Today’s Public Service Announcement: Contrary to common belief, poinsettia plants are non-toxic but holly berries are poisonous. Mistletoe is not deadly; but it can be hazardous, so don’t eat it.
At Christmas, it is traditional to exchange kisses beneath the mistletoe tree. In ancient Scandinavia, mistletoe was associated with peace and friendship. That may account for the custom of "kissing beneath the mistletoe". It is not customary to chew the odd plant, so quit sticking things in your mouth that don't belong there.
Happy Festivus everyone.
As not to embarrass yourself tonight at your Festivus family gathering, here are the four tenets of the holiday:
The Festivus Pole: During Festivus, an unadorned aluminum pole is displayed. The pole was chosen apparently in opposition to the commercialization of highly decorated Christmas trees, because it is "very low-maintenance," and also because the holiday's patron, Frank Costanza, "find[s] tinsel distracting."
Festivus Dinner: The Festivus dinner menu is flexible, but it should consist of filling, non-holiday comfort food (no turkey, duck, goose, or ham). The televised dinner featured what may have been meatloaf or spaghetti in a red sauce. (Presumably, an entree in a red sauce is more festive.) Kruger took a flask out from his jacket and took a swig; so one might interpret that drinking is optional.
The Airing of Grievances: At the Festivus dinner, each participant tells friends and family of all the instances where they disappointed him or her that year.
The Feats of Strength: The head of the family tests his or her strength against one participant of the head's choosing. Festivus is not considered over until the head of the family has been pinned to the ground. A participant is allowed to decline to attempt to pin the head of the family only if they have something better to do instead.
A Healthy and Happy Festivus to you and your family.
Fire up your VCR's - Darlene Love is making her annual appearance on The Late Show tonight to sing, Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home.) Here a compilation of some of her appearances -
We must agree with Mr. Letterman - it's officially Christmas!
December 23, 1823 -
The famous poem A Visit From St. Nicholas was first published on this date. It begins, Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house / Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ....
Fourteen years after its first publication, an editor attributed the poem to a wealthy professor of classical literature named Clement Clarke Moore. In the last few years, new evidence has come out that a Revolutionary War major named Henry Livingston Jr. may have been the actual author of The Night Before Christmas. His family has letters describing his recitation of the poem before it was originally published, and literary scholars have found many similarities between his work and The Night Before Christmas. He was also three quarters Dutch, and many of the details in the poem, including names of the reindeer, have Dutch origins.
December 23, 1942 -
The Noel Coward-David Lean War time drama, In Which We Serve, premiered in the US on this date.
Noel Coward was nervous at the prospect of directing and asked his friend John Mills if he could recommend someone to help him. Mills suggested "the best film editor in the country", David Lean. This was the first film directed by David Lean.
December 23, 1954 -
Walt Disney's live-action film, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, premiered on this date.
Richard Fleischer was surprised at being considered for the director's chair for this film, as he was the son of Disney's biggest competitor, Max Fleischer. He approached Walt Disney to inquire if Disney knew who he was. Disney told him that he was well aware of who he was and hired him because he thought he was the best man for the job.
Today in History:
December 23, 1888 -
After an argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh takes a razor and removes a portion of his left ear. Their quarrel regarded the prostitutes in Arles who seemed to prefer Gauguin over Van Gogh; the painter delivered his ear a startled prostitute. She fainted.
Some women get very emotional when they receive that special gift.
December 23, 1948 -
Japanese Premier Tojo and 6 others hanged by the War Crimes Commission at Sugamo Prison, Tokyo, for the crime of starting an aggressive war.
Now, that's not a necktie you want for Christmas.
December 23, 1968 -
On the first day of the first flight ever by astronauts to orbit the Moon, Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman suffers from the first documented case of motion sickness. Previous astronauts had reported nothing -- partly because their ships were too small for them to move around a lot and get queasy, partly because they kept their mouths shut for fear they'd never fly again.
There is nothing worse than barfing into your own spacesuit.
Oh, wait a minute, yes there is - barfing into someone else's spacesuit.
December 23, 1985 -
In a Lutheran school playground, James Vance and Raymond Belknap acted upon a drunken suicide pact forged while listening to Stained Class by Judas Priest. Belknap shot a 12 gauge shotgun under his chin, dying instantly, and Vance followed, but survived with a severely disfigured face. He later dies from painkillers on Thanksgiving three years later. Both kids' parents file suit against the band, but a judge ultimately rejects their subliminal message theory.
I believe anyone would kill themselves being forced to listen to Judas Priest.
1 more shopping days until Christmas. At this point, if you haven't started shopping, may I suggested that fresh fruit makes an attractive gift basket.
And so it goes.