3 More Fun Facts About New Year’s Day

First New Year’s Day

Did you know the first New Year’s Day was celebrated on January 1, 45 B.C., the first day of the new Julian calendar? Julius Caesar walked around saying, “What a New Year’s Ever party! I am SO hungover.”

One of his friends said, “Big J, ummmmm, we didn’t have a New Year’s Eve party last night. This is the first year of the new calendar.”

“OK, so why am I so hungover?”

“It’s Rome, Big J, we celebrate every night.”

Janus Joplin

In Rome, New Year’s Day was dedicated to the god of new beginnings, Janus. Janus is often shown as having two faces, one face looking back to the past, the other to the future.

You could depict your “best friend” the same way, you know, the one you told a super-duper secret and they promised not to tell anyone. Later you found out they told your sister and she let it out over Snapchat. You confronted your “BFF” and she denied it, of course. I suggest you learn about Adrestia, the Norse god of revenge. Make things right — we never saw nuthin’.

Naming and Circumcision

New Year’s Day is also the day of the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus in the Christian church. I also mark several days of the year to celebrate past surgeries and medical challenges. This year I’ll celebrate the Feast of the Broken Femur, the Feast of the Portal Vein Blood Clot and the Celebration of the Migraines Brought On by Leaving a Putt Two Feet Short.

3 More Fun Facts About New Year’s Eve

Eat Your Salad

One New Year’s tradition says the more leafy greens you eat, the more successful you will be. The year Facebook went public, Mark Zuckerberg ate 37 salads on New Year’s Day.

One Million People

One million people will converge on Times Square . Only 500,000 will be there for the ball drop. The other 500,000 think the Knicks are about to win a game.

Baby New Year

Baby New Year is the iconic baby in a top hat who most symbolizes the new year. Baby New Year is also a prolific rapper, best known fof the hits “Auld Lang Gang Syne” and “New Year, New Deals on Big Screen TVs.”

3 Fun Facts About Boxing Day

When I lived in Canada, we observed Boxing Day the day after Christmas. It wasn’t a day for my brothers and I to beat each other up — that was every other day.

No, Boxing Day is a real holiday in the UK, Canada and several other countries.

It Goes Back to Medieval Times

Some experts trace Boxing Day all the way back to medieval times. The “box” part refers to wealthy people giving boxes of gifts to their servant staff the day after Christmas.

Gee, thanks. That’s like letting them watch the Kentucky Derby the next day after everyone has left and the race is over.

Boxing Day Sales Used to be a Thing

Back in the day, we loved Boxing Day because it signaled big savings at post-Christmas sales. Some families even celebrated Christmas by exchanging gifts in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Ever just to save lots of money.

Now, the sales are so good before Christmas, Boxing Day sales are passé.

Which is good. Who wants to celebrate a birthday 5 days later?

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
This gift was on sale
So I bought one for me, too

No Boxing, Fighting or Roundhouse Kicking

I know, I know. Why call it Boxing Day if you aren’t going to throw a few punches?

Sorry, not allowed.

Save up that aggression for next Christmas season. You’ll need it to fight other shoppers on Black Friday to get that 64-inch TV for $100. Especially when you have to gang-tackle a grandma who nabbed the last one.

3 Questions About Christmas Answered

People ask me all the time about Christmas and what really happened. Here are three answers to things they often want to know.

What is Myrrh?

Myrrh is a natural resin or gum. In those days it was used as incense or perfume. These days it is packaged as a sugar-free, breath-cleaning Doublemint gum and is available in major grocery stores, convenient stores and gas stations.

What is Frankincense?

Like myrhh, frankincense is a resin used in perfumes and incense. In biblical times, many people valued it more than gold and silver. It is also a deodorant specifically made for Frankstein monsters. It stops sweat, and helps them dance better to techno music.

Why did the Wise Men not return to Herod after visiting Jesus?

The original story was they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod. The truth is their Google Maps app directed them to a busy Los Angeles boulevard where they were told to turn left during rush hour at an intersection without a traffic light. They sat there for five days waiting for a gap in traffic and eventually turned right and headed home.

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Christmas

Christmas has been around a long time, but you probably didn’t know these interesting Christmas tidbits.

Pilgrims Outlawed Christmas

Some groups of Pilgrims outlawed Christmas. They thought it was a British custom they could do without. That, and they could never get up early enough to beat the crowds on the Black Friday shopping rush.

The Nativity Scene Was First Staged in 1223

St. Francis of Assisi came up with the first nativity scene in 1223. He also created the first professional ice hockey scenes you see displayed in NHL arenas featuring Wayne Gretzky as the Chosen One.

Xmas is Legit

I had a nun that taught us writing “Xmas” is blasphemous because it disrespects Jesus. Yet theologians say it is okay to write Xmas. X is the first Greek letter in the word “Christ,” and X was used in place of Jesus’ name for hundreds of years. It is not known if the apostles called him “X” to his face as in, “Hey X, can you convert some more water into wine. We are running low at this party.”

How to Survive Thanksgiving Alone

Hey, it happens. You have 10,000 family members. Your friends number 85,000 or 95,000, or maybe that is your Instagram follower list. Either way, here you are alone on Thanksgiving. Here are three ways to survive the ordeal.

Eat Out

There are plenty of restaurants open on Thanksgiving, and by that I mean McDonald’s. Shape your hamburger into a little turkey, and cut some slices with one of those little plastic knives.

Enjoy Football

Thanksgiving Day is the perfect chance to watch football on TV. Sometimes it’s hard to see the scores through your tears, though.

Play Holiday Music

Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season, so break out those classic songs like Bing Crosby’s “Alone Again at the Holidays (I Wonder What They Are Doing Down at the Jail)” and Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New Lonely.”

Charming Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Try This Year

Write Your Thanks on the Wall

This charming tradition is from Maine, with deep roots in Bangor. Every person at the Thanksgiving table writes their thanks for the year on the dining room wall. It must be positive. This clause was added after a woman sarcastically wrote one year, “Thanks to my husband for taking NO time out from watching football to help clean one square inch of this house.”

Put the Kids Table in the Back of a Pickup Truck

This tradition from Houston is pure entertainment. As if sitting at the kids table wasn’t enough, now try seating guests at the same table set up in the back of a pickup. Serve them dinner, and then drive around with a sign on the back that says, “LOOK WHO IS AT THE KIDS TABLE AGAIN!”

Eat Thanksgiving Dinner For Breakfast

What’s not to love about this tradition from Kansas City? Everyone wakes up, runs downstairs, open their Thanksgiving presents and then sits down to eat. Stuffed with turkey, they wander back to bed to sleep the rest of the day. No more fake conversations with relatives or pretending you care how the Detroit Lions due in their big game.

3 Things To Watch For in Thanksgiving Football Games

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys play almost every Thanksgiving. Why? Because they are America’s Team. And America’s Team plays on Thanksgiving. They’ve only missed two years since they began playing on Thanksgiving in 1966: 1975 and 1977. Both years the NFL fed them turkey before the game, and they fell asleep before the opening kickoffs.

Yelling Grandpa

Where do men learn to yell at the TV during football games? From our fathers and grandfathers. The danger is old Gramps is getting much older now, and one too many screaming matches at “those damn refs” may be his final blood-curdling rant.

Guy In Stands Wearing Turkey Outfit

Inevitably, someone in the stands will dress up as a turkey. This is a dangerous fashion choice. And in Cleveland, it adds insult to injury.

3 Fun Facts About Thanksgiving

Thomas Jefferson Was Not Down With Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a year-to-year holiday in the early years, and Thomas Jefferson refused to keep it going, calling it “dumber than reality TV.” Jefferson was a staunch advocate of the separation of church and state, which he said benefited society, religious freedom and his own “Turkey Day Church.”

Lincoln Makes It a National Holiday

President Lincoln finally stepped up and made Thanksgiving an official  national holiday in 1863. He marked the occasion with this speech:

“Four score ago two turkeys walked into a small town. Only one emerged. Let’s eat.”

Macy’s Christmas Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade used to be called the Macy’s Christmas Parade, changing to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927. It was renamed in 2017 to the Amazon Prime One-Click Order Button Thanksgiving Day Parade.

 

 

 

I Don’t Sing

My doctor and I were talking about Christmas and caroling.

Me: Yeah, someone asked me to go caroling with them.

Her: Oh, really, you are a singer?

Me: No, they just want me to go caroling.

Her: I didn’t know you were a singer.

Me: Me? No. They just want people to go caroling. We used to do that when I was a kid.

Her: You’ve been a singer since you were a kid? Wow!

Me: Yeah, I’m not a singer. Unless you count Frank Sinatra when I’m alone in the car.

Her: We need a singer like you in our church choir.

Me: See, well, I’m not a singer.

Her: I’m glad you sing. People need to sing more.

Me: Right, I don’t sing. I mean…I’m not a singer…at all…except in the car…you know…Frank Sinatra.

Her: You sing in the car to warm up?

Me: Are we done here?

3 Crazy Facts About New Year’s Day

God of Doors

The Romans dedicated New Year’s Day to Janus, the god of doors, gates and openings. If that’s the case, why didn’t they dedicate the end of the year to the Roman God Anus, the god of endings and exits?

Gonna Lose Weight and Run Every Day – Yeah, Right

Folks in Tudor, England used to celebrate New Year’s Day on March 25. This happened before the Gregorian calendar, but I kind of like it since I don’t get my New Year’s resolutions started until around March 25th anyway.

America’s Religion

New Year’s Day has been an important day through history for many religions, and that is still the case in America today.

The most important religion in America is football. There were some routs on New Year’s Day in 2016.

-Stanford beat Iowa 45-16 in the Rose Bowl.

-Michigan stuffed Florida 41-7 in the Citrus Bowl.

-Ohio State crushed the Fighting Irish 44-28 in the Fiesta Bowl.

-Heck, let’s go ahead and count a Dec. 31 game in this tally because Alabama SPANKED Michigan State 38-0 in the Cotton Bowl.

Let’s be honest: the Big Ten didn’t come out so well in this series of games, but my take right now is in the religion of football, the Big Ten has to do less praying and more testifying…to the spirit of winning.