Weird Wednesday: ‘Twas the night before the night before…

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Here are some unusual tidbits about traditions associated with the Christmas tradition. In the Middle Ages, Boar’s head used to be a traditional Christmas dish. This custom started when a bear attacked a university student and he saved himself by ramming a book of Aristotle’s writings down its throat. The bear choked to death and then he cut off its head and brought it back to his college. Christmas Eve in Japan is a good day to eat fried chicken and strawberry shortcake. (Obviously, I need to live in Japan. These are two of my favorite foods.) Although many believe the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is not. It is the fifth to 10th busiest day. The Friday and Saturday before Christmas are the two busiest shopping days of the year. New York City’s Empire State Building’s world famous tower lights are turned off every night at midnight with the exception of New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St. Patrick’s Day, when they are illuminated until 3 a.m. Saint Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus, was the patron saint of children, thieves and pawnbrokers. 53% of Americans plan to “re-gift” this year. 1 in 3 men will wait until Christmas Eve to finish their shopping; additionally, 1 in 6 men would like to get rid of all the “gift-giving nonsense.” (Gee, I wonder why?) On Christmas Eve in 2001, the Bethlehem Hotel had 208 of its 210 rooms free. Based on a 1999 estimated population count of North America and Europe, on Christmas Eve of that year Santa Claus had to visit 42,466,666 homes in a 12-hour period — that’s 983 homes per second. Is it true that Christmas only became a legal holiday in England and America late in the 19th century? Before then people were expected to go to work on Christmas Day. Find out the real answer by taking the Christmas Gullibility Test.

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