The Last Post for Christmas
What have they done to the rein, deer?Thieves Steal Christmas Toys for Homeless ChildrenMore than 300 homeless children are without Christmas presents this holiday season after a Chicago church was ransacked by thieves who stole baby dolls and hundreds of other donated toys. It's Christmas Day in the WorkhouseMidnight mass at 8pm to fool drunksMidnight Mass will be held early this evening, Christmas Eve, at churches across the UK to stop drunks disrupting the services.Drunken SantasHodening
,And the cold bare walls are brightWith garlands of green and holly,And the place is a pleasant sight:For with clear-washed hands and facesIn a long and hungry lineThe paupers sit at the tables,For this is the hour they dine.And the guardians and their ladies,Although the wind is east,Have come in their furs and wrappers,To watch their charges feast:To smile and be condescending,Put puddings on pauper plates,To be hosts at the workhouse banquetThey’ve paid for – with the rates.
- mumming or masquerade on Christmas Eve in Kent.
A party of young people procure the head of a dead horse, which is affixed to a pole about four feet in length, a string is tied to the lower jaw, a horsecloth is then attached to the whole, under which one of the party gets, and by frequently pulling the string keeps up a loud snapping noise, and is accompanied by the rest of the party grotesquely habited and ringing hand-bells. They thus proceed from house to house, sounding their bells and singing carols and songs. They are commonly gratified with beer and cake, or perhaps with money. This is provincially called a hodening; and the figure above described a "hoden," or wooden horse.
This curious ceremony is also observed in the Isle of Thanet on Christmas Eve, and is supposed to be an ancient relic of a festival ordained to commemorate our Saxon ancestors' landing in that island.
fr. Busby's Concert Room and Orchestra Anecdotes (1825, vol. i. p. 73)
Michael Quinion writes
: Because a horse sacrifice was said at one time to take place at the winter solstice among peoples of Scandinavian origin, it has also been suggested that the word is a corruption of the name of the Norse god Odin (or Woden or Wotan).
And if you really want to know more and want to see that weird picture above animated, check out the Hoodeners website
Teetollers may prefer to join a Lithuanian Christmas Eve 'Celebration'
.The meal is eaten solemnly, there is little conversation or joking and alcoholic beverages are not served. If anyone needs to drink, water, homemade cider or fruit juice is served. After the meal is consumed, no one hurries to leave the table: the first to rise while another is still eating will die first. The family remains seated, the mood lightens, predictions and forecasts are done about next year, health, happiness, love and etc. Christmas Eve is rich in prognostications.
If you get bored reading Christmassy blogs, why not try a Boredom Buster
? You can make yourself an Origami Pig
or a Comic
Whether you celebrate Xmas or not, have a good holiday and remember that many won't
, even if they want to.