The Ten Random Facts team wishes all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
What a better way to celebrate Christmas than ten posts of ten facts? Feed yourself with the reason behind those Christmas-y traditions.
Always have cranberry sauce with your turkey.
- Cranberry sauce is a culinary condiment or sauce used to flavour other food dishes.
- ‘Cranberry sauce’ is also known as ‘cranberry jelly’, and it is bought in cans or jars from supermarkets, or made at home.
- The primary ingredients of cranberry sauce are sugar, cranberries and water, and sometimes other ingredients and flavourings are added.
- Cranberry sauce is typically made by mixing together and boiling the ingredients, as in jam making, causing the elements to combine and thicken and the cranberries to burst.
- Cranberry sauce can be a semi-liquid or a jelly-solid, and it is usually served scooped out of a jar with a spoon, or sliced.
- Cranberry sauce is traditionally eaten on either Thanksgiving or Christmas, often accompanying a turkey dish, and it is also sometimes served with other meats.
- The general taste of cranberry sauce varies from country to country; American versions are generally sweet, while European versions tend to be a bit sour.
- The earliest known recorded mention of cranberry sauce was in 1663, in a cookbook; more than 40 years after the first Thanksgiving dinner in the United States.
- Commercialised cranberry sauce became available in cans in 1912 and were popularised in the 1930s with the introduction of Ocean Spray’s version.
- Cranberry sauce is high in vitamin E, fibre and manganese, and it also contains significant quantities of sugar.
Do you look forwards to Christmas gifts during the Christmas season?
- Christmas gifts are items given to other people during the Christmas season, and they can be given from a range of people including individuals, families, groups, and businesses.
- The idea of giving Christmas gifts is often believed to have been inspired by the three gifts that the wise men or magi gave to Jesus after he was born, as well as the suggestion that gifts also symbolise Jesus, God’s gift.
- The giving of gifts in December was practised by the Ancient Romans during the festival season of Saturnalia, which may have influenced the giving of Christmas gifts at a later time, and in the 1200s French nuns gave gifts to those less fortunate in early December for Saint Nicholas’ Day, and this tradition is still practised in some countries.
- Christmas gifts only became a common tradition later in the 1700s; and prominent commercial Christmas advertising appeared by the 1820s.
- Christmas gifts are commonly bought from retailers in October to December, when many shops start advertising their Christmas goods.
- Christmas gifts are commonly given and opened on Christmas Eve, the 24th December, or on the 25th of December, Christmas Day, although as late as the 6th of January is common in some countries.
- One can often find Christmas gifts gathered around a Christmas tree or in Christmas stockings, closer to the designated date of opening.
- The concept of Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus or the Christ Child (Kris Kringle) providing Christmas gifts, is not uncommon among children.
- The influence of Christmas gifts has been discussed controversially; some say the gifts detract and distract from the true meaning of Christmas.
- Christmas gifts are often exchanged between parents and children, extended family members and work colleagues, and gifts can range from simple home-made items that can include food, to extravagant expensive purchases.
Merry Christmas to all! Be sure to have a great day and remember Jesus’ gift for you. Also, be sure to drop by these past posts and learn more about the nativity!
Luke 2:4 NIV
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
Birth of Jesus Christ
Luke 2:6-7 NIV
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:8-9 NIV
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Star of Bethlehem
Matthew 2:1-2 NIV
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
‘Matthew, Luke’ n.d., in The Bible, New International Version, BibleGateway,
Do you know the tradition of Christmas wreaths?
- A Christmas wreath is an ornamental object that is used during the Christmas season, and its use today originates from a Christian-based custom.
- Christmas wreaths are typically shaped as a ring, made with living, dried or imitation vegetation, including twigs, flowers and leaves, as well as ribbons and other Christmas-related objects.
- ‘Christmas wreaths’ are also known as ‘Christmas crowns’, ‘advent crowns’ or ‘advent wreaths’.
- The tradition of Christmas wreaths is said to have begun in Germany in the 1500s, by Lutherans, and the idea possibly stems from the use of wreaths in Ancient Greek and Roman times, that were used to crown those with significant achievements or community rank, or placed on their door.
- Traditionally, Christmas wreaths contained four candles; three purple and a pink, with one lit each week in December, often on a Sunday; and a fifth white candle was sometimes also included.
- The idea to use candles in Christmas wreaths to countdown the Advent, was possibly invented by a German pastor, Johann Wichern, in the mid 1800s, as a daily advent calendar for children.
- The traditional idea of a Christmas wreath has became a popular Christmas decoration and they started being hung on doors by the 1900s, and are now commonly found on doors without candles.
- Christmas wreaths are commercially available during the Christmas season, and the most common wreaths obtainable are factory made objects.
- Christmas wreaths are often made with the colours of red, green, white or purple, traditionally symbolising Jesus’ blood, life, joy and sacrifice or forgiveness.
- The making of Christmas wreaths is a common Christmas craft activity and the base can be made from wire, styrofoam, cane or other material, and other supplies can include fabric, wrapped lollies and candy, or numerous other items.