"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Joy To The World…..

Creatures aren’t stirring. Children are nestled. Dancing visions of sugarplums. Hoofs prancing on the roof. A strange plump man bearing gifts. Travel. Traffic jams. Flight delays. Arguments in stores. Stress. Yup. Today’s M5T realizes it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

1. Fedex or UPS have nothing on this guy

According to UNICEF, there is about 2.1 billion children under the age of 18 in the world. If you average 2.5 kids per household, on Christmas Eve, jolly Saint Nick will make 840 million reindeer guided stops and travel 221 million miles, which means travel time between each house of 2/10,000 of a second, accelerating on each stop to 12.2 million miles per second (20.5 billion meters per second to my Canuck friends). Whew! And I stopped believing in this?

2. You know the words

‘Silent Night” is the most recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different and copywritten versions since 1978. “White Christmas” is the best-selling song of all time. Composed in a Medford Massachusetts tavern in 1850, “Jingle Bells” was written James Pierpont (apparently a drunken cad) as a Thanksgiving song. Pierpont had the song copy written in 1857 while living in Savannah (where he married the Mayor’s daughter and became a choir director). Christmas controversy continues to this day as Savannah-ians still contest that Medford stole the claim of authorship.

3. Ahh the colors

The traditional Christmas colors of green, red, and gold. Green symbolizes life, red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold symbolizes wealth and royalty. In North America, the Christmas colors represent the money spent on gifts, the color of the overdrafts in chequing (checking for my US friends) accounts, and the default gift of choice for many a special woman.

4. Of spirits and animals

The first batch of rum-laden eggnog was crafted in the US in 1607. I believe joint sessions of AA and Weight-Watchers started soon thereafter. In 1902, ‘Animal Crackers’ were originally released in the US as a Christmas treat to be hung by the box on a Christmas tree. In Germany, Heiligeabend, or Christmas Eve, is said to be a special time when the pure in heart can hear animals talking. I’m quite certain that strong German beer, Kräuterlikör, and Jägermeister have absolutely nothing to do with this.

5. It’s just fruity

Fruitcake has a history dating back 2,000 years to ancient Rome. Rumor has it that the first Roman fruitcake can be found in the back of a cupboard somewhere in the Vatican. It was banned in Europe in the 18th century for being too rich and tasty. Closer to home, the world-famous Claxton Bakery has been delivering fruitcake around the world since 1910. Each year on January 7th, Manitou Springs, Colorado locals have adopted a unique way to get rid of their uneaten fruitcake. They compete to see who can throw, catapult, slingshot or use other creative modes of transport to dispose of said cake the furthest with the most accuracy. To participate, one needs to bring a donation for the local food bank – but donations cannot be fruitcake.

As I sit here sipping my coffee reflecting on this year that seemingly flew by with the rapidity of a Santa delivery, I wish you all a very blessed Christmas as you celebrate the birth of Christ with your family and friends. Merry Christmas, and may God richly bless you all!

© 2018 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com

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