So here we are in December again. Anyone care to tell me where this year went? For that matter, where did this decade go? But in honor of the season, here are a few little historical tidbits I found in Stupid Christmas by Leland Gregory:
On Christmas Day, 1868, President Andrew Johnson’s last significant act was granting unconditional amnesty to all Confederate soldiers for their actions in the Civil War. Confederate president Jefferson Davis declined to accept it.
In November 1939, during the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Thanksgiving be celebrated one week earlier than usual, thereby extending the Christmas shopping season. [Robin here: I wonder what he would think of our shopping season beginning before Halloween now.]
In the original printing of the poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” in 1823, the last two reindeer were named “Dunder and Blixem,” which are very close to the Dutch words for thunder and lightning, donder and blixsem. “Blixem” is an alternative spelling for bliksem but “dunder” is not an accepted alternative spelling for donder. It is quite possible that there was a minor printing error and Dunder’s name should have been Donder.
Even though smoke was billowing out of the store, firefighters in Mentor, Ohio, had to physically restrain a number of enthusiastic Christmas shoppers from continuing to enter the Dillard’s at the Great Lakes Mall during a December 6, 2006, electrical fire.
Okay, that last one wasn’t historical. Just four years ago. But I can totally see that happening. Not to me. I’m not that into the shopping thing. I love ordering on-line and having things delivered to my house.
Here’s hoping your Christmas shopping season will be smoke and fire free.