20 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

The wrapping began two days ago. The cookie baking began yesterday. The cleaning begins today. I'm gearing up for days of holly jolly joy! (Have you guessed by now that I'm in love with the Christmas season? After all, it's the most wonderful time of the year.)
Today will probably be my last day with you until after Christmas. But cheer up, friends! Grab a cup of eggnog, dream by the fire, and let it snow. Santa Claus is coming to town!
I'll see you next week. In the meantime, I leave you with a few more Christmas facts:

  • Gift-giving can also be traced back to Roman times. Romans exchanged gifts, giving coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light the journey through life. They also made gifts of small dolls for children and candles for adults. Macy’s began staying open until midnight on Christmas Eve in 1867 to accommodate the custom and in 1874 began their Christmas window displays.
  • We have Sir Cole to thank for the Christmas card frenzy. In 1843, too busy to wish individual greetings to his friends, he commissioned artist John Calcott Horsley for the illustration. The card was inscribed with, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You.” Three years later, Christmas cards became a phenomenon in the States.
  • European countries in the Middle Ages viewed Christmas as a time for superstition and auguries. On Christmas Eve, animals had the ability to talk—an annual function usually associated with overcoming their oppression—and water became wine. In France, chanting the genealogy of Christ during Midnight Mass revealed treasure. In Norway, the Norse gods made war on Christmas, coming in lightening and thunder and dragging away unlucky citizens. If a southern Slav girl wanted to know what kind of husband she would have, she would cover her table on Christmas Eve with a loaf of bread, a plate, a knife, a spoon, and a fork before going to bed. At midnight, the spirit of her future husband would appear and throw the knife at her. If it did not injure her, she would get a good husband and a happy life. If it hurt her, she would die early. Similarly, a young man would go to the church naked on Christmas Eve and sift ashes. His future bride would appear and pull him three times by the nose (could this be where Santa got his red nose?). These days, we merely tell horror stories of coal left in stockings and set out milk, cookies, and carrots to ensure a favorable visit. Do they leave out fortune cookies for Santa in China?

And some fun Christmas facts about me:

  • Favorite Christmas movies I've seen this season: White Christmas, Christmas Vacation, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Frosty
  • Christmas movies I've seen for the first time this season: Holiday in Handcuffs (didn't expect to like this one, but I did!), Fred Claus, Jingle All the Way, Deck the Halls, and a slew of cheesy ones made for TV
  • Favorite Christmas movies I have yet to see: White Christmas (my absolute favorite, so I watch it a handful of times), Miracle on 34th Street (only the old version for me), The Santa Claus, Home Alone, The Year without a Santa Claus (I'm Mr. White Christmas, I'm Mr. Snow, I'm Mister Icicle, I'm Mister Ten Below), and if I must, It's a Wonderful Life
  • Christmas movies you couldn't pay me to watch again: A Christmas Story (I don't the brew-ha-ha over this one), and a couple of the made-for-TV ones I saw this year
  • Activities I plan on enjoying before I see you next: making cut-out snowflakes, pasting together Frosty on construction paper (hey, I live in Texas--we don't have snow), going to see Sweeney Todd in the theater, eating way too much, opening presents, playing in the pile of discarded wrapping paper with my niece and my parents' dog

Merry Christmas!

9 comments:

Karmyn R said...

You are better than me - I haven't begun to clean.

and as for the naked young men - I guess it works good for the women. They can really "size" up their future husband that way. ha ha ha ha


Dreaming What Ifs...

Mark Goodyear said...

You know, I went to church naked last Christmas Eve. Not a single person pulled my nose.

pete g said...

Merry Christmas, Heather!

Willowtree said...

Heather,

A Merry Christmas to you and yours.

From

Willowtree and his ;)

Heather Diane Tipton said...

you know... if you moved to CO you would have snow at Christmas... LOLOL


MERRY CHRISTMAS, HEATHER!!!!

Danica/Dream said...

I love these!!

Pamela said...

pulling naked men by their nose.. excuse me? HA HA!!

sigh..things aren't getting done around here at all.

Merry Christmas friend.

Willowtree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina Conroy said...

Merry Christmas! Our Must See list is almost Identical, (love the Mizer brothers) though I have to add Lilies of the Field with Sidney Poitier (sp.) Don't know why I consider that one a Christmas movie for me.

And as for cookie baking and wrapping, done, but no cleaning for me. No one's coming over so why bother. Oh, except our 80 year old neighbors but I don't think they'll mind the dirt and clutter!