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CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

• In the 1600s, poor people in English towns would carry their cups from house to house asking for wassail, a type of alcoholic ale. To pay for their drinks, they would sing carols outside the door. Thus, carolling was born. The word "carol" comes from the Middle English word carolen, meaning to sing joyously. That word originated from the Greek word ‘choraulein’ which was a ring dance acCarpet Cleaning companied by flutes. Services, Inc. • The Yule Log was traditionally brought in Carpet Cleaning • Carpet on Christmas Eve and lit from the remains Cleaning SPECIAL! of the previous year's Yule Log. Slaves were • Upholstery allowed to stop working as long as the Yule $99 Cleaning 3 Rooms & Log burned, so they would pick out the bigHallway • Water gest, greenest log they could find. Not valid with any other offer. Extraction Expires 1-15-16 • Mistletoe comes from the word ‘mista’ meaning dung, because the plant is spread through seeds in bird droppings. 701-775-8500 • Holly became associated with Christmas beResidential & Commercial cause the pointed leaves symbolize the thorns in Christ’s crown and the red berries symbolBUY 1 VACUUM Turn the page for more! ize drops of blood. GET 1 FREE!

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5. When was Christmas declared a federal holiday in the U.S.— 1860, 1870, 1880 or 1890? 6. Which actress played the role of Audrey in the movie Christmas Vacation? 7. What year did the movie The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen debut in theaters? 8. In what city does the 1990 film Home Alone take place?

?

1. What percent of batteries are purchased during the Christmas season? 2. How much time does the average kid spend on Santa’s lap at Macy’s? 3. Are more natural or artificial Christmas trees sold each year? 4. What percent of men’s ties are sold at Christmas?

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• Frankincense is an aromatic gum resin that comes from trees in the Boswellia family that grow in East Africa and Asia. An incision is made in the tree, the bark is peeled away, and a few months later a lump of resin is collected. When burned, it has a balsam-like odor. It has been used as incense since ancient times. When steam is passed through frankincense, it yields an oil used in perfumes to give them a longlasting, spicy fragrance. Myrrh is also a resin, secreted by certain shrubs and small trees. It’s been used as an antiseptic and astringent as well as an embalming agent. Although frankincense and myrrh were highly esteemed in Biblical times, today they are of little value on the world market.

CHRISTMAS CARDS

• Sir Henry Cole owned an art shop in London. In 1843 he asked an artist to design a card that he could send to his friends and associates to wish them a good Christmas, because he was too busy to write them letters. The artist drew a three-fold card. The outside panels depicted people giving clothing to the naked and feeding the hungry. The center panel showed a family celebrating Christmas by drinking wine around a feast table. The Temperance Movement was outraged by the cards— but they were in fact the first Christmas cards. Of 1,000 that were printed, 12 still exist.

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CHRISTMAS CARDS (continued):

• During World War I, President Hoover was constantly urging Americans to cut down on consumption of nearly everything. In the midst of the war, a Christmas card appeared that was printed on cheap gray cardboard and tied with a piece of string that was labelled “camouflaged ribbon.” Tiny scraps of green were labelled “mistletoe” and “holly” and a scrawny creature was labelled “bluebird.” The inscription inside said, “I’ve Hooverized on pork and beans and butter, cake and bread/ I’ve cut out auto riding and now I walk instead / I’ve Hooverized on sugar, on coal and light and lard, / And here’s my Christmas greeting on a Hoover Christmas Card.” • Roy Baker of Guthrie, Oklahoma received a Christmas card in the spring of 1974 that had been mailed over two years earlier. The card carried a two-cent postage due notice because postage rates had gone up between the time the card was mailed and the time it arrived. • Werner Erhard, founder of ‘est’ meditation, set a world record for number of Christmas cards sent in a single year: 62,824 mailed in 1975.

A CHRISTMAS STORY

• Dr. Clement Moore in 1822 composed a little ditty for his nine children for Christmas. A friend who saw the poem

www.dakotacommercial.com/apts sent it to a newspaper, and from there it was picked up by other papers and many magazines. Dr. Moore was a scholar and worried that being known as the author of such a simple Christmas poem would ruin his reputation. Therefore, he didn’t confess his authorship until some 15 years had passed, and he never received a penny for his poem. By then, nearly everyone knew the poem by heart: “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” Today, the poem is recited over his grave each Christmas Eve.


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CHRISTMAS RE-GIFTING

• Adlai Stevenson was working on an agricultural act when he wrote a marketing agreement for the walnut industry. That year for Christmas a walnut company sent him a huge sack full of individual packages of walnuts. He thought his Christmas shopping worries were over, and mailed them out to friends and relatives. Only later did he discover that inside each package was a card reading, “Merry Christmas to Adlai from the walnut industry.”

QUIZ: A FAMOUS SONG

• Irving Berlin needed to write a song for each of the major holidays for the movie “Holiday Inn” starring Bing Crosby. Berlin didn’t have much trouble with most of the holidays, but when it came to Christmas, he was stuck. • Inspiration struck as he sat by a swimming pool in Arizona. He declared, “I just wrote the best song I've ever written – hell! I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!” • Crosby performed the song in the movie, and recorded it for Decca Records in a single 18-minute session. It didn’t do well on the charts at first, until Christmas came and the Armed Forces Network was flooded with requests for it by homesick soldiers.

The song spent 11 weeks at the top, only to return to the top position again during the holiday seasons in 1945 and 1947, becoming the only single in history with three separate runs at the top. • It sold more than 50 million copies. It’s now been recorded by more artists than any other song in the history of the recording industry, and the Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the top-selling song of all time, with over 100 million copies sold, including over 500 different versions. What’s the name of the song? (Answer at bottom of page)

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• It was beloved American singer, songwriter and musician Ray Charles who made the following sage observation: "Marriage is like college; as great as it is, it ain't for everybody." • Those who study such things say that when a llama is humming, that means it's content. • If you think life in the Big Apple is tough these days, consider this: In the 1930s, landlords evicted about 17,000 tenants every month. • It's the little details that can make or break a plan. A pair of aspiring bank robbers in Daytona Beach, Florida, walked into a bank, pulled out guns, demanded that a teller hand over the loot, and even made it out of the building. The problem came when they got in their getaway car; the engine sputtered and died almost immediately. It seems someone had forgotten to fill up the gas tank. • The gray squirrel isn't always gray; these arboreal rodents also come in both black and white varieties. • Sharks have been known to attack boats before, but they rarely, if ever, try for a second bite -- regardless of what Hollywood would have you believe. When a shark goes for a boat, it's a case of mistaken identity: electrical impulses from the metal of a ship's hull make the shark think that the boat is another animal (that is to say: dinner). • If you're fond of fancy cocktails, you probably won't be surprised to learn that the words "mai tai" are actually Tahitian for "the very best." *** Thought for the Day: "I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower © 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.


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NOTEWORTHY INVENTORS:

JOYCE HALL

• On August 29, 1861, an evangelist visited David City, Nebraska. The local Methodist minister hosted the visit, and it happened that the minister’s wife gave birth to a baby boy that day. The baby was named in honor of the evangelist, whose name was Mr. Joyce. In the 1800s, Joyce was a common name for a boy. • Joyce Clyde Hall grew up going by his initials, ‘J.C.’ When J.C. was 18, he started producing picture postcards, launching the Norfolk Postcard Company and hawking his wares to shops in the area. Business was good, and his two brothers joined him in business. • In 1915 disaster struck when a fire burned the business to the ground. He decided to rebuild, and it was an opportune time to make changes. First, he changed the name of the company, incorporating his last name in a play on words. Second, he decided to abandon picture postcards and to manufacture greeting cards instead. His was the first greeting card company to display cards on racks so people could browse through them. Previously, store clerks selected a card from behind the counter or from the back of the store. Sales soared because of this simple innovation. • By 1923 the company had 120 employees, thriving during the Great Depression. By the time J.C. died in 1982 at the age of 91, his company was worth over $1.5 billion. Today, over 14,000 designs are printed every year, designed by 450 artists. More than 10 million cards are sold annually around the world. What’s the name of J.C.’s company? (Answer at bottom of page)

• In 1928 Hall Brothers became the first greeting card company to advertise nationally when the company placed an ad in “Ladies’ Home Journal.” • Hallmark started using their famous slogan in 1944: “When you care enough to send the very best.” • The company now employs over 10,000 full time people worldwide including over 500 artists who work on developing products. • More than 30,000 retail outlets sell Hallmark products. • About 10,000 new products are released annually, and Hallmark has about 49,000 products available at any given time. • The word ‘hallmark’ originates from the Goldsmith’s Hall in London which was the site of the assay office. Items made of gold or silver would be stamped with a mark that guaranteed their authenticity, and from there the word came to mean a mark of quality. • About 60% of all seasonal cards sold are Christmas cards. After Christmas, the most popular holidays to send cards are Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Easter and Father's Day. • 90% of Americans buy at least one greeting card per year. • About one-third of the cards a typical American receives are birthday cards. About 60% of non-seasonal cards are birthday cards, followed by anniversary, get well, friendship and sympathy. • The most popular recipients of seasonal cards are parents. The most popular recipients of non-seasonal cards are friends. • Americans purchase nearly 7 billion greeting cards every year.

Answer

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Answer: Hallmark


es

d Cities Gam n ra G

• On Dec. 24, 1851, a devastating fire at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroys two-thirds of its 55,000 volumes. Today the collection contains more than 17 million books. • On Dec. 22, 1864, Union Gen. William T. Sherman presents the captured city of Savannah, Georgia, to President Abraham Lincoln with the message, "I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton." • On Dec. 23, 1888, in Arles, France, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cuts off the lower part of his left ear with a razor. He documented the event in a painting titled "Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear."

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• On Dec. 27, 1900, prohibitionist Carry Nation smashes up a bar in Kansas, causing several thousand dollars in damage and landing in jail. Nation became famous for carrying a hatchet and wrecking saloons as part of her anti-alcohol crusade. • On Dec. 26, 1946, in Las Vegas, mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel opens The Pink Flamingo Hotel & Casino. The grand opening was a flop. Gamblers had no rooms at the yet unfinished hotel, so they took their winnings and gambled elsewhere. • On Dec. 25, 1962, "To Kill a Mockingbird," a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters. The American Film Institute has rated Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck) as the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.

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(Answers located 2 pages after this one)

• When the holidays come around, we use fresh herbs to make several family recipes, but end up with lots left over. Here is a great tip I found online to stretch the usefulness of fresh herbs: “Store fresh herbs as you would fresh flowers: in a jar of water on your countertop. Pluck off what you need, change the water daily, and they’ll last two to three times longer than they would in the fridge (from nourishedkitchen.com).” • Empty spice containers can be used to hold different hardware in the shop or in your toolbox. • “My great-nephew and his family came to visit, and his toddler son is quite into opening doors. I had babyproofed my breakables and such, but I did not think about his being able to turn a doorknob. His very smart mother pulled out a sock and slipped it over the doorknob, then secured it with a wide rubber band. Even I was unable to get a good grip on the doorknob after that!” — V.R. in North Carolina • Surprise guests? Here’s how to quick clean your living areas: First, clean the toilet, mirror and vanity in the guest bathroom and leave a fresh towel; grab a laundry basket and remove any clutter from the living room and kitchen; put away or clean dirty dishes and wipe down counters in the kitchen; finally, give carpets a quick vacuum. Then maybe light a great-smelling candle and greet your guests! • “Fireplaces are wonderful for heat and ambience, but the ashes! When cleaning up, I spritz the ashes with a rosemary water solution. This keeps them from dusting up and flying all over, and it smells great. My neighbor puts her damp loose-leaf tea in the fireplace for scent as well.” — C.W. in Iowa Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803. © 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.

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500 Years of Christmas Trees • In 1510, the first Christmas tree is decorated in Riga, Latvia. Early Christmas trees are decorated with paper, fruits and sweets. • In 1531, the first retail Christmas tree lots appear in German cities. Laws limited the size of trees to "8 shoe lengths" (slightly over 4 feet). • By the 1600s, it is common in Germany to decorate Christmas trees with apples. Trees decorated with ribbon, tin shapes, small books and lace, as well as food soon followed. • By the 1700s, edible ornaments become so popular on Christmas trees that they are often called "sugartrees." • In the 18th century, the first accounts of using lighted candles as decorations on Christmas trees come from France. • In 1777, the tradition of the Christmas tree is brought to Colonial America by Hessian troops fighting for Britain in the Revolutionary War. • In 1804, U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Dearborn (now Chicago) bring evergreen trees into their barracks at Christmas. • In 1842, Charles Minnegrode introduces the custom of a decorated Christmas tree in Williamsburg, Virginia. • In 1851, Mark Carr opens a retail Christmas tree lot in New York City, the first in the United States. Trees were taken at random from forests.

• In 1856, Franklin Pierce, the 14th U.S. President, brings the first Christmas tree into the White House • Around 1883, Sears, Roebuck & Company begins offering the first artificial Christmas trees: 33 limbs for 50 cents and 55 limbs for $1. (Today, 80 percent of all artificial trees are made in China.) • In the early 1900s, due to overharvesting, many magazines begin to encourage people to substitute an artificial "snow"-covered tree, consisting of a branch of a deciduous tree wrapped in cotton. • In 1901, the first Christmas-tree farm is started when W.V. McGalliard plants 25,000 Norway spruce on his farm in New Jersey. • In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge starts the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, now held every year on the White House lawn. • In 1966, for the first time, the tree displayed in the Blue Room of the White House is presented by the winner of a competition held by the National Christmas Tree Association. • In 2015, approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees will be sold in the U.S. (c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.


QUIZ: A CHRISTMAS CAROL

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NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE Johnny Marks wrote the music for "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" as well as "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (a gold record for Brenda Lee) and "A Holly Jolly Christmas," a Burl Ives recording which sold 8 million copies.

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on DECEMBER 31ST THANKS FOR READING TIDBITS!

(Solution on Next Page)

• In 1939 the president of the Montgomery Ward department store chain asked his advertising copywriter to design a free gift that the hired Santas could hand out to the children who came to sit on Santa’s lap. He wanted something that would be plastered with the department store name and serve as great advertising. They had previously given away a coloring book to every child, but this year they wanted something different. • Robert May was the advertising executive who got this job. He decided to create an illustrated booklet that kids would keep; something that parents would read to them every single Christmas. With the aid of artist Denver Gillen, May invented a new Christmas character named Rollo. • The store officials liked the idea and the poem, but nixed the name Rollo. So it became Reginald. They didn’t like that name either. Then May’s daughter suggested a new name, which was unanimously approved. • That year, 2.4 million copies of the booklet were handed out across the country. • In 1947 a friend of May’s named Johnny Marks put the poem to music and tried to get famous singers to perform it. No one was interested in the song. Finally, Gene Autry agreed to do the song in 1949. It went straight to the top of the Hit Parade. • Since then, over 300 different recordings have been made, with 80 million copies sold. The song is second only to “White Christmas” as the bestselling Christmas record of all time. Burl Ives even voiced a movie about it in 1964. It’s one of the first holiday songs children learn. What was the name they agreed on, now a famous Christmas character as well as a song? (answer at top of next page)


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DIFFERENCES: 1. Lamp is missing. 2. Ear flap is smaller. 3. Sign is different. 4. Number is different. 5. Pocketbook is missing. 6. Wreath is missing.

CHRISTMAS CAROL FACTS

Answer: Dell. Pastor Phillip Brooks toured the • In the 1860s, Holy Land and spent Christmas Eve in BethleA VERY LARGE NUMBER hem. The wonder of the experience left • Edward Kasner was a mathematician.never In 1938 him. Several years later at church in Pennhe was asked to come uphis with a name for a sylvania, henumber: was searching for a one, new followed carol for very large the numeral bychildren’s a hundredchoir zeros.toHe asked his two young his sing. Remembering his nephews what name they would suggest. Christmas in Bethlehem, he penned a poem •and Nine-year-old MiltonLewis suggested asked his organist, Redner,a to name write of the funnies. A cartoon strip character a out melody simple enough for children to learn. named Barney wasunable very popular. Miltonachose The organist was to compose suitBarney’s last name for the number. able tune. But the night before the Christmas •service, Kasner he announced the new namesleep for the biga awoke from a sound with numberininhis hishead. next book, alteringwrote the spelling. melody He quickly the tune •down Sixtyand years later, Larry and inspiration Sergey Brina considered thePage sudden developed a new internet search engine. gift from God. The children learned theOther song search engines searched each webpage and quickly, and the carol has been a favorite ever ranked them according to how many times a since: “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.” specific term appeared on them, but Page and • Good Wenceslaus wasengine actually a dukefor in Brin King designed their search to search Bohemia in the 10th century. He was converted the specific term and then find out how many there were led back to that page, tolinks Christianity and that founded the cathedral of St. which resulted in amurdered better search engine. Vitus before being by his brother. He canonized is remembered in the song •was They decidedand they needed a name that reflected the search named afterhow him inmany whichwebsites an act of kindness he engine was searching. They took the name did to a stranger is detailed. of Edward Kasner’s very large number, only • The “The it12slightly, Days so of itChristmas” was theysong misspelled ended up being sung as a game, with each person trying to respelled exactly the same way the cartoon member the gifts listed had characterallBarney spelled hisby lastthose name.who What’s it called? at bottom of page) sung before(Answer him, singing them all in the correct order. Any mistakes meant that person was COMPUTER FACTS out of the game. The words varied to • In 1981 Bill Gates said, “640 kbaccording of memory what could made for up anybody.” on the spur of the moought to bebe enough ment. The original lyrics included "four colly • Moore’s Law states that computer performance birds." A every colly 18 birdto was derivedand from doubles 24 months, ever"coal-y since bird," meaning sooty. Today the words have 1971, this has been true. to fourand calling birds. •been HP, Americanized Google, Microsoft, Apple were all started in garages. Thanks forfrom Reading Answer: Google, googol. Tidbits!

answer

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Answer: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (Rudolph was originally supposed to be a moose.)

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"Merry Christmas," "Joyce Hall" and "A Christmas Carol"

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"Merry Christmas," "Joyce Hall" and "A Christmas Carol"

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