Caterpillars Roasting on an Open Fire

South Africa Christmas food fried caterpillars

If fruitcake, Christmas cookies, or candy canes aren’t your thing, you might consider trying the South African holiday tradition. Locals celebrate Christmas with a hearty plate of deep-fried caterpillars of the Emperor Moth.


Seeing Friends for the Holidays


Patrick Rempe — immediately before getting his wish to see his buddies


Christmas brings an understandable desire to see old friends. For that reason, you might sympathize with Patrick Rempe, who just wanted to see his buddies before the holidays. Of course, his buddies were in custody in the county jail, but why let that little obstacle get in the way of holiday cheer and comradeship?

For that matter, why wait until normal visiting hours?

Rempe — who was apparently under the influence of the illicit drug flakka –rammed his car into the front door of the Indian River County Jail (Florida) and tried to climb a fence to get into the establishment. He was arrested when he got tangled in the fence’s cable wire and had to be assisted by deputies.

Rempe received medical attention and was then charged with aggravated assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, causing property damage, three counts of felony mischief and driving under the influence. His excuse was that he just wanted to see his buddies.

Presumably, he will have a lot of time to enjoy the company of his friends.

Read the news story and see the video here.

Thanks to Happy Blog Network for carrying the story.

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 to die. Druids would cut the plant with golden sickles, never allowing the plant to touch the ground. It was thought it have the power to cure infertility, nervous diseases and to ward off evil.
  • Yule do what with that log? A medieval Nordic tradition. A Yule log is a massive wooden log that is typically burned during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Scholars believe that the word Yule means “revolution” or “wheel,” which symbolizes the cyclical return of the sun. A burning log or its charred remains is said to bring health, fertility, and luck.
  • Oh, it’s your birthday too Christmas has its roots in pagan traditions, one being the Roman winter festival Saturnalia and another the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun. The Roman sun god’s birthday just happens to fall on December 25th. So….. In 350 BC, Pope Julius I proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ. Yet it would take hundreds of years for the celebration to fully take hold.
  • Twinkle twinkle little candle According to German lore, the first person to decorate a Christmas tree was the Protestant reformer Martin Luther. According to legend he was so moved by the beauty of the stars shining between the branches of a fir tree Luther brought home an evergreen tree and decorated it with candles to share the image with his children.
  • Hey my house isn’t dusty, these are my Christmas decorations. In Poland, spiderwebs are common Christmas trees decorations. According to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas. Meanwhile in America…. Because they viewed Christmas as a decadent Catholic holiday, the Puritans in America banned all Christmas celebrations from 1659-1681 with a penalty of five shillings for each offense. Some Puritan leaders condemned those who favored Christmas as enemies of the Christian religion. So, I guess we can say the “war on Christmas” started way back in 1659.
  • Christmas wasn’t an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.
  • Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.
  • All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.
  • Most of Santa’s reindeer have masculine names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. But, did you know….? Male reindeer shed their antlers around December so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female.
  • The westernized idea of a white jolly fat man in a red suit only dates back to 1931 when Coco-cola Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus. Sundblom in turn used Clement Clark Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” as inspiration for his “jolly elf”. 


Thanks to The View from Sari’s World for these fun facts. Check out this great blog for some great reading. 

Christmas in D.C.


House Speaker Tip O’Neil (far left) and Bob Hope (far right)
“Our nation’s capital is really getting into the holiday spirit. Yesterday I saw Tip O’Neil with a beard and red suit, shimmying down the Washington Monument.” — Bob Hope
* Tip O’Neil, a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, was Speaker of the U. S. House of Representarives from 1977 to 1987. 

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 Christmas!!” Since then having KFC on Christmas Day has become such an important tradition that it became the biggest sales day of the year for the restaurant chain, frequently requiring customers to make reservations.  (See a video of the phenomenon here.)

The tradition started when westerners were unable to find turkey for their holiday feast and opted for fried chicken instead. The holiday special for Christmas dinner includes cake and wine and goes for 3,336 yen (about $40).


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 Foula is one day ahead of the old Julian calendar and 12 days behind the modern Gregorian calendar.

If you happen to be in the area on what the rest of the world calls January 6, drop by Foula and celebrate Christmas. Come back on January 13 for New Year’s Day.