Tag Archives: christmas

Holiday Cookie Rules

We just realized that we provided a recipe for Greek Christmas Cookies this week without forwarding any rules to help you through the season… Here are some Holiday Cookie Rules.

If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

If you drink milk after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the milk cancels out the cookie calories (water has the same properties here).

If a friend comes over while you’re making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend’s first cookie is calorie free, rule #1 is yours also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free, as well.

Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

Any calories consumed during the frosting of The Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five – one calorie for each letter. (Make more red ones!)

Cookies eaten while watching “Miracle on 34th Street” have NO calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one’s personal fuel.

As always, cookie “pieces” contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

Any cookies consumed from someone else’s plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. (We all know how calories like to CLING!)

Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. (It’s a rule!)

Now, in thinking about this time of the year, you have heard of the Four Stages to Life haven’t you?!

1. You believe in Santa Claus.
2. You don’t believe in Santa Claus.
3. You are Santa Claus.
4. You look like Santa Claus.

(And I know what you are going to say to that… “Ho, ho, ho.”)

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Our Top 10 Christmas movie list

Here is By George‘s humble opinion of the top ten movies – “the must sees” – at this special time of year (listed in order from the best – but this should not dissuade you from watching all of them!).

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1. It’s a Wonderful Life

2. White Christmas

3. A Christmas Carol (1938 or 1951)

4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

6. Miracle on 34th Street

7. A Charlie Brown Christmas

8. A Christmas Story (1983)

9. Elf

10. Fred Claus

 

Pass the popcorn and eggnog!

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Elf-on-the-Shelf (Ho-Oh-No) Memes

By George Journal brings you some rather non-traditional memes feature that ever-annoying Elf-on-the-Shelf.

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(ed. – Apologies to all Elf-on-the-Shelf admirers.) 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Canadian Christmas Memes

For the third installment of By George’s Christmas memes, we are providing a few that are uniquely Canadian. Enjoy eh!  (Right click on the meme below. Like , eh, you can copy or save it and then share it to help spread the joy of the season.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

Humourous Christmas Quotes

  • Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home. — Carol Nelson
  • Christmas at my house is always at least six or seven times more pleasant than anywhere else. We start drinking early. And while everyone else is seeing only one Santa Claus, we’ll be seeing six or seven. — W. C. Fields
  • Did you ever notice that life seems to follow certain patterns? Like I noticed that every year around this time, I hear Christmas music. — Tom Sims
  • Why is Christmas just like a day at the office? You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit. — Unknown
  • What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a new job the next day. — Phyllis Diller
  • The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other. — Johnny Carson
  • I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included — Bernard Manning
  • Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year. — Victor Borge
  • The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband. — Joan Rivers
  • I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. — Shirley Temple
  • Santa is very jolly because he knows where all the bad girls live. — Dennis Miller
  • The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin. — Jay Leno
  • Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas. — Johnny Carson
  • Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year. — P.J. O’Rourke
  • Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously? — Bill Watterson
  • Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. — Larry Wilde
  • I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays. — Henry Youngman
  • A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. — Garrison Keillor
  • Next to a circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit. — Kim Hubbard
  • There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime. Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them. — P.J. O’Rourke

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

BGJ’s Christmas memes (2)

These half-dozen guffaws are the second installment of By George’s Christmas memes – posts that we have enjoyed with followers on our Facebook page. (You can find our first installment of memes – clicking here.)

It’s a sideways look at the season — and go ahead and right click on any of the memes below. You can copy or save them and then share them to help spread the joy of the season!

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

“Beware Revelers” the season of memes

By  George launches its season of Christmas memes with a warning that the endless deluge of Christmas posters and gifs are seldom funny and often in bad taste. Still, our hope is to unearth a few striking memes that you will want to share. We begin with this set of 5 which we entitle “Beware Revelers”.

(Go ahead – right click on the meme below. You can copy or save it and then share it to help spread the joy of the season…)

 

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Top 10 Christmas Record Breakers

Here is an interesting list of some pretty amazing Christmas records.

  1. Biggest selling Christmas song is Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The song was written by Sir Bob Geldof, and sold fifty million copies and continues to be a holiday favorite today!
  2. The world’s largest gift was the Statue of Liberty. The people of France gave it to the US in 1886. It’s 151 feet, 1 inch high and weighs 225 tonnes.
  3. The most valuable Christmas card was sold at an auction in Devizes, Wiltshire, UK in 2001 for £20,000 (approx. $40.000). The card was originally sent by Sir Henry Cole of Bath to his grandmother in 1843!
  4. The largest Christmas angel ornament is over 18 feet (5.57 meters) high and over 8 feet wide at the bottom. It’s made out of 2946 beer bottles. The angel was displayed on Alfonso Reyes Avenue, Nuevo Leon, Mexico in January 2000.
  5. World’s largest working Christmas cracker is 181 foot, 11 inch long and 11 foot, 9 inch high. It was made in Australia. It was pulled at a shopping center in Sydney, Australia on December 16, 1998.
  6. The world’s largest Christmas goat made from straw is built every year by the citizens of Gävle Sweden. It is an 13-metre tall, 7-metre long, 3 tonne goat. Unfortunately almost every year the poor goat gets burned down.
  7. The “World’s Largest Christmas Store” is Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a retail store in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The store has grown to the size of five-and-a-half football fields and is home to over 50000 gifts.
  8. The largest carol service was five-hundred-and-nineteen Christmas carolers, who braved the New York cold to sing themselves into the Guinness World Records Book. The singers gathered on the steps of Manhattan’s General Post Office across the street from Madison Square Garden.
  9. The best-selling book every year is the Bible. The Bible was the first book and is the all-time best selling book with 1 billion copies having been sold.
  10. The tallest-ever Christmas tree in the world was recorded 1999 in Tasmania. This towering Eucalyptus regnans was 80 meters (262 ft) tall and had 3,000 Christmas lights. Later The Guinness Book of Records has rejected The Wilderness Society’s claim for the world’s tallest Christmas Tree on the grounds that the tree was a eucalypt and not a spruce.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

The Christmas Tree – quotes for the season

  • The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect! – Charles N. Barnard
  • Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. – Larry Wilde
  • The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature. – Andy Rooney
  • Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees? – Linus
  • Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. – Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. – Roy L. Smith
  • Christmas spirit that goes out with the dried-up Christmas tree is just as worthless. – unknown
  • Correction:  Christmas trees don’t grow on trees; they need rainbows, lumberjacks, and Leprechauns on unicorns playing jock jams on glockenspiels. – Ryan Ross
  • Tall and majestic? No thanks. I’ll take the small, scrawny, neglected one. – Charlie Brown
  • I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love. – Linus
  • The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. – Burton Hills
  • It’s a tradition that the Christmas season begins for our Family with the selection and dressing of our tree. The Magic of the season begins with the placement of the Angel. – Chris George

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

O Christmas Tree

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  • The best selling Christmas trees are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Noble fir, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, Balsam fir and white pine.
  • For every real Christmas tree harvested, 2 to 3 seedlings are planted in its place.
  • Cultured Christmas trees must be shaped as they grow to produce fuller foliage. To slow the upward growth and to encourage branching, they are hand-clipped in each spring. Trees grown in the wild have sparser branches, and are known in the industry as “Charlie Brown” trees.
  • Christmas trees are edible. Many parts of pines, spruces, and firs can be eaten. The needles are a good source of vitamin C. Pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition.
  • In 1531, there was the first printed reference to Christmas trees in Germany where the trees were very popular. In England, they became popular after Queen Victoria’s husband Albert, who came from Germany, made a tree part of the celebrations at Windsor Castle. In the United States, the earliest known mention of a Christmas tree is in the diary of a German who settled in Pennsylvania.
  • The Canadian province of Nova Scotia leads the world in exporting lobster, wild blueberries, and Christmas trees.
  • California, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are the top Christmas tree producing states. Oregon is the leading producer of Christmas trees – 8.6 million in 1998.
  • According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans buy 37.1 million real Christmas trees each year; 25 percent of them are from the nation’s 5,000 choose-and-cut farms.
  • America’s official national Christmas tree is located in King’s Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the “General Grant Tree,” is over 300 feet (90 meters) high. It was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.
  • Theodore Roosevelt, a staunch conservationist, banned Christmas trees in his home, even when he lived in the White House. (His children, however, smuggled them into their bedrooms.)

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Conversations over the eggnog bowl

As we enter Christmas and New Year’s festivities, inevitably, we will find ourselves at cocktail parties or dinner settings where we will be reaching for a topic of discussion. To help us through this season, By George Journal provides observations and questions that will serve as perfect conversation starters. Here are a dozen questions to start us off – enjoy your talks!

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
  3. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
  4. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  6. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  7. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  8. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  9. What are you most grateful for?
  10. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  11. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  12. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? What can you do tomorrow that you’ll remember in 5 years? Are you going to do it?

 

More questions for your musings over the eggnog bowl can be found on past By George Journal posts:

Here

Here

Here

And Here

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Greek Kourambiedes – “The” Christmas Cookie

Ingredients

Beat on medium speed until lightened in color and creamy:
3/4 pound unsalted butter, softened & 1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat until very fluffy and well blended:
2/3 cup powdered sugar & 1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons brandy & 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

And then gradually add and stir until well blended and smooth:
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 cup Ground Almonds (optional)

Instructions

1. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm enough to shape into balls, about 1 hour.

2. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease cookie sheets.

3. Pull off pieces of the dough and roll between your palms into generous 1-inch balls. Space about 1 inch apart on the sheets.

4.  Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are faintly tinged with brown, 14-18 minutes; rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Remove the sheet to a rack and let stand until the cookies firm slightly. Gently transfer to racks to cool completely.

5.  Sift over the cookies until evenly coated: 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

6.  If desired, 1 cup ground almonds may be added to this recipe. If you do add the ground almonds, stir in after you have added the vanilla or almond extract, then continue with recipe.

Makes about 4 dozen (1 1/4 inch) cookies.

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Christmas facts from around the world (2)

One Norwegian Christmas custom begins in late autumn at harvest time. The finest wheat is gathered and saved until Christmas. This wheat is then attached to poles made from tree branches, making perches for the birds. A large circle of snow is cleared away beneath each perch. According to the Norwegians, this provides a place for the birds to dance, which allows them to work up their appetites between meals. Just before sunset on Christmas Eve, the head of the household checks on the wheat in the yard. If a lot of sparrows are seen dining, it is suppose to indicate a good year for growing crops.

In Norway on Christmas Eve, visitors should know that after the family’s big dinner and the opening of presents, all the brooms in the house are hidden. The Norwegians long ago believed that witches and mischievous spirits came out on Christmas Eve and would steal their brooms for riding.

In Finland and Sweden an old tradition prevails, where the twelve days of Christmas are declared to be time of civil peace by law. It used to be that a person committing crimes during this time would be liable to a stiffer sentence than normal.

In Sweden, a common Christmas decoration is the Julbock. Made from straw, it is a small figurine of a goat. A variety of straw decorations are a usual feature of Scandinavian Christmas festivities.

At Christmas, Ukrainians prepare a traditional twelve-course meal. A family’s youngest child watches through the window for the evening star to appear, a signal that the feast can begin. There are twelve courses in the Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper. According to the Christian tradition, each course is dedicated to one of Christ’s apostles. The table for Christmas Eve dinner in the Ukraine is set with two tablecloths: one for the ancestors of the family, the other for the living members. In pagan times, ancestors were believed to be benevolent spirits who, when shown respect, brought good fortune.

Ukrainians have a traditional Christmas bread called “kolach” which is placed in the center of the dining table. This bread is braided into a ring, and three such rings are placed one on top of the other, with a candle in the center of the top one. The three rings symbolize the Trinity.

La Befana, a kindly witch, rides a broomstick down the chimney to deliver toys into the stockings of Italian children. The legends say that Befana was sweeping her floors when the three Wise Men stopped and asked her to come to see the Baby Jesus. “No,” she said, “I am too busy.” Later, she changed her mind but it was too late. So, to this day, she goes out on Christmas Eve searching for the Holy Child, leaving gifts for the “holy child” in each household.

In Portugal, the traditional Christmas meal (consoada) is eaten in the early hours of Christmas Day. Burning in the hearth is the Yule log (fogueira da consoada). The ashes and charred remains of the Yule log are saved; later in the year, they are burned with pine cones during Portugal’s thunderstorm season. It is believed that no thunderbolt will strike where the Yule log smoke has traveled.

In Syria, Christmas gifts are distributed by one of the Wise Men’s camels. The gift-giving camel is said to have been the smallest one in the Wise Men’s caravan.

In Armenia, the traditional Christmas Eve meal consists of fried fish, lettuce, and spinach. The meal is traditionally eaten after the Christmas Eve service, in commemoration of the supper eaten by Mary on the evening before Christ’s birth.

Christmas is a summer holiday in South Africa. Children are fond of the age-old custom of producing pantomimes – for instance, “Babes in the Wood,” founded on one of the oldest ballads in the English language. Boxing Day on December 26th, when boxes of food and clothing are given to the poor, is observed as a holiday.

In Guatemala, Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25; however, Guatemalan adults do not exchange gifts until New Year’s Day. Children get theirs (from the Christ Child) on Christmas morning.

In the U.S., Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday. This tradition began in 1836. In 1907, Oklahoma became the last US state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Christmas facts from around the world (1)

In Britain, the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551, which has not yet been repealed, states that every citizen must attend a Christian church service on Christmas Day, and must not use any kind of vehicle to get to the service.

Also in Britain, eating mince pies at Christmas dates back to the 16th century. It is still believed that to eat a mince pie on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas will bring 12 happy months in the year to follow.

It is a British Christmas tradition that a wish made while mixing the Christmas pudding will come true only if the ingredients are stirred in a clockwise direction.

In the British armed forces it is traditional that officers wait on the men and serve them their Christmas dinner. This dates back to a custom from the Middle Ages.

In Medieval England, Nicholas was just another saint – he had not yet been referred to as Santa Claus and he had nothing to do with Christmas.

In Victorian England, turkeys were popular for Christmas dinners. Some of the birds were raised in Norfolk, and taken to market in London. To get them to London, the turkeys were supplied with boots made of sacking or leather. The turkeys were walked to market. The boots protected their feet from the frozen mud of the road. Boots were not used for geese: instead, their feet were protected with a covering of tar.

Christmas is not widely celebrated in Scotland. Some historians believe that Christmas is downplayed in Scotland because of the influence of the Presbyterian Church (or Kirk), which considered Christmas a “Papist,” or Catholic event. As a result, Christmas in Scotland tends to be somber.

In France, Christmas is called Noel. This is derived from the French phrase “les bonnes nouvelles,” which means literally “the good news” and refers to the gospel.

If traveling in France during the Christmas season, it is interesting to note that different dishes and dining traditions reign in popularity in different parts of the country. In south France, for instance, a Christmas loaf (pain calendeau) is cut crosswise and is eaten only after the first part has been given to a poor person. In Brittany, buckwheat cakes and sour cream is the most popular main dish. In Alsace, a roasted goose is the preferred entrée. In Burgundy, turkey and chestnuts are favored. In the Paris region, oysters are the favorite holiday dish, followed by a cake shaped like a Yule log.

In southern France, some people burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. This stems from an ancient tradition in which farmers would use part of the log to ensure a plentiful harvest the following year.

In the Netherlands, Christmas centers on the arrival of Saint Nicholas, who is believed to come on horseback bearing gifts. Before going to bed, Dutch children will set out shoes to receive gifts any time between mid-November and December 5, St. Nicholas’ birthday.

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

The hustle & bustle of Christmas shopping

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A few years back, the Philips Corporation in the US released a list of facts surrounding the holiday season. Here’s what the average person has to look forward to when shopping for Christmas:

  • Five miles of walking around stores, parking lots and malls
  • Spending at least 90 minutes waiting in line to pay
  • The average person will buy 22 presents and they will only receive 14 from others
  • Expect to spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes wrapping presents
  • Getting elbowed or pushed three times.
  • Six hours and 38 minutes of shopping online.
  • Most people will have their shopping done by December 20
  • Most people will shop in eight stores which they will visit in 6.5 days

Here are some other shopping facts about this time of year:

  • In America, the weeks leading up to Christmas are the biggest shopping weeks of the year. Many retailers make up to 70% of their annual revenue in the month preceding Christmas.
  • Although many believe the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is not. It is the fifth to tenth busiest day. The Friday and Saturday before Christmas are the two busiest shopping days of the year.
  • During the Christmas buying season, Visa cards alone are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the United States.
  • During World War II it was necessary for Americans to mail Christmas gifts early for the troops in Europe to receive them in time. Merchants joined in the effort to remind the public to shop and mail early and the protracted shopping season was born.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Here’s to a Punny Christmas

  • What did Adam say the day before Christmas? – It’s Christmas, Eve!
  • What is a typical elf greeting? – “Small world, isn’t it?”
  • You better get spruced up if you’re going to sell Christmas trees.
  • Some children call him Santa Caus since there is Noel.
  • How do Santa and Mrs. Claus travel? – On an icicle built for two.
  • What do Christmas trees and bad knitters have in common? – They both drop their needles.
  • If a reindeer lost its tail, where could he get a new one? – At a retail store.
  • What do you call a reindeer who wears ear muffs? – Anything you want. He can’t hear you, anyway.
  • What is green, covered with tinsel and says, “Rabbit, rabbit?” – A mistle-toad.
  • Who delivers Christmas presents to little sharks? – Santa Jaws.
  • What do monkeys sing at Christmas time? – Jungle Bells, Jungle bells.
  • Where does Santa Claus go swimming? – The North Pool.
  • What would you get if you ate the Christmas decorations? – Tinselitis.
  • What do you get when you cross a Christmas tree with an apple? – A pineapple.
  • What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? – Claustrophobia!
  • What do you call a letter that is sent up the chimney on Christmas eve? – Blackmail.
  • What do reindeer use to decorate their Christmas trees? – Horn-aments.
  • Who makes toy guitars and sings, “Blue Christmas?” – Elfis.
  • What name does Santa Claus use when he takes a rest from delivering presents? – Santa Pause!
  • Where does Santa hide the presents he’s giving to Mrs. Claus? – In the clauset.
  • Why will Santa go down your chimney on Christmas Eve?- Because it soots him.
  • What does a reindeer say before telling a joke? – This one will sleigh you!
  • What do you call Santa when he goes to the beach? – Sandy Claus.
  • How long are an elf’s legs? – Long enough to reach the ground.
  • Do reindeer go to public school? – No, they’re elf taught.

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

These make a total of 40 Christmas facts

By George presents yet another 10 facts about this Christmas Season that you may have not realized.

31. In the Thomas Nast cartoon that first depicted Santa Claus with a sleigh and reindeer, he was delivering Christmas gifts to soldiers fighting in the U.S. Civil War. The cartoon, entitled “Santa Claus in Camp,” appeared in Harper’s Weekly on January 3, 1863.

32. The real St. Nicholas lived in Turkey, where he was bishop of the town of Myra, in the early 4th century. It was the Dutch who first made him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought him to America where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus. St. Nicholas was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the early fourth century. It was the Dutch who first made him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought him to America where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus.

33. The Christmas turkey first appeared on English tables in the 16th century, but didn’t immediately replace the traditional fare of goose, beef or boar’s head in the rich households. (Today, it is estimated that 400,000 people become sick each year from eating tainted Christmas leftovers.)

34. Silent Night was written in 1818, by an Austrian priest Joseph Mohr. He was told the day before Christmas that the church organ was broken and would not be prepared in time for Christmas Eve. He was saddened by this and could not think of Christmas without music, so he wanted to write a carol that could be sung by choir to guitar music. He sat down and wrote three stanzas. Later that night the people in the little Austrian Church sang “Stille Nacht” for the first time.

35. The popular Christmas song “Jingle Bells” was composed in 1857 by James Pierpont, and was originally called “One-Horse Open Sleigh.”

36. The poem commonly referred to as “The Night Before Christmas” was originally titled “A Visit From Saint Nicholas.” This poem was written by Clement Moore for his children and some guests, one of whom anonymously sent the poem to a New York newspaper for publication.

37. In 1947, Toys for Tots started making the holidays a little happier for children by organizing its first Christmas toy drive for needy youngsters.

38. In 1996, Christmas caroling was banned at two major malls in Pensacola, Florida. Apparently, shoppers and merchants complained the carolers were too loud and took up too much space.

39. The U.S. Postal Service delivered a total of 19 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. The busiest delivery day was December 17, with more than twice as many cards and letters being processed that day compared to any other given day.

40. The day after Christmas, December 26, is known as Boxing Day. It is also the holy day called The Feast of St. Stephen. Some believe the feast was named for St. Stephen, a 9th century Swedish missionary, the patron saint of horses. Neither Boxing Day or St. Stephen have anything to do with Sweden or with horses. The Stephen for whom the day is named is the one in the Bible (Acts 6-8) who was the first Christian to be martyred for his faith.

[Source: Christmas Facts at corsinet.com]

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Even more interesting Christmas facts

By George is continuing its Christmas postings, presenting another 10 facts about this season that you may have not realized.

21. Jesus Christ, son of Mary, was born in a cave, not in a wooden stable. Caves were used to keep animals in because of the intense heat. A large church is now built over the cave, and people can go down inside the cave. The carpenters of Jesus’ day were really stone cutters. Wood was not used as widely as it is today. So whenever you see a Christmas nativity scene with a wooden stable — that’s the “American” version, not the Biblical one.

22. The abbreviation of Xmas for Christmas is not irreligious. The first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi, which is identical to our X. Xmas was originally an ecclesiastical abbreviation that was used in tables and charts.

23. Myrrh is an aromatic gum resin which oozes from gashes cut in the bark of a small desert tree known as Commifera Myrrha or the dindin tree. The myrrh hardens into tear-dropped shaped chunks and is then powdered or made into ointments or perfumes. This tree is about 5-15 feet tall and 1 foot in diameter. Legend says Caspar brought the gift of myrrh from Europe or Tarsus and placed it before the Christ Child. Myrrh was an extremely valuable commodity during biblical times and was imported from India and Arabia.

24. The poinsettia, traditionally an American Christmas flower, originally grew in Mexico; where it was known as the “Flower of the Holy Night.” It was first brought to America by Joel Poinsett in 1829.

25. Long before it was used as a “kiss encourager” during the Christmas season, mistletoe had long been considered to have magic powers by Celtic and Teutonic peoples. It was said to have the ability to heal wounds and increase fertility. Celts hung mistletoe in their homes in order to bring themselves good luck and ward off evil spirits.

26. The modern Christmas custom of displaying a wreath on the front door of one’s house, is borrowed from ancient Rome’s New Year’s celebrations. Romans wished each other “good health” by exchanging branches of evergreens. They called these gifts strenae after Strenia, the goddess of health. It became the custom to bend these branches into a ring and display them on doorways.

27. The northern European custom of the candlelit Christmas tree is derived from the belief that it sheltered woodland spirits when other trees lost their leaves during winter.

28. Originally, Christmas decorations were home-made paper flowers, or apples, biscuits, and sweets. The earliest decorations to be bought came from Nuremburg in Germany, a city famous for the manufacture of toys. Lauscha in Germany is famous for its glass ornaments. In 1880, America discovered Lauscha and F.W. Woolworth went there and bought a few glass Christmas tree ornaments. Within a day he had sold out so next year he bought more and within a week they, too, had sold. The year after that be bought 200,000 Lauscha ornaments. During the First World War supplies of ornaments from Lauscha ceased, so American manufacturers began to make their own ornaments, developing new techniques that allowed them to turn out as many ornaments in a minute as could be made in a whole day at Lauscha.

29. One notable medieval English Christmas celebration featured a giant 165-pound pie. The giant pie was nine feet in diameter. Its ingredients included 2 bushels of flour, 20 pounds of butter, 4 geese, 2 rabbits, 4 wild ducks, 2 woodcocks, 6 snipes, 4 partridges, 2 neats’ tongues, 2 curlews, 6 pigeons, and 7 blackbirds.

30. In an effort to solicit cash to pay for a charity Christmas dinner in 1891, a large crabpot was set down on a San Francisco street, becoming the first Salvation Army collection kettle.

[Source: Christmas Facts at corsinet.com]

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 more interesting Christmas facts

11. Historians have traced some of the current traditions surrounding Father Christmas, or Santa Claus, back to ancient Celtic roots. Father Christmas’s elves are the modernization of the “Nature folk” of the Pagan religions; his reindeer are associated with the “Horned God,” which was one of the Pagan deities.

12. Frankincense is a sweet smelling gum resin derived from certain Boswellia trees which, at the time of Christ, grew in Arabia, India, and Ethiopia. Tradition says that it was presented to the Christ Child by Balthasar, the black king from Ethiopia or Saba. The frankincense trade was at its height during the days of the Roman Empire. At that time this resin was considered as valuable as gems or precious metals. The Romans burned frankincense on their altars and at cremations.

13. Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895. The idea for using electric Christmas lights came from an American, Ralph E. Morris. The new lights proved safer than the traditional candles.

14. Animal Crackers are not really crackers, but cookies that were imported to the United States from England in the late 1800s. Barnum’s circus-like boxes were designed with a string handle so that they could be hung on a Christmas tree.

15. Frumenty was a spiced porridge, enjoyed by both rich and poor. It is thought to be the forerunner of modern Christmas puddings. It has its origins in a Celtic legend of the harvest god Dagda, who stirred a porridge made up of all the good things of the Earth.

16. Frustrated at the lack of interest in his new toy invention, Charles Pajeau hired several midgets, dressed them in elf costumes, and had them play with “Tinker Toys” in a display window at a Chicago department store during the Christmas season in 1914. This publicity stunt made the construction toy an instant hit. A year later, over a million sets of Tinker Toys had been sold.

17. “Hot cockles” was a popular game at Christmas in medieval times. It was a game in which the other players took turns striking the blindfolded player, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow. “Hot cockles” was still a Christmas pastime until the Victorian era.

18. In 1647, the English parliament passed a law that made Christmas illegal. Festivities were banned by Puritan leader, Oliver Cromwell, who considered feasting and revelry, on what was supposed to be a holy day, to be immoral. The ban was lifted only when the Puritans lost power in 1660.

19. A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

20. George Washington spent Christmas night 1776 crossing the Delaware River in dreadful conditions. Christmas 1777 fared little better – at Valley Forge, Washington and his men had a miserable Christmas dinner of Fowl cooked in a broth of Turnips, cabbage and potatoes.

[Source: Christmas Facts at corsinet.com]

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Tis the Season for an E-book

e-book_5When sending your e-mail well wishes in the weeks leading up to Christmas, why not add an e-book to your merry missive? It is easy and inexpensive to attach a By George publication to your electronic greeting.

We have seven e-book publications available as PDF files and offer on-line payment through PayPal. For as little as a toonie, or as much as your Starbucks’ double-whipped cream specialty coffee, here are the gifts you can pull off the By George e-bookshelf.

ORDER ONLINE: Our E-Bookshelf

Say “Merry Christmas, the best of the season…” with:

A Day in the Life of Man – Sustenance for the Soul is a moving collection of verse, thoughts and quotes to inspire and motivate a person through their day. From dawn to dusk, the reader is encouraged to reflect on their daily activities – and challenged to a reach for a new level of understanding about man and about life.

For that politico friend:

Keep ‘em Laughing – classic political jokes delivered on the campaign trail and atop the soapbox is a wonderful collection of funny guffaws, zingers, “shaggy-dog” stories and sideways jokes by politicians, who are always looking for a few laughs to break the ice on the rubber-chicken circuit. These political jokes are classic. Those in the business of politics will know many of these gems as they are heartily received on the campaign trail and at party functions.

Or our own By George Journal collections make thoughtful reads:

By George Treasury is a collection of the very best articles from By George from its launch in the mid-1990’s to 2008. This compilation offers a potpourri of information on effective communication to help at your workplace and with your social affairs.

By George Treasury II picks up where the first treasury collection ends. This e-book is a compilation of five years from By George Journal postings of 2009 through 2013. Page after page, you will find useful and interesting materials you will want to share at work or with your friends.

Visit Our E-Bookshelf to place your on-line order.

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.