Well, November is gone; it started pretty warm but sure is going out like a lion. The furnaces are going full blast and we are already under freezing. I've put plastic over all of my windows and sprayed insulating foam in all the electrical outlets to keep the cold air out. In November we honored our servicemen, living and dead, we had a momentous election, electing the first black president, and celebrated Thanksgiving Day, which started with the pilgrims first landing in America.In last month's column it was printed that the answer to the last question, which was, what is the numerical equivalent of the roman letter "L" was 12 rather 50, which is the correct answer. An easy way to remember the equivalents of Roman Numerals is to remember this little rhyme. I'm very excited, little cats drink milk. So each of the Roman Numerals is I - V - X - L - C - D - M: which would actually be 1 - 5 - 10 - 50-100-500-1000
Well I guess we are all looking forward to Christmas, like it or not. For many it will be just another day, while others will buy toys and knick-knacks for their children, relatives or friends.
Some will celebrate the Birth of Christ, The word for Christmas (or Christ's Mass) comes from the Old English name Christ Maesse-Christs's Mass and is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. It was first celebrated in Rome in 360 AD, but it wasn't until 440 AD that the Christian Church fixed the date as December 25. In Victorian times, some new ideas were added such as Father Christmas, Christmas cards and crackers.
In Germany, preparations begin weeks ahead with baking spiced cakes, making gifts, and decorations. Children leave letters on their windowsills for Christkind, who is dressed in white robes and a golden crown who distributes the letters, which are speckled with glitter. Many people make elaborate ginger houses and cookie Christmas pastry - Christhaurngeback, a white dough, is molded into shapes and baked for decorations. In parts of Germany, the Christ Child appears as an angel in a white robe bearing gifts and is called Christ kind.
There is also a figure called Welhnechtmann, or Christmas Man. In some homes a room is set aside in which toys and gifts are stored, and on Christmas eve at midnight the door is unlocked and the children are allowed to see the parcels and toys. On Christmas day, boys dress as kings and carry a star around as they sing Christmas Carols.
Did you know the abbreviations for Christmas is Xmas, and is derived from the Greek alphabet. X is the letter for "Chi" which is the first letter of Christ's name in the Greek alphabet.
Now for those of you who are looking for a puzzle, try this: Three men stopped at a hotel and were told that their rooms were $10 per room, for a total of $30. The next morning the manager decided that the rooms should cost $25, so he gave the bellhop $5 to return to the men. The bellhop gave each man $1, which meant they paid only $9 per room which was a total of $27. The bellhop kept the other $2 which makes $29. What happened to the other dollar? Answer next month!