Happy December! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, didn’t get trampled on Black Friday, supported your local mom and pop stores on Small Business Saturday and got some nice gifts for your doggies on Cyber Monday!
December is one of my favorite months of the year. There’s great holiday treats to nibble on, gift-wrapping and decorating, everyone seems happy and cheerful, there are lots of holiday parties to go to, and, there’s two of the biggest holidays of the year, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
I’m more partial to Christmas, of course, because I love getting up early with my brothers and sister, waking up mom and dad and see what surprises are under the tree for us. Besides, mom won’t let us stay up late enough to ring in the new year.
But besides Christmas and New Year’s, there are some special days during December, such as St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6); Gingerbread House Day, Poinsettia Day, and National Wreaths Across America Day, all on Dec. 12; Dec. 17 is National Re-Gifting Day; Dec. 18 is Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day and National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day; while Dec. 24 is National Eggnog Day.
But did you know that Christmas Day is also National Pumpkin Pie Day and also one of the weirdest days I’ve heard of, A’Phabet Day or No “L” Day? I’m not even sure how we’re supposed to celebrate that day. And why pick on “L” and not say, “P” or “Q?”
And, oddly enough, National Candy Cane Day is the day after Christmas and National Fruitcake Day is Dec. 27. Maybe they should combine National Fruitcake Day and National Re-Gifting Day? Just sayin’.
And speaking of St. Nicholas, did you know that in Holland he’s known as Sinter Klaas? That’s how we got Santa Claus. Try saying Sinter Klaas five time really fast. Sounds just like Santa Claus, doesn’t it?
Sinter Klaas was a bishop who traveled from house to house to deliver treats to children on the night of Dec. 5. St. Nicholas was a real person, born in the year 270 and was the bishop of Myra in Turkey. He was said to secretly hand out gifts, putting treats and coins in children’s shoes at night, which were set out for that purpose. He is known as the patron saint of children.
Americans came to know Santa Claus as we know him today, the jolly fat man in a red suit, in Clement Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” — which we know better as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The 56-line poem gave us “eight tiny reindeer” (you know, Dasher, Dancer and Prancer) and Santa as “chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf.”
A cartoonist named Thomas Nash came up with a drawing in 1881 based on the poem, giving us our first real look at Santa Claus, with the white beard, red suit and round belly. Ho! Ho! Ho!
So, however you celebrate the season, have a great December filled with lots of love and good cheer! Merry Christmas, Happy Kwaanza, Happy Hannukah, Happy Yule and Happy New Year! See you in 2016!