When I started Thoughts on Saturday a couple of weeks ago, I wanted somewhere to reflect and express myself on things that have happened, or that I've read, that make me think. This week though it's Christmas Eve and I wanted something a little lighter.
I haven't forgotten the awful events that have happened in the world this week, in Berlin and elsewhere. My sympathies and thoughts are with all those who have been affected by these tragic events and with those who have lost someone they love.
As it is Christmas Eve, Thoughts on Saturday is all about Christmas.
So lets start with a few Christmas traditions;
1. The Christmas TreeThis was a pagan tradition of bringing greenery into the home during winter. Prince Albert is often quoted as bringing the first Christmas tree into Britain in 1840 but Queen Charlotte (the wife of George III) had one at Windsor in 1800.
2. TurkeyTurkeys are not from Turkey, they were brought to the UK from America by Turkish merchants and were called "turkey fowl". Henry VIII is credited with being the first to have turkey on Christmas Day. Other meat would be goose, boar or even peacock! Chickens were valued for their eggs and cows were needed for their milk. The popularity of turkey seems to be down to their size as one can feed a whole family.
3. Brussel SproutsI love Brussel sprouts and can now eat them all year around but the reason they are eaten at Christmas is that they are available and in season, as simple as that.
4. Cranberry SauceCranberries are native to USA along with turkeys. They are both traditionally eaten together at Thanksgiving so it appears we have just borrowed their tradition.
5. Wrapping giftsSurprisingly because we can. Sticky tape was invented in 1930 so before that it was trickier to wrap presents. Then paper became more colourful and less expensive. Wrapped presents are so much more exciting.
The jokes were stolen from the internet here, here and here oh and some are just as old as the hills. For those that have to know these things Donald E Westlake was an American author.