DECEMBER 25, 2017 | CHRISTMAS | NATIONAL PUMPKIN PIE DAY | A’PHABET DAY OR NO “L” DAY
Christmas is observed annually on December 25th.
The annual celebration of Christmas, (also known as Christmas Day) is a derivative of the Old English Crīstesmæsse which means Christ’s Mass. The Christian Feast celebrated around the world, by Christians and non-Christians alike, commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
A public holiday in many countries around the world, Christmas is a large part of the holiday season.
HOW TO OBSERVED
In the morning, see what Santa has delivered. Gather with family and open presents around a decorated tree or have a meal together. Use #Christmas to post on social media.
One of the earliest references to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is in a homily by John Chrysostom, a 4th-century archbishop. Christmas is a relatively new celebration when considering church holy days. Passover, Lent and Easter were celebrated long before Christmas.
As Christianity spread into northern and western Europe, Christmas adopted many of the customs associated with the winter solstice. Decorating with evergreen trees and their boughs, holly and mistletoe, a bearded man delivering gifts and even the large feasts all hearken back to these celebrations.
In medieval times, Christmas was a solemn observance of the birth of Jesus Christ, and very little feasting, singing and carousing was going on. The first record of the word “Cristes Maesse” being used was in a book from 1038 from Saxon England.
Caroling, Nativity scenes and gift giving (primarily to nobility with hopes of favors in return) began taking hold around the Renaissance period. The church was in quite an upheaval during this time, and some observances could bring undue attention to the celebrant depending which direction the church was leaning at the time. Royalty and nobility had a considerable influence on this era as well. The Renaissance period covered a broad expanse of time (1300-1700) and was filled with an influx of inspiration, invention and art all of which influenced Christmas and Christian practices.
Puritans didn’t celebrate Christmas due to its pagan background. It was illegal in Massachusetts for 22 years between 1659 and 1681.
It wasn’t until almost 100 years after the founding of the United States that Christmas became a federal holiday.
By the mid to late 1800s, communication and transportation were changing rapidly. At a time when many people were isolated by distance, customs and traditions were diverse. Celebrations that occurred in Georgia may have never been heard of in the New York. Nearly overnight that began to change. Telegraphs and railroads made the passage of information and people, if not instant, significantly faster than ever before. Longing for the old days, for times when the family was a central theme in American’s lives, Christmas brought those nostalgic feelings under one significant day.
Louis Prang, a German immigrant and printer by trade, was the first to introduce the Christmas card in 1875. The Christmas card gradually replaced customs of personal visits or written Christmas letters.
As the population grew, so did commerce and an increase in both charitable and personal gift giving followed. However, many givers and recipients still valued handmade gifts over store-bought.
Literature such as Clement Moore’s poem An Account of Visit from Saint Nicholas (1823)and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843) influenced the Norman Rockwell vision of the Christmas we celebrate today.
NATIONAL PUMPKIN PIE DAY
On December 25, while many Americans are enjoying time with family or friends, take the opportunity to honor the ever-humble and often favored pumpkin pie. It’s National Pumpkin Pie Day!
Often eaten during the fall and winter months and invited to Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, in the United States pumpkin pie is a traditional dessert. The pumpkin itself is a symbol of harvest.
To make a pumpkin pie, the pulp of the pumpkin is mixed with eggs, evaporated and/or sweetened condensed milk, and sugar and is typically flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.
Pumpkin pie recipes were found in seventeenth-century English cookbooks, such as Hannah Woolley’s 1675, The Gentlewoman’s Companion. A century later pumpkin pie recipes began to appear in American cookbooks.
Pumpkin pie became a familiar addition to the Thanksgiving dinner in the early seventeenth-century when the pilgrims brought it back to New England. Initially, the pumpkin pie was prepared by stuffing the pumpkin with apples, spices and sugar then baking it whole.
There are many seasonal pumpkin pie flavored products that are now available including, ice cream, pudding, coffee, lattes, cheesecake, pancakes, candy and beer.
In the 1844 Thanksgiving poem, “Over the River and Through the Wood” written by Lydia Maria Child, there is a reference to pumpkin pie in one of its verses: “Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”
The song, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” contains the lyric, “Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie, and we’ll do some caroling”.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie and use #NationalPumpkinPieDay to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to find the creator of National Pumpkin Pie Day.
A’PHABET DAY OR NO “L” DAY
A’Phabet Day or No “L” Day is observed annually on December 25th.
A’phabet Day or No “L” Day is a pun on “Noel.”
Many deride the pun. Others celebrate it. This day is for the punsters. Shakespeare and O. Henry (there’s an annual competition in his name) played with meanings of words to the great delight of their audiences. Woven into the elaborate double entendre or the simple knock-knock joke, puns mean fun for all ages. They make PG movies enjoyable for adults, shooting slightly off-color humor over children’s heads for the parent’s or older sibling’s enjoyment.
Throw a yule log on the fire for No “L” Day. You’ll be glad you did.
Many headline writers unintentionally (or intentionally) create puns that cause outrage for those who would otherwise just find them punny.
Big rig carrying fruit crashes on 201 Freeway, creates jam ~ Los Angeles Times
Clever children experimenting with language invent puns to entertain their friends and family.
What did the elf learn in school? The elf-abet. An elf might not like this day.
HOW TO OBSERVE
See if anyone catches on to the pun by avoiding the letter L in correspondence.
Use #AphabetDay or #NoLDay to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of A’phabet Day or No “L” Day.
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