Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It’s not just the decorations and songs that put me in the festive mood, but also knowing that this is the time of year that all the family gets together as well. I’ve collected these 10 facts on Christmas because they intrigued me. Feel free to pass them on and wow your friends and family during a little seasonal game of holiday trivia.
10 Mmmmm….pig’s Head
This was the traditional main course for Christmas dinner in England. The head was served with mustard sauce. I have to be honest, I’m kind of glad that this isn’t what’s for dinner nowadays. I’d much rather stick to the honey glazed ham my grandmother sticks with cloves and heats in the oven for dinner.
9 It’s Christmas, so Guard the Brooms
Norwegians used to believe that witches and evil spirits were out to steal brooms on the eve of Christmas. How this legend came about is beyond me. I’m guessing someone got together with a bunch of friends and stole some brooms. Most unexplainable situations were blamed on spirits in the past, so it sort of makes sense why broom stealing would be the doing of an evil spirit or a witch back in the day.
8 Some Things Are Considered to Be Unlucky around Christmas Time
You got to love all the superstitions surrounding certain holidays. Here are just a few that seem a bit odd; it’s unlucky to cut the Christmas cake before the eve of Christmas, it’s unlucky to cut mince pie with a knife during Christmas, and it’s bad luck to eat this pie any time other than between Christmas eve and the twelfth night. However, it is good luck to eat a mince pie every day during the 12 days of Christmas. That’s a lot of mince pie.
7 Pets Included!
More than half the population of Americans sings carols to their pets during the holidays and buys them gifts. My mom’s little dog does get a new sweater each year and the cats all get new toys. I know my family has always included pets with the gift giving, but we have yet to sing to our cats and dogs.
6 3000 Tons of Foil is Used Each Christmas
Apparently there are a lot more people cooking turkeys than I thought, since this number is supposedly connected to the amount of people cooking turkeys for Christmas dinner. I know we cover our Christmas ham in foil, as well as many of the other dishes put into the oven for Christmas dinner. The holidays are when a lot of baking and cooking is done, so it seems natural that a lot of aluminum foil is used for these tasks. 3000 tons does sound like an awful lot though!
5 ‘Tis the Season to Be Elbowed
Supposedly you will be elbowed an average of three times while you are out Christmas shopping. I think this number depends on if you are an avid shopper or not. I would think that fighting with crowds of people in close quarters is going to bring about more than three blows with an elbow. I think a more accurate average would be three elbows per item, especially if you are trying to get through a large group of people who all have the same gift idea.
4 Most Illnesses after Christmas Are Due to Leftovers
More than 400,000 cases of illnesses are caused by spoilt leftovers. I usually let the family rifle through the leftovers for a couple of days and then the dog gets the rest. I have no desire to spend my holidays in the emergency room, just because I feel bad about giving left over food to the dog.
3 Lucky Logs
Ancient Scandinavians began burning a Yule log for good luck. Not only was it lucky to burn the log, but luck was continued to have when the remnants of the log were saved. The pieces of the spend log were supposed to bring about good fortune all year long. It’s also said that the ashes from the Yule log were added to well water to make the water safer for drinking.
2 Mistletoe and Marriage
A myth surrounding mistletoe states that a woman who ventured under this greenery and didn’t receive a kiss wouldn’t get married in the year that followed. Today, it’s simply good luck to kiss someone under a sprig of mistletoe, but it doesn’t necessarily refer to luck in marriage.
1 Christmas Was Once Illegal
From the year 1647 to the year 1660, celebrating Christmas in England was an illegal act. Oliver Cromwell, who was a leader at this time, thought it was immoral to celebrate during the holiest time of the year; Christmas. Anyone caught celebrating or showing any signs of revelry during this time of the year was immediately arrested.
Some of these 10 facts on Christmas might seem a bit bizarre in this day and age, but they were perfectly legitimate back then. Thankfully, most people find this time of year to be a chance to make memories with family members and enjoy the festivities offered around town. Have you come across any interesting Christmas facts you’d like to share?
Top Photo Credit: Abraham P V
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