How Much Do You Know About Christmas?

   Now that Christmas is behind us for one more year, it is time to see just how much of the holiday traditions you know. Consider these Christmas fun facts:  What’s so special about mistletoe? The Druids considered mistletoe sacred because it remains green and bears fruit during the winter when all other plants appear... Continue Reading →

Have a Finger-Lickin’ Good Christmas!

While visions of sugar plums may dance in the heads of children in most of the world on Christmas Eve, in Japan the dreams are more likely to be filled with images of crispy and original recipe chicken. In 1974 Kentucky Fried Chicken launched an advertising campaign called "Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!!" -- "Kentucky for... Continue Reading →

Need Extra Days for Christmas Shopping? Move to Foula

The island of Foula in the Shetland Islands of Scotland operates off of a different calendar than the rest of the United Kingdom. When Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, Foula chose to remain on the Julian calendar, except it did not observe leap year in 1900. As a result, the date in... Continue Reading →

The Christmas Truce of 1914

  On Christmas Eve, 1914, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing. At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached... Continue Reading →

Have Yourself a Jewish Little Christmas

  Many of the most popular Christmas songs were Jewish songwriters: "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells "Let it Snow" by Sammy Cahn "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" by Irving Berlin “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” music by... Continue Reading →

Making a List of Who is Naughty, Nice, and Who Will Be Eaten

Not content with just one Santa Claus, Iceland has thirteen of them. Known as "Jolasveinar" or "Yule Lads," they are the sons of the trolls Gryla and Leppaludi, who would eat children who have been naughty throughout the year. Originally the Jolasveinar were much like their parents, but they mellowed with the years, and instead... Continue Reading →

Another First for the American Space Program

On December 16, 1965, astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra were on Gemini 6 when they transmitted the following message: "Gemini VII, this is Gemini VI. We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, up in a polar orbit. He's in a very low trajectory traveling from north to south... Continue Reading →

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