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The 5 (debatable) facts of christmas

Updated: Dec 21, 2019

It’s that time of year again - you know that time when a quick “pop out to the supermarket for an item” is non-existent because queues are backed up through the aisles to the back walls. When best dressed streetlights have nighttime looking pretty. When aeroplanes damn near land in people's front gardens due to their excessive (in my opinion) lights. When people continuously feign shock* at the fact that I don’t actually like turkey.

*I pray that their shock is feigned coz it’s really not that deep bro.

Turkey with a strikethrough
It's still not that deep...Photo credit: mix105utah.com

When I was younger, I remember the "reason for the season" being much more prominent. But we’re now living in a time of diversity (more so than days past) with a multitude of beliefs out there on the forefront, so a very open-minded approach to Christmas is now in existence.

With that in mind, I didn’t know what to write about so I started looking around on the ‘ole www. I then came across a post by Amanda Webb which gave me the idea to take the ‘Did you know..?’ approach (you can find her link below in the references).

You said Jesus was the reason for the season; the ton of gifts under your tree determined that was a lie
I mean...

So with that said, this post is a bit off-format; instead of asking you the same question 5 times over, I’ve decided to provide some Christmas trivia - here are my 5 ‘debatable’ (so don’t shoot the messenger) facts of Christmas.

Man in heavy armour, delivering a message
Image credit: bighairmetamorphosis.com

1. Why do people kiss under mistletoe?

I have found a few answers to this question - believe whichever you may (or none).

~ Due to the plant’s association with fertility, the custom of kissing underneath it started in ancient Greece during the Saturnalia festival**. It was also later used in marriage ceremonies.

~ It represented peace during the Roman era, so war enemies reconciled their differences under mistletoe.

Christmas mistletoe meme from yourecards.com: This Christmas, I've decided to hang mistletoe from my navel ring

~ According to a Nordic myth, mistletoe was sacred to the goddess of love (Frigga), but the god of mischief (Loki) used a spear/arrow (commonly debated) carved from mistletoe to shoot Frigga’s son. She revived him under a mistletoe tree and enforced that anyone standing under a mistletoe tree should have protection from death, and a kiss.

Sidenote: “Frigga” does not mean ’Goddess of Love’ in Jamaican Patois, so please don’t be brave enough address a Jamaican as one. Just saying.

Image of the Saturnalia festival
Image credit: jeremyvarner.com

**Saturnalia festival - an ancient roman festival held between 17th - 23rd December in honour of the God of Saturn


2. What does it take to make Bing Crosby’s dream come true?

What did Bing dream of? Bing dreamt of a white Christmas (well actually Irving Berlin originally dreamt of it in 1942).

I’ve taken a snoop around on this one and have come across a few answers - mainly related to measurement of snow, and even one regarding where the snow lands.

White pinecone and presents with silver giltter
Would this count as a White Christmas? Photo credit: desktopnexus.com

In my head, the obvious one to go with is the Met Office. That said, the BBC cited the Met Office in a feature:

“any single snowflake falling at any time during the 24 hour period of Christmas Day anywhere in the British Isles constitutes a white Christmas”.

Noted.


3. Another topic that seems to have multiple origins is ‘Boxing Day’ - or more specifically why it’s called Boxing Day.

I’ve heard stories about different things being ‘boxed up’, leftover food from Christmas Day being given to the poor, stuff around boxing matches...

Boxing day image
Photo credit: finance.yahoo.com

The explanation that I found to be the most convincing says that it came about when the rich used to box up gifts to give to the poor. On this day (which was a day of relief for servants), they would be given a Christmas box from their masters, which they would carry home for their families.


4. If (like myself) you thought that the 12 days of Christmas were the 12 days running up to Christmas you were wrong.

But surely they wouldn’t be the days after - why would my true love give me a partridge in a pear tree on boxing day (or ever). I know right?!

Well. According to projectbritain.com (link below in references), as Christmas day was traditionally considered a holy day (not for partying), the 12 days of Christmas started on the day after Christmas.

The 12 days of Christmas - in the shape of a Christmas tree
Can someone let my true love know that I don't have anywhere to store all of this!

So although the above doesn’t (in my opinion) explain why the 12 days of Christmas aren’t the 12th-24th December, it’s what I was presented with. *shrugs*

With that being said, the twelve days of Christmas are the last 6 days of the old year (26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 December) and the first 6 days of the new year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 January). Which kinda explains why they say that Christmas trees have to be taken down by the 6th January...


5. Two words. Mince. Pies.

C’mon - you know I have to go there. What are they? Why are they? Why do they take raisins and a bunch of other sweet brown stuff and call it ‘mincemeat’ when it’s not meat?

There are a few facts/beliefs regarding mince pies floating around, so I have narrowed it down to a few.

~ Mince pies (and Christmas Puddings) were once upon a time filled with meat, rather than the dried fruits and spices that are used nowadays.

~ In the Middle Ages, it was a customary belief that it was lucky to eat one mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas, and that to refuse a mince pie during this time was bad luck.

~ Mince pies should always be eaten in silence (good luck shutting me up), and a wish should be made while consuming your first mince pie of the festive season.

Mince pies with a start on the top
Photo credit: domesticgothess.com

There were other customary beliefs but to be honest, I don’t really trust them. Forgive me if I’m wrong though.


So there you have it - my 5 (debatable) facts of Christmas. To be taken with a pinch of salt. And maybe some pepper (what?! I’m Caribbean).

Either way, I personally believe that the Christmas period is very often commercialised to the point where [what I believe to be] the true message of Christmas is lost.


In the spirit of Christmas, please remember to give thanks for all blessings (big and small), treat others how you would want to be treated, and pay it forward.


I am looking forward to entering 2020 as a blogger and a model; thank you for your continuous support both with my blog and with my modelling portfolio - which you will see grow throughout 2020 until I become the obvious model search one-stop. Watch this space.


Until then, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Model Althea James on a location shoot with photographer @being_Coraline
Posing into 2020 like... Visible photographer: @being_coraline

For today’s random (or maybe not so random) link...many may disagree with me but I feel that Christmas is very commercialised and as a result ends up costing me more than it really needs to, and I'm sure that there are others out there who feel the same. So it’s a no-brainer for you last minute ones to check out whatever gems Martin Lewis has to offer - check out his ‘41 Xmas Money Saving Tips’.


Keep up with my selfie shenanigans on my insta profile: @althie_model


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About the author [that would be me]:

I am a Senior Project Manager by day; by night (aka any other time), you can find me lifting heavy metal things (aka powerlifting), threatening to dust off my belt in the name of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (I will make myself re-worthy of my blue belt), or finding ways to get infront of a camera and labelling it as modelling in some way shape or form.

I put this blog together as an add-on to my modelling portfolio, and it reminded me of how much I love to write. I will continue to write as my model portfolio grows, just so that you can get to know the real me.

Althea James model x


References









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