This is a little awkward because I'm writing this a week before Christmas but when read it will be after Christmas. But I can still wish you a Merry Christmas, Joyeaux Noel and Felice Navidad. I can also extend best wishes for Happy Hanukkah, and a joyous Kwanza.Some people object when Christmas is abbreviated as Xmas, but it is derived from the Greek alphabet X which is the Chi, which is the first letter of Christ's name in the Greek alphabet.
Did you know that "Silent Night," a very popular carol, was written by an Austrian priest in 1818 when he was informed that the organ would not operate and could not be repaired before Christmas? He could not imagine Christmas without music, so he sat down and wrote music that could be accompanied by guitars. He wrote three stanzas of a song and on Christmas Eve the people of Austrian church sang "Stille Nacht", for the first time.
We'll it's near the end of December and we have had no snow. I like the first snowfall when the gentle flakes waft through the air and coat the country side with a blanket of white. I can recall back about 1925 when I was just five and the snow was starting to fall for the first time. When it got ankle deep for me (just enough to make a foot step for older folks) my mother dressed me and my three brothers up by bundling us up in layer after layer of woolen clothes. So many, that we could hardly walk. We had heavy scarfs and woolen ski caps. We wore felt boots which, were about a half-inch thick but out feet never got cold because the metal clasps tightened around our legs. We had a unique way with our mittens. Two mittens were tied together with a long string. We threaded the string through the arm, around the back and down the other arm, that way we couldn't lose them and they kept us warm. When we got out, we had fights with snow balls, built ice huts and snowmen. Then we went sleigh riding on our wooden sleds.
We were fortunate on hills because we could walk up while people on horse drawn sleds couldn't make it. Then we would belly flop our way down the hill and get the ride of our lives. After a couple of hours of outdoors, we were exhausted and what little skin was exposed on our faces was frosted and red. Inside when we undressed we hung the clothes over the coal burning stove and slid our feet in the open oven. What an exhausting and pleasant day!
We'll now how about trying a holiday quiz. These are all multiple choice so you have a good chance.
1. What color is Santa's belt? Red, White, Black, Gold or he doesn't wear a belt.
2. What were Frosty the Snowman's last words? I hate you Mr. Sun, I'm melting, I'll be back, It's too hot, what's happening.
3. What Christmas song contains the line "Sing Choirs of Angels? Silent Night, The First Noel, Joy to the World, Deck the Halls. None.
4. What is the busiest shopping day of the year? Black Friday, the 1st Saturday before the holiday, the last Saturday before Christmas, the day before Christmas.
5. How many "Geese a laying" did my true love give to me? Six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
6. What did the Grinch use to pull his sleigh? One sick reindeer, his dog, rats and giant snails.
7. What do they call the Christmas gift bringer in Chile? Senor Santo, El Claus, Old Man Christmas, they don't have Christmas in Chile.
8. "In a Christmas Carol" what song does the caroler sing outside the Scrooge's office? God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, Silent Night, O' Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World, The First Noel.
9. Hanukkah is celebrated in what month? Jan., March, July, Dec., Nov, 10. Hanukkah lasts for how many days? 4,5,7,8,9.
11. What is the Hanukkah candelabra called? Yarmulka, Latkes, Menorah, Ketubah, Liberace
12. How many candles doe the candelabra hold? 6,7,8,9,10.
Answers: 1=Black, 2=I'll be back, 3=None, 4=The day before Christmas, 6=His dog, 7=Old Man Christmas, 8= God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, 9=Dec., 10=8, 11=Menorah, 12=9.