eve 1926, was for Wheaties.
  22. The Christmas tree displayed in Trafalgar square in London is an annual gift to the UK from Norway since 1947. The Norwegian spruce given is a token of appreciation of British friendship during World War II from the Norwegian people
  23. Charles Dickens' initial choice for Scrooge's statement Bah Humbug was Bah Christmas.
  24. In 2004, the German post office gave away 20 million scented stickers free to make Christmas cards smell like a fir Christmas tree, cinnamon, gingerbread, or a honey-wax candle
  25. The name of toy, Yo-yo, popular since Christmas 1929, translated means come-come or come-back.
  26. In 1580, the Christmas feasts of Sir William Petrie included 17 oxen, 14 steers, 29 calves, 5 hogs, 13 bucks, 54 lambs, 129 sheep and one ton of cheese.
  27. An advertisement in 1910 for Ivory Soap showed a child waiting for Santa Claus in front of a fireplace with a bowl of water, a towel and a bar of Ivory soap so Santa could wash up after coming down the sooty chimney.
  28. In 354 A.D. Pope Liberius designated December 25 as the official date of Christmas.
  29. You should stir mincemeat clockwise for good luck.
  30. Lucy asks Schroeder to play Jingle Bells on his piano in the 1965 TV Special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  31. Yorkshireman William Strickland is believed to have brought the first Turkey to Britain from North America in 1526.
  32. In the song I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe, mommy tickled Santa Claus Underneath his beard so snowy white with the original recording by Jimmy Boyd, recorded on July 15, 1952 when he was 13 years old.
  33. In India, the world's seventh largest by geographical area, Christmas known as Bada Din - the big day.
  34. The Christmas slogan introduced by Clarissa Baldwin of Dogs Trust in 1978 was A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas.
  35. The most popular toy in 1893 – 1985 were unique and no two exactly alike being the Cabbage Patch Dolls.
  36. Popular Christmas song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, originally recorded by Judy Garland, was first heard in the 1944 musical Meet Me In St. Louis.
  37. Band-Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas was the UK Christmas chart-topping record in 1984, Band Aid 2 1989 and Band Aid 20 in 2004.
  38. In the 1995 movie Babe, Farmer Hoggett and his wife receive a fax machine as a Christmas gift from their son for Christmas.
  39. Born on Christmas Day 1949, Sissy Spacek (pictured), the cousin of actor Rip Torn, went onto play the title roles in Carrie and a Coalminers Daughter.
  40. In the 1990 film Die Hard 2, it was at the airport Dulles International Airport in Washington DC that the terrorist take over on Christmas Eve.
  41. According to legend, what special task King Arthur performed one Christmas Day was to pull the sword from the stone.
  42. In North America, NORAD, North American Radar and Defense, is always the first to spot that Santa is underway.
  43. Legend has it, whilst poking at a fire in 1847, the London-based sweet shop owner Tom Smith got the inspiration to make the Christmas dinner accessory, Christmas Crackers.
  44. Bill & Hilary Clinton switched on the Christmas tree lights in Belfast in 1995.
  45.  When Saigon fell in 1975, the signal for all Americans to evacuate was the song White Christmas by Bing Crosby being played on the radio.
  46. Traditionally, after kissing someone under the mistletoe, you should then remove one of the berries for good luck.
  47. Cliff Richard’s single Mistletoe and Wine was at number one over Christmas in the UK in 1988. 
  48. The Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street has been remade many times and Edmund Gwenn won a best supporting actor Oscar for the role of Kris Kringle in the original 1947 film and which two time Oscar winner Richard Attenborough played Kris in the 1994 remake.
  49. According to CBS, the 1964 animated story Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is the longest running holiday special in TV history, the one where Rudolph and Hermey the elf, who would rather be a dentist, run away from Christmas Town.
  50. The Christmas tradition of gingerbread houses probably stems from the German composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s 1893 opera Hansel and Gretel in which the witches house is made of gingerbread and covered in sweets and icing.

A Time For Giving

Keep Calm It's Christmas

Quotables 25 December

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Trivia Bits 24 December


An electronic device in an egg shaped container Tamagotchi (pictured) was the best-selling Christmas toy for children and adults alike in the year 1997.

The celebration of Christmas was banned in Boston from 1659 to 1681 with anyone showing Christmas spirit was fined 5 shillings! and was due to the pilgrims belief that it was a decadent celebration.
In 1670 the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral had candies made in the shape of a shepherd's crook to be distributed to children attending the church's creche scene to encourage them to be silent.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was created by Robert L. May as an assignment for Chicago based retailer Montgomery Ward's Christmas promotion in 1938.

Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to the Christmas Turkey.

Kissing under the mistletoe is thought to spring from Frigga, the Norse goddess of love, who was associated with the plant.

On Christmas Eve is it said that, Animals can speak and evil spirits lose their powers.

Santa has different names around the world - Kriss Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.

Mel Gibson’s 1987 American buddy cop action Lethal Weapon opens with the song Jingle Bell Rock.

The chances of a white Christmas are just 1 in 10 for England and Wales, and 1 in 6 for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world's presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.

In Britain, the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551 stated 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.

The word Christmas comes from the Old English "Cristes maesse" meaning "Christ's Mass".

Christmas trees may date back to pagan traditions, but the earliest known reference to a Christmas tree is in a German pamphlet from 1570.

Montgomery Ward and Company, an American catalogue company, had its first catalogue available for Christmas in 1872
Gingerbread or Lebkuchen is a type of bread that is traditional at German Christmas markets.

Although secretly expecting a necklace, the disappointed wife played by Emma Thompson in the 2003 British Christmas-themed romantic comedy film Love Actually gets a Joni Mitchell CD from her husband for Christmas. 

Revealed in January 1994 was that Queen Elizabeth had banned family and aides from repeating which two words that she had used in a previous Christmas day address Annus Horribilis.

Due to a 1644 Act of Parliament, Christmas was effectively banned in England for 16 long years and included all festivities, and even the attendance of Mass or a church service.

Little snowflake (Snegurochka) and Grandfather Frost (Dedushka Moroz) deliver gifts in Russia during the festive season.

Vintage Comics Celebrate Christmas

Santa Claus Coca Cola Style

Artistic Christmas Trees

Hanging a Christmas Wreath on Your Front Door

A Christmas Message From Superman

Quotables 24 December

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Trivia Bits 23 December

White Christmas (pictured), a slice made of coconut, crisped rice and dried fruit, is popular in Australia.

"Wassail" comes from the Old Norse "ves heill" - to be of good health which evolved into the tradition of visiting neighbours on Christmas Eve and drinking to their health.

Christmas trees are edible and many parts of pines, spruces, and firs are edible with the needles are a good source of vitamin C, Pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition.

George Bailey, played by James Stewart, is the central businessman character in the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.

The traditional flaming Christmas pudding dates back to 1670 in England, and was derived from an earlier form of stiffened plum porridge.

Robert Louis Stevenson, author and creator of Jekyll and Hyde, gave his birthday by formal deed to Anne Ide because she disliked her own birthday of December 25th.

The twelve days of Christmas are the days between Christmas Day and Epiphany [6th of January] and represent the length of time it took for the wise men from the East to visit the manger of Jesus after his birth.

Paul McCartney’s hit song Pipes of Peace video featured the First World War Christmas Truce meeting of German and British soldiers in no-man's land between the front line trenches.

In 1647, after the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell banned festivities. The law wasn't lifted until 1660.

In the 1954 American musical romantic comedy film White Christmas, all the General's suits were hidden at the cleaners on Christmas Eve.

Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.

According to an old wives' tale, bread baked on which Christmas Eve will never go mouldy.

There are 13 Yule-lads or trolls in Iceland that each leave a gift for children when they come down from the mountain one by one, starting on December 12 and have names like Spoon Licker, Door Sniffer and Meat Hook.

Harry Potter received as Invisibility cloak as a Christmas present during his first semester at Hogwarts.

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

Topping the UK charts at Christmas in 1957 and in a medley version in 1978 was Mary’s Boy Child from Harry Belafonte and Boney M respectively.

On Christmas Day, December 25, 1830, the Best Friend of Charleston became the first regularly scheduled steam locomotive passenger train in the United States when the locomotive made its initial run on the first six miles of track of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company.

Tiny, inexpensive gifts are commonly known as stocking fillers.

Jingle Bell Rock was originally recorded by Bobby Helms in 1957, composed by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe, and has since been recorded by more than 25 different artists, including The Platters, Chubby Checker, Johnny Mathis, Dion, George Strait, and Hilary Duff.

Rubik’s Cube, a mind boggling and very frustrating device, named after it's inventor, was one of the best-selling Christmas gifts of 1980.