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Pig’s head.  It’s what’s for dinner!  The traditional Christmas dinner in England used to be a pig head prepared with a mustard sauce.  (So why were the Cratchits eating goose and/or turkey?)  I imagine that many English folk are delighted that this tradition is no longer in force.  Silly me!  I have always called it a Boar’s Head.  But I’m pig-headed that way.

Witches and Evil spirits are the greatest broom thieves.  They need some sort of transportation, after all.  The Norwegians once believed that witches and devious spirits were likely to steal their brooms on Christmas Eve.  I think that whole rumor is Cromwell’s fault.

“Bah  Christmas.”  Not the best line created by Dickens, mainly because “Bah  Humbug”  has that extra something special about it.  Most people agree that Dickens’ decision to work on the famous catchphrase was a good move.

There is a special act in Britain that actually makes it mandatory to go to church on Christmas day.  The act known as “The Holy Days and Fasting Act” still exists; however, not so much enforced.  Additionally, no vehicle of any kind is to be used to get to the Christmas service.  (Wonder how witches and evil spirits got to the services?  Wait!  They broke the law and didn’t go.  They stuck around the neighborhood, stealing brooms. . .)

Forego throwing out your Christmas tree in the usual – hopefully ecologically sound – way, and make it lunch!  The evergreen is actually edible, well, most parts of it anyway.  In addition, it is nutrient enriched, so if you take the advice to have your tree for lunch, you will be dining on a good source of Vitamin C and roughage.  Don’t think about it as eating a tree – it’s just one small step away from any other vegetable.

Bake your bread on Christmas Eve and it will remain fresh forever.  Uh huh. An old wives’ tale suggests that bread baked on Christmas Eve is mold resistant. All we have to do now is to convince all the bakeries in the world to get on board.

The annual Christmas pudding was more than just a tasty treat.  Small items were placed in them which had the power to predict what the New Year would bring.  Coins were associated with a gain in wealth, a ring was a sign of an imminent marriage, and a button signified extended bachelorhood.  This idea goes back to the middle ages where the cake being served on the Twelfth Night would come complete with a hidden bean.  Whoever found this bean was declared “King” or “Queen” for that one night.

If you counted all the gifts that were given in the song “Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would learn that the number of gifts presented were 364 in total, thus “a gift was given for each day of the year.”  Except one, I guess.  Aren’t there 365 days in a year?  Also, there must have been some extra drummers drumming, lords a-leaping, or maids a-milking, etc. on those pesky leap years. . .

Celebrating Christmas was illegal in England from 1647 – 1660.  This was enforced by Oliver Cromwell, who believed it was immoral to hold celebrations on one of the holiest days of the year.  The celebration of Christmas was therefore a criminal offense which could lead to an individual being convicted if he or she was found guilty of condoning any revelry during the period.  Most of the people wanted to stay home anyway and guard their brooms, but then when it turned out they had to attend services, they couldn’t.  Such a dilemma. . .

Christmas day is close enough to be able to hear the sound of Santa packing the sleigh! So, I will close now with today’s cartoons, and wish you, until tomorrow, enough. . .

(wc 628)

(Christmas facts and trivia courtesy of theholidayspot.com)