My Super-Charged Life
1. Xmas Does Not Take Christ Out of Christmas. Some people believe that it is almost sacrilegious to abbreviate Christmas in this way. Not True! Xmas has been used since at least the 16th Century. X is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Xristos. Therefore, Xmas became a common and accepted abbreviation. The idea that using Xmas is an attempt to secularize and remove the religious tradition from Christmas is just a misunderstanding.
2. Caroling Used to Be More Like Trick-or-Treating. Going door-to-door to sing Christmas Carols was originally known as wassailing. This practice was common in England. Carolers would go to the homes of wealthy neighbors on Christmas Eve expecting free food and drink in exchange for songs. Sometimes these groups were made up of rowdy young men that would curse and vandalize the home if their demands for “good cheer”, the wassail beverage, was not met.
3. The USPS Hasn’t Always Embraced Christmas Cards“I don’t know what we’ll do if this keeps on,” wrote the Washington D.C. postmaster in 1822. He was overwhelmed by the number of Christmas Cards being sent. He’d recently added 16 additional postal carriers to handle the load. He went on to lobby for a law to limit the number of Christmas Cards a person could send due to the burden it placed on the post office. I have a feeling the Postal Service displays a little more Christmas Spirit nowadays.
4. Our American Forefathers didn't Celebrate Christmas. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870. Originally, Christmas was thrown out of America with the Redcoats. Celebrating Christmas was actually banned in Boston from 1659 to 1681 because it was looked down upon as an English custom and a part of what the Puritans were trying to escape. It wasn’t until the 1800s that Americans reinvented Christmas as a family-centered day of peace instead of a raucous carnival. Of course, our forefathers believed in the birth of Jesus. They just didn't agree with how the English celebrated it.
5. Jingle Bells Was Originally Written for Thanksgiving. James Lord Pierpont composed Jingle Bells at a Massachusetts tavern in 1850. Pierpont wanted a song to play on Thanksgiving for his Sunday school class. He was inspired by the famous sleigh races going on in his town at the time. Children and adults loved the tune so much that it was adapted for Christmas and the rest is history.
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