Happy Holidays from eMoyo!
eMoyo would like to wish all our customers and subscribers a very happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas and Winter Solstice! No matter the name of the celebration during this time that we spend with our families, we feel it only right to share with you as well, as you are all part of the eMoyo family too! From our family to yours, we wish you a time filled with joy and laughter and wish you well until we meet again in the new year. Until then, here are a few interesting facts about the December Holidays you might not have heard before. We hope these little tidbits will wow your families and friends.
Things you might not have known about the December Holidays
Google has a doodle for each holiday celebrated in December
Have you ever opened up your browser and noticed the Google logo looks a bit different? That’s a Google doodle! – designed to bring awareness to the special holiday it represents. If you click on the doodle it will bring you to an article explaining what the doodle is about and you can find out some interesting facts about the day being celebrated. In honour of December holidays, Google has designed a few special doodles for different celebrations that will feature throughout the month, bringing awareness to our diversity in cultures and traditions. So keep your eyes peeled for something new! Learn more about the December Holiday’s festivities including Hanukkah, Yule, Festivus, Kwanzaa and the story behind Boxing Day from Google here.
Where did the Christmas tree tradition come from?
The origin of Christmas trees goes way back to ancient Egyptians and Romans. They used evergreen trees like fir or pine trees, and decorated their homes with wreaths, and garlands. The use of modern Christmas trees started in Germany in the 16th century. Instead of the glitzy decorations that we see on them today, they were decorated with fruits and nuts. The first artificial Christmas Tree wasn’t a tree at all. It was created out of goose feathers that were dyed green. The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany in the 19th century, due to a major continuous deforestation. The feather trees became increasingly popular during the early 20th century and finally made their way across the world.
X-mas is Greek to all of us…
The use of the term ‘Xmas’ as a shortened term for Christmas dates back to the 16th century. In the Greek alphabet, the letter X (“chi”) is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ or Christos. So, Xmas simply means Christmas.
Christmas is also referred to as: Christmastide, Noel, Yule or Yuletide.
Santa’s fashion choice was not always Red!
Santa Claus initially wore clothes that were in green, purple, or blue. For many years, this was the common theme for the jolly old man at the North Pole. However, Coca Cola decided to dress him up in colours that match their brand and that stuck. So this is why he is always in red clothes now!
In 1931, Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to paint Santa for Christmas advertisements. Those paintings established Santa as a warm, happy character with human features, including rosy cheeks, a white beard, twinkling eyes and laughter lines.
Sundblom drew inspiration from an 1822 poem by Clement Clark Moore called “A Visit from St. Nicholas” —commonly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Learn More from Coca-Cola here.
How well do you know your Christmas Carols?
Did you know that “Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, and not Christmas? The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh”. If you can believe it, apparently, it was inspired by the drag races!It was supposed to be played during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races, where Pierpont lived. As Medford historical society vice president Kyna Hamill notes:
“Medford is home to a series of sleigh races that used to occur on a street called Salem Street, and because of this event, which pretty much happened in the middle of the 19th century, these sleigh races — which you could pretty much call drag races — down this street was one of the most popular events. Because of that, the influence and inspiration of the song, we believe came from those races.”
Not only that, it’s likely that said drag race participants were out of their minds on booze, given the main local industry:
“If you think about the fact that one of the great industries of Medford was rum-making, and if you really think about the lyrics of the song, with the lens that these are drag races that are happening at top speed down the center of this street, one of the suggestions is that it’s actually a drinking song.”
“Jingle Bells” was also the first song to be broadcast from space, sung on December 15, 1965 by astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra while they were in space. Hopefully they weren’t drinking like the supposed sleigh racers.
If one Santa isn’t enough, consider moving to Iceland!
Iceland has 13 Santas, but that is not all; they also have an old lady who kidnaps children! Christmas in Iceland is a colorful fusion of religion, fairy tales and folklore. Instead of one Santa, the kids are visited by 13 Yule Lads that either reward children for good behavior or punish them if they were naughty. The holiday period begins 13 days before Christmas and each day one of the 13 Yule Lads comes to houses and fills the shoes that kids leave under the Christmas tree either with sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes, depending on how that particular child has behaved on the preceding day. The mother of Yule Lads, who is said to be half-troll and half-beast is a horrifying old woman named Grýla. She kidnaps the naughty kids and boils them in her cauldron. This fairytale might inspire more good behaviour than that famed elf on the shelf. Thinking of moving to Iceland now?