More than three billion Christmas cards are sent annually in the United States
The more cards you send, the more solvent the USPS remains.
December 13, 303 -
The feast of St. Lucy (Santa Lucia.)
Because her extreme beauty attracted too many admirers, Lucy gouged her own eyes out (she had body issues). Miraculously they grew back. After refusing to marry, the Romans forced her to become a whore. She wasn't particularly thrilled with that choice, so she went for door number two and her Roman guards stabbed her to death but not before gouging out her eyes, again.
Early depictions show Lucy offering her eyes on a platter; she is now the patron saint of Sicily and of opticians.
Oh those wacky early Christians.
Today in History:
December 13, 1577 -
Sir Francis Drake set out on a three year (and not three hour) long journey around the world, on this date. He had started his career as a sailor in the slave trading business, but after some run-ins with the Spanish, he decided to devote his life to taking vengeance on the Spanish by disrupting their trade routes.
He became a semi-official pirate for Queen Elizabeth I, plundering Spanish ships, gathering intelligence about their naval activities and creating delicious little dessert cakes.
December 13, 1928 -
The Clip-on tie is invented on this date. Productivity soars as time lost in tying knots is made up and accidental strangulation rates drop as fewer workers ties are caught in the gears.
Little know fact - the term, dork, was also coined on this date.
December 13, 1973 -
Claude Vorilhon, former French race car driver, began the Rael movement in France on this date.
While commuting to his job as a sportswriter, he decided to drive past the office and stop at a nearby volcano in Auvergne. During his stop, Vorilhon saw the flashing red light of a space ship, which opened its hatch to reveal a green alien with longish dark hair. Once aboard the spaceship, he said he was entertained by voluptuous female robots and learned that the first human beings were created by aliens called Elohim, who cloned themselves.
Vorilhon said that he was instructed to take the name Rael and spread the news that humans were placed on Earth by extraterrestrials who had engineered our DNA. In 1997 Rael founded Clonaid, a company dedicated to cloning people. In 2001 the Raelian movement numbered about 55,000 members world-wide.
The French, they are a funny race.
Christmas Trivia -
It's all the damn man in the can's fault.
Christmas trees are known to have been popular in Germany as far back as the sixteenth century. In England, they became popular after Queen Victoria's husband Albert, who came from Germany, made a tree part of the celebrations at Windsor Castle.
In the United States, the earliest known mention of a Christmas tree is in the diary of a German who settled in Pennsylvania.
Don't even ask about the legacy of Prince Albert and tight trousers.
7 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 12 more shopping days until Christmas.
And so it goes.