Christmas Eve

December 24, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning exhausted elves. Today is Saturday, December 24th. The holidays today are:

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, by definition, is the evening, or the entire day, before Christmas. It is a time of reflection and anticipation for the biggest holiday in Western culture. Every family has their own individual way of celebrating Christmas Eve. Some use it to visit extended family members and close friends because they will be spending Christmas day with their immediate family. Some attend church. Some gather the family and sing Christmas carols. Others don’t do anything special to celebrate Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve is far more than just the day before Christmas and a time to celebrate with family. It has deep religious meaning to some, mostly in Western cultures. The details are far too extensive to cover in this Blog. For the full explanation, click this link.
Author’s Note: Christmas Eve holds a special meaning to me because it was also my mother’s birthday – R.I.P. (1910 – 1989).

Super Saturday/Panic Saturday

Prudent shoppers do their Christmas shopping early to avoid the long lines and large crowds associated with the holiday season. However, fortunately for retailers, many Americans aren’t very prudent. Super Saturday (aka Panic Saturday) is an unofficial holiday that takes place on the Saturday before Christmas each year. This year it is doubly important because it is also Christmas Eve and is your last chance to finish your Christmas shopping. Many shoppers intentionally wait for Super Saturday to finish their shopping due to the availability of discounts and for many shoppers with full-time jobs it is their last opportunity to finish their shopping. Some people wait until the Super Saturday to do their Christmas shopping because they are on a tight budget and want to take advantage of the savings offered on Super Saturday.
Retailers often use Super Saturday to target last-minute shoppers and typically offer one-day sales in an effort to accrue more revenue. They often offer extended hours to lure shoppers into their stores. Super Saturday accounts for a significant portion of the holiday sales for retail stores and some businesses do as much as 60 percent of their sales on this day. Many retailers increase their staffing during Super Saturday to handle the increased demand.

Last-Minute Shopper’s Day

Last-Minute Shopper’s Day is exactly that the name implies – one last chance to finish your Christmas shopping. It is celebrated on Christmas Eve each year. If you haven’t finished your shopping yet:

  1. What the heck is wrong with you?
  2. Get busy! It’s Christmas Eve you moron.

Hanukkah or Chanukah

Tonight at sundown marks the beginning of the eight-day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday, but it is not considered a religious holiday by the Jewish religion.
Hanukkah starts on a different day each year according to the Western calendar, but it always begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. The word “Hanukkah” means dedication or induction, and the holiday signifies the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees revolted against Alexander, Antiochus IV and his persecution of the Jews.
According to the Talmud, at the time of the rededication, there was only enough oil left to burn the eternal flame in the temple for one day. It lasted for eight days—just the amount of time needed to make a fresh supply of oil. Hence, it is a tradition at Hanukkah to light a candle on the menorah for the eight nights of Hanukkah. This link provides a little more information about Hanukkah.

National Eggnog Day

Eggnog is one of the most popular beverages served during the holidays, so it is very appropriate that this occasion is celebrated on Christmas Eve.
The traditional recipe for eggnog is milk, cream, sugar, beaten eggs, spices, and sometimes alcohol. The type of alcohol depends on the country where it is made. In Europe, eggnog is traditionally made with white wine. Americans drink it with bourbon or rum while Peruvians use pomace brandy and Germans use beer.
There are a few theories about how eggnog actually got its name. One story claims that eggnog was first called “egg n’ grog,” which was eventually shortened to “eggnog.” According to other sources, the name comes from the Old English word for “strong ale” – “nog.” This theory suggests that the combination of the words “egg” and “nog” refers to any drink that contains both eggs and strong alcohol.
Regardless of how eggnog got its name, it has been a favorite holiday beverage for centuries.

On this date in

  • 1814 – The War of 1812 between the United States and Britain was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium.
  • 1818 – Franz Gruber of Oberndorf, Germany composed the music for “Silent Night” to words written by Josef Mohr.
  • 1851 – A fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, destroying about 35,000 volumes.
  • 1865 – Several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, TN, called the Ku Klux Klan.
  • 1906 – Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio, from Brant Rock, MA.
  • 1914 – In World War I, the first air raid on Britain was made when a German airplane dropped a bomb on the grounds of a rectory in Dover.
  • 1943 – President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces as part of Operation Overlord.
  • 1944 – A German submarine torpedoed the Belgian transport ship S.S. Leopoldville with 2,235 soldiers aboard. About 800 American soldiers died. The soldiers were crossing the English Channel to be reinforcements at the battle that become known as the Battle of the Bulge.
  • 1948 – For the first time, a midnight Mass was broadcast on television. It was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
  • 1948 – The first completely solar-heated house became occupied in Dover, MA.
  • 1951 – Libya achieved independence as the United Kingdom of Libya.
  • 1965 – A meteorite landed on Leicestershire. It weighed about 100 pounds.
  • 1966 – Luna 13 landed on the moon.
  • 1967 – Joe Namath (New York Jets) became the first NFL quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards.
  • 1968 – The crew of the United States Navy ship, Pueblo, was released by North Korea. The Captain of the Pueblo, Commander Lloyd M. Bucher, and 82 of his crew were held for 11 months after the ship was seized by North Korea because of suspected spying by the Americans.
  • 1968 – Three astronauts, James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman, reached the moon. They orbited the moon 10 times before coming back to Earth. Seven months later man first landed on the moon.
  • 1979 – Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in support of the country’s Marxist government.
  • 1981 – Reggie Jackson announced that he would join Gene Autry’s California Angels for the 1982 season.
  • 1985 – Fidel Castro, the Cuban president, announced that he was a non-smoker.
  • 1989 – Ousted Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega took refuge in the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in Panama City.
  • 1992 – President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in the Iran-Contra scandal.
  • 1997 – Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as “Carlos the Jackal,” was sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders of two French investigators and a Lebanese national.
  • 1998 – At Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, a tourist was hit by a piece of flying metal while waiting to board a ride. The man’s wife and a Disneyland employee were also injured. Luan Phi Dawson died December 26th from his injuries.
  • 1999 – An Indian Airlines plane was seized during a flight from Katmandu, Nepal, to New Delhi. In Afghanistan, the 150 hostages were freed on December 31 after India released three Kashmir militants from prison.
  • 2000 – 36 minutes after the end of a game, both the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins were called back to the playing field. The teams had to play the final 3 seconds of the game which the Dolphins had won 27-24. The end result did not change.
  • 2000 – The “Texas 7,” seven convicts that had escaped a Texas prison, robbed a sports store in Irving, TX. The suspects killed Officer Aubrey Hawkins, stole $70,000, 25 weapons and clothing. The men had escaped on December 13.

Noteworthy Birthdays

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