Christmas has not always been celebrated on Dec 25. While Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the actual date is lost to history. There’s no mention of December 25 in the Bible and many historians say Jesus was really born in the spring. Some historians posit the date was originally chosen because it coincided with the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which honored the agricultural god Saturn with celebrating and gift-giving. Miseltoe is an aphrodisiac The holiday decoration isn’t just pretty. It’s also an ancient symbol of fertility and virility. And the Druids considered it an aphrodisiac. So, the next time someone cracks a joke about meeting you under the mistletoe, consider yourself warned. Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song. Turns out, we first started dashing through the snow for an entirely different holiday. James Lord Pierpont wrote the song called “One Horse Open Sleigh” for his church’s Thanksgiving concert in the mid-19th Century. Then in 1857, the song was re-released under the title we all know and love.
Celebrating Christmas was illegal at one time. From 1659–1681, anyone caught making merry in the colonies would face a fine for celebrating. By the Revolutionary War, the day had so little significance that Congress even held their first session on December 25, 1789. Christmas wasn’t even proclaimed a federal holiday for almost another century, proving that the Grinch’s attitude toward the holiday was alive and well long before he was.
The word “Xmas” dates back to the 1500s. Contrary to popular believe, “Xmas” is not a trendy attempt to take Christ out of Christmas. According to From Adam’s Apple to Xmas: An Essential Vocabulary Guide for the Politically Correct, “Christianity” was spelled “Xianity” as far back as 1100. X, or Chi, is the Greek first letter of “Christ” and served as a symbolic stand-in at the time. In 1551, the holiday was commonly called “Xtemmas,” which was later shortened to “Xmas.”
During World War II, The United States Playing Card Company joined forces with American and British intelligence agencies to create a very special deck of cards. They distributed them as Christmas gifts, but they also helped allied prisoners of war escape from German POW camps. When wet, individual cards peeled apart to reveal maps of escape routes
The first Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center probably looked more like Charlie Brown’s than the resplendent one today. Construction workers first placed a small, undecorated tree while working there in 1931. Two years later, another tree appeared in its place, this time draped in lights. It just kept getting bigger every year. Today, the majestic tree bears more than 25,000 twinkling lights and sees millions of selfie-takers each season.
Our next 6 of 12 days of Christmas cocktails:
6 Geese a laying – CB Frost, grapefruit juice, maple syrup, rosemary, salt; 5 Golden Rings – Liquor 43, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, heavy cream; 4 Calling Birds- Douglas Fir, Chartreuse, Luxardo liqueur, lime juice; 3 French Hens -Courvoisier, lemon juice, Champagne topper; 2 Turtle Doves- CV Frost, Baileys Irish Cream, DK crème de cocoa, chocolate syrup; A partridge in a pear tree- Pear Brandy, elderberry liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup; 1/2 price on fruit/infused flight