DailyDirt: Fact-Checking Some Christmas Traditions

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We've noticed some Christmas dinner traditions that might sound a little strange. But there are some traditions around this time of year that are curious enough to warrant some quick fact-checking. Whatever the case may be, enjoy whatever traditions you follow! After you've finished checking out those links, take 10% off any $50+ order from our Daily Deals using the promo code DAILYDIRT.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 23 Dec 2015 @ 6:15pm

    Candy canes may have started out as straight sticks, and there's little evidence that they're in a J-shape for Jesus.

    I always heard that the hooked shape was supposed to represent a shepherd's crook, not the letter J.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2015 @ 6:29pm

      Re:

      I thought it was just so it can be easier to hang on a string or branch of a Christmas tree?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 23 Dec 2015 @ 11:04pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, the most likely story (according to the link) was that the German immigrant who also brought the xmas tree to American made the hook since he like to use them to decorate his trees.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Beta (profile), 23 Dec 2015 @ 9:54pm

      Re:

      I've also heard that candy canes are shaped liked shepherd's crooks. But I don't know why shepherd's crooks are shaped like shepherd's crooks. Do they have to break up sheep-fights from a safe distance or something? Pull sheep down from trees? Express bewilderment by visual cue?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 24 Dec 2015 @ 11:38pm

        Re: But I don't know why shepherd's crooks are shaped like shepherd's crooks.


        1. If they were straight, they wouldn’t be crooks. Shaped like crooks ... crooked ... geddit?
        2. The shepherds use them to hook the sheep offstage when their act is being received badly by the audience. By hook or by crook...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Beta (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 11:13am

          causality

          1. Yes, I know they must be shaped like themselves, but usually things are named descriptively, not shaped to fit their names. If you're saying they're shaped that way because of their name, you're raising more questions than you're answering.

          2. "By hook or by crook" refers to the law that the fruit on the tree belonged to the landowner, but the fruit on the ground (windfall) was free for the taking -- and sometimes the wind needed a little help from the not-entirely-honest. And come to think of it, that might actually answer my question.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TRX (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 2:51pm

    Normally, my entire town shuts down on Christmas Day, other than the Chinese restaurant and the Thai restaurant. If you don't feel like cooking at home on a holiday, those are your choices.

    If other areas are similar, the claim of the spike in sales is not surprising.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 25 Dec 2015 @ 12:22am

    Lunch at the Greyhound Bus Station.

    Here's a different kind of tradition, back from the early 1970's. On Christmas, in Cincinnati, a group of men and teenage boys would all get together for lunch at the Greyhound bus station. The women of our families were all busy cooking Christmas dinner, and they didn't want us underfoot, going in the kitchen in search of snacks and getting in their way. The airport restaurant must have been open as well, but that was miles out of town, and airports still had upper-middle-class associations. The Greyhound bus station, apart from being open on Christmas, was earthy and working class, a place to tell moderately ribald jokes, of the sort which get imported from the military, the kind of jokes one would not tell in the presence of a lady. Someone would ritually recite Kurt Vonnegut's aphorism that "the Indianapolis bus station is the navel of the universe." Vonnegut's novel, _Breakfast of Champions_, is the purest distillation of the mentality that I know of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tracyanne, 26 Dec 2015 @ 2:35pm

    this year

    We managed to avoid all the commercial bullshit and all the Christian bullshit... yah for us. We went bush walking,or hiking if you prefer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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