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Showing posts from December, 2015

Why do the British call the 26th December Boxing Day?

There is no agreement about this but it is not because:

Why God Rest You/Ye Merry Gentlemen?

This is rousing version of the traditional carol is, according to Mark Israel, one of thousands to get the words wrong.

Christmas songs that do not mention Christmas?

Several of the very best 'Christmas songs'  make no specific reference to the festival itself.

When did we start saying 'Merry Christmas'?

If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly, "Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.

What is frankincense? And myrrh?

Frankincense is a gum resin with a strong smell. It comes from the Boswellia tree.

Did Dickens invent the modern Christmas?

Christmas is, of course, the celebration a certain event in Bethlehem as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. But the immediate and enduring success of Charles

Did Frank Sinatra record the first concept album?

A concept album is a collection of songs are linked by a theme.

Scrooge says 'Bah! Humbug!'? What is humbug?

For Scrooge (and Scrooge McDuck!) Christmas is 'humbug' - a fraudulent commercial trick aimed at 'picking a man's pocket'. 
‘Bah!’ said Scrooge, ‘Humbug! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money? For finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer?’
But what is humbug?
In general English 'humbug' describes insincere or hypocritical speech - Scrooge accuses all around him of only pretending to be interested in the plight of the poor.

In British English, a striped candy/sweet. It's boiled and hard enough to crack a tooth. Dentists cry, 'Bah! Humbug! - all the way to the bank. 

More on A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol Teaching Pack

More Christmas-related posts