The Sunday Funnies & Factoids – The ‘Christmas Is Okay, But Hanukkah Is So Much Cheaper’ Edition
by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 12/21/14 –
Happy Sunday, folks. Hope you are all ready for the upcoming holiday season, or as I like to call it….. ‘more coal in my sock again this year….. WTF?’
No time to chat today as I am running severely behind….. so without further ado, on with the show…..
1) Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female or castrati.
3) Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836. Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday in 1907.
4) The Canadian province of Nova Scotia leads the world in exporting lobster, wild blueberries, and Christmas trees.
5) Mistletoe (Viscum album) is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.
6) The poinsettia is native to Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs, who called the plant Cuetlaxochitl (“flower which wilts”). For the Aztecs, the plant’s brilliant red color symbolized purity, and they often used it medicinally to reduce fever. Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is not poisonous, but holly berries are.
7) What is the most popular wine at Christmas? “I don’t like brussel sprouts.”
8) Tradition holds that kids used to meet up in secret to learn, but if a Greek soldier happened upon their meeting they would pretend to be gambling with their dreidels.
Dreidel, by the way, is a Yiddish word which comes from ‘drei’ – to turn or spin. The dreidel (a special spinning top for Hanukkah) features four Hebrew letters. In Israel, the letters are Nun, Gimel, Hay and Peh. Abroad, they’re Nun, Gimel, Hay, Shin. The letters stand for the Hebrew phrase “A great miracle happened there (for those outside of Israel)/here (for those in Israel).
9) Though it is one of the most well-known and celebrated Jewish festivals, Hanukkah is actually a more minor holiday, according to religious tradition, than Passover, Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur. The holiday is not even mentioned in the Torah.
Some say Hanukkah gained popularity in the late 1800s among American Jews because of the season in which it falls – usually around Christmastime, this year at Thanksgiving. Hanukkah always begins on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. The corresponding Gregorian date varies.
Others point to the fun aspect of the holiday as the reason for its popularity. Maimonides wrote that the mitzvah of lighting the hanukkiyah is even more important than buying wine for Sabbath.
10) Today, the US president and first lady host an annual Hanukkah party for hundreds of American Jewish politicians, organization heads and school and yeshiva deans. But that wasn’t always the case.
Hanukkah made its first appearance at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1951, when Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion gave Harry Truman a menorah as a gift. In 1979, Jimmy Carter became the first American president to recognize the holiday publicly by speaking at a candle-lighting event hosted by Chabad Lubavitch.
Ronald Reagan often spoke about the holiday and George H.W. Bush attended a Hanukkah party for staff in the Executive Office Building, in 1991. Two years later, Bill Clinton hosted a candle-lighting ceremony in the White House with his staff.
The first official White House Hanukkah party was held on December 10, 2001. President George W. Bush borrowed a 100-year-old hanukkiyah from the Jewish Museum in New York for the event. Since then, the White House Hanukkah party has been a coveted get-together.
President Barack Obama not only continued the tradition but added a new one: the Obamas host Passover Seders in the White House as well.
11) Christougenniatiko dentrophobia is the fear of Christmas trees.
12) What most people hate more than anything about the company’s Christmas party is looking for a new job next day.
13) 13 Wonderful Homemade Christmas Cards by Miss Cellania
Christmas cards are so easy to make in the 21st century, thanks to digital cameras, email, and Photoshop. You’re only limited by your imagination -and plenty of people have great imaginations, which they are willing to share.
Daniel McConnell lost part of his right arm in Afghanistan in 2006. HIs fiancée Megan Duffey had a mastectomy in October of 2013. This couple did not lose their sense of humor, though. Their Christmas card last year was reminiscent of the O Henry tale The Gift of the Magi, with a humorous twist, as she gives him a pair of gloves and he gives her a green bra.
“We wanted to do something funny that would set the tone for our friends to ask questions,” Duffey said. “If we can laugh at it, then (friends and family) can laugh at it and feel comfortable to come to us with questions.”
Re-enacting the Christmas story is common for a tabletop or a church service, but this couple made it personal by putting the re-enactment on their Christmas card, starring family members. Since most of their family members are cats, they get some of the starring roles. Inflatable friends helped, too.
Many homemade cards feature the family pet(s), even if they aren’t dogs or cats. Jenny Jillon posted a Christmas card starring her pet hedgehog Euclid. As Rudolph, the Red-Nosed reindeer. Well, if a reindeer can fly and pull a sled, why not a hedgehog?
We featured John Cessna’s outrageous holiday cards last year, but he’s expanded the line. You can see several of his bizarre ideas that stray from his usual theme of being drunk and alone on Christmas. This one is a knockout!
Bridget makes a Christmas card every year that plays off the joke that she’s the only sibling in the family that’s still single. This is the latest card; you can find a collection of previous cards in a gallery at imgur. Contains NSFW text. At least this year, she’s not drowning her sorrows.
Redditor judokitten made a card this year that illustrates her dearest Christmas wish. That’s what happens when you have to listen to two kids singing the Pokemon theme incessantly. Of course, it’s a Christmas wish that many parents hold.
Redditor n33hai and his wife have two daughters. The older one has just discovered the joy of pinching, which imbued their Christmas photo shoot with personality. He’s selected this one to share with friends and family as a greeting.
Singer Kelly Clarkson and her husband Brandon Blackstock turned Christmas on its ear withtheir greeting card last year. Santa’s apparently had enough of this family and wrapped them up so he can enjoy some cheer himself! Clarkson was expecting at the time, and gave birth to a baby girl in June.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Redditor moneyballbingo shared the Christmas card his grandma received from her mailman last year. This guy not only enjoys his job, he knows how to make people smile -and they’ll remember that.
Clifford and Lauren commissioned an artist to render them as mythical beasts for their Christmas cards. Considering the cost, I’d imagine they also have a large artwork in their home, since the picture itself is not Christmas-themed. Commenters imagined their children as seahorses.
Instagram member shear_hope re-enacted the Christmas talent show scene from the movieMean Girls with her friends to make a Christmas card.
A well-done face swap. The card ignore_my_typo used last year had all four family members looking good- but wearing each other’s faces. It’s a document of their appearances at the time, if you can parse them out.
Lori Bale of Coral Springs, Florida, always has a creative family card for Christmas (and sometimes New Years, too). I particularly like this one, in which everyone took a selfie, including Daisy the dog.
14) A Letter From Timmy to Santa
How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year. I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone 4 for Christmas. I hope you remember that come Christmas Day.
Thank you for your letter. Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them. Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn’t want you to get fat. Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I’ll bring you something you can go outside and play with.*
Seeing that I have fulfilled the “naughty vs. Nice” contract, set by you I might add, I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for. I certainly wouldn’t want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation. Also, don’t you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite?
While I have acknowledged you have met the “nice” criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided. Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right. Please know, however, that my attorneys have been on retainer ever since the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court. Additionally, the exercise I alluded to will not only improve your health, but also improve your social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days.
Very Truly Yours,
Now look here Fat Man,
I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it. I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this. Now you just be disrespecting me. I’m about to tweet my boys and we’re gonna be waiting for your fat ass and I’m taking my game console, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want. WHAT EVER I WANT, MAN!
Listen Pizza Face,
Seriously??? You think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny, G-banger wannabe? “He sees you when you’re sleeping; He knows when you’re awake”. Sound familiar, genius? You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal. I got your shit wired, Jack. I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you’d throw up your Totino’s pizza roll all over the carpet of your mom’s basement. You’re not getting what you asked for, but I’m still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in your ass and then walk it dry. Chew on that, Petunia.
Bring me whatever you see fit. I’ll appreciate anything.
That’s what I thought you little bastard.
Sooooo, on that note I shall take my leave until next week. Until then, please have a wonderful and safe holiday. Enjoy the company that you don’t get to see nearly enough and remember to slap that irritating sibling for me.
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas,