There are lots of Christmas traditions and I came across a few interesting facts on some of them –
Why do we eat turkey?
Long ago, it was the smell of roast goose or the head of a boar that filled the Christmas air in Britain. Then in 1526, a trader named William Strickland imported six turkeys from the US and sold them in Bristol, for tuppence each. The birds were popular because they were tasty, and practical. Cows were more useful alive, chicken was more expensive than it is now, and other meats were not as popular.
……….. And why mince pies?
Mince pies are the modern descendant of the Christmas Pye, a large dish filled with shredded pigeon, hare, pheasant, rabbit, ox, lamb, or mutton, mixed with fruits and sugar. It had an oblong shape, said to resemble Jesus’s cradle. After 1660, they became more like the pies we eat now.
What about Christmas cards?
The first person ever to think of selling Christmas cards was a civil servant named Henry Cole, who had worked on the introduction of the first postage stamp, the Penny Black, in 1840. He was too busy that year to write to all his friends, so he commissioned a designer named John C. Horsley, of Torquay, to design a card with the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You”. In 1843, the year that Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, Cole went a step further, by commissioning 1,000 cards. He used some, and put an advertisement in the press offering the others for sale at 6d each. One card from that batch was sold in December 2005 for £8,500.
( from “What’s Behind Christmas Traditions?” by Andy McSmith, 2008 Independent)
Each year I tell myself that I will be more organised and not leave things to the last minute and each year I do exactly the same as the year before. I think that for me, all the rush and bustle involved in the run up to Christmas is part of my “tradition”.
I love the carols played in the shops, the fact that people seem more friendly toward each other, the last minute present wrapping, the food that we wouldn’t buy any other time of year, the board games, the falling asleep after lunch, the old films on tv, the presents from relatives who seem to forget our age and size, the list could go on. But most of all I love spending time with my family and friends, I just love Christmas.
I want to share this card with you, it’s by the brilliant Jacquie Lawson and sums up my memories of happy childhood Christmases
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2013