Page 5 - December 2019 Gears & Ears
P. 5

Gears and Ears

                               Journal of The Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista

                                                      December 2019
                                        FunChristmas Facts

                                 “Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song.
                                 It turns out, we didn’t originally go dashing through the snow for
                                 Christmas. James Lord Pierpont wrote a song called “One Horse

                                 Open Sleigh” and performed it at his church’s Thanksgiving concert
                                 originally. Then in 1857, the song was re-published under the title it
                                 still holds today, and it eventually became one of the most popular
                                 Christmas songs.

        Celebrating Christmas used to be illegal.
        By  the  time  the  Puritans  settled  Boston,  celebrating  Christmas  was
        outlawed. Talk about missing the Christmas spirit! From 1659 to 1681,
        anyone caught making merry would face a fine for celebrating the once-
        pagan day. And after the Revolutionary War, the new Congress found the
        day so unimportant that they even held the first session on December 25,
        1789. Christmas wasn’t proclaimed a federal holiday for nearly another
        century, proving that the Grinch’s notorious hatred of the holiday was

        alive and well long before he was.

                                  The term “Xmas” dates back to the 1500s.
                                  Think “Xmas” is an edgy, relatively new way to abbreviate Christmas, or a
                                  secular attempt to take the Christ out of Christmas? Think again. According
                                  to From Adam’s Apple to Xmas: An Essential Vocabulary Guide for the
                                  Politically Correct, the word “Christianity” was spelled “Xianity” as far

                                  back as 1100. X, or Chi, in Greek is the first letter of “Christ” and served
                                  as a symbolic stand-in. In 1551, the holiday was called “Xtemmas” but
                                  eventually shortened to “Xmas.” So really, Xmas is just as Christian as the
                                  longer version.

        Candy canes got their start in Germany.
        The National Confectioners Association says a choirmaster originally
        gave the candies to young children so they’d stay quiet during long
        church  services.  Grandmas  who  still  dole  out  sweets  during  long
        sermons, you’ve got history on your side. But it wasn’t until a German-
        Swedish  immigrant  decorated  his  tree  with  candy  canes  in  1847
        that they became popular as a Christmas candy. Today, we’d hardly

        recognize the season without those little red-and-white stripes.

                                                           Page  5
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10