So he's going to pester you, this holiday season, with questions about all that goes on and all that he sees and hears. You need to have a few obscure facts at hand, to dazzle and distract him with, as you rush from mall to mall. You might even catch him off-guard, and zing him before he has a chance to challenge your intellect.
For instance, as he unwraps his umteenth candy cane of the season (no, it's probably not good for him, but it keeps him occupied), you can hit him with this:
The candy cane was invented in the late 1600's, by a German choirmaster, who wanted to keep the children at his Christmas services quiet. Originally, these were straight sticks of sugar candy, but the choirmaster made them in the shape of a shepherd's staff as an homage to the season.
We all hear the music of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" at Christmas, but the only section most of us can name is the "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy". So what is a sugar plum, anyway? Well, in 17th century England, the word "plum" was used to describe just about any dried fruit, which was considered a delicacy. Adding sugar made it an extra special treat for children, and given on rare occasions, such as Christmas.
Speaking of plums, another traditional English Christmas dish still served in many places today is plum pudding. Originally it was a soup made with beef, mutton, and dried plums (or prunes), but later, the meat and the prunes were removed, raisins were added, and it was turned into a cake. Today, plum pudding is really a form of raisin cake.
Another Christmas dish which isn't what it sounds like is mincemeat pie. Again, it was originally a pie made with meat-minced-and spices. But, over time, the meat was replaced with fruit. But the name stuck.
Your son probably doesn't know (yet) that the song, "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" was originally written as a song to teach children to count. But many of us have forgotten why there are twelve days to Christmas. It's a Christian tradition that the Wise Men arrived to worship the baby Jesus, twelve days after his birth-the first "expert" acknowledgement of the Messiah.
While we're on the subject, your son may want to know, at some point, just what swaddling clothes are-and why the baby Jesus was wrapped in them. Since ancient times, most cultures have used some form of swaddling-or long pieces of cloth-to wrap newborn babies, to restrict movement and keep them warm, a way of approximating conditions of the womb, in order to keep newborns comfortable. Today, flannel and receiving blankets have replaced swaddling cloth.
You're on a roll, now, tossing out these Christmas tidbits effortlessly, as you drive to the next store to continue your shopping. Your son is in the back seat, silently amazed at your knowledge of All Things. You glance in the rearview mirror to catch the admiration on his face, and-
He's sound asleep. But he must have nodded off, totally impressed. You almost want him to wake up-there's so much more. And you know it all.
Author's Resource Box
Brought to you by Imaginary Greetings, a regular contributor of valuable family oriented articles. To help create the perfect family holiday, for the best selection of Christmas trees, lights, decorations and everything else Christmas, visit Santas Depot.
MADRID, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona pulled to within one point of Real Madrid at the top of the BBVA Primera Liga on Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 win away to struggling Granada.
Under no stretch of the imagination was it a vintage show from the Catalans on a dry and bumpy pitch, but star performances from Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic were enough to give them the points against a rival haunted by relegation.
Rakitic scored the opening goal after Suarez's shot was left for him to slide home from close range and then set up Suarez shortly after the break for Barca to double their lead.
Granada got a lifeline from the penalty spot after Marc Bartra was adjudged to have brought down Lass in the penalty area and Fran Rico duly beat Claudio Bravo.
However, Leo Messi made the points safe after Rakitic and Suarez again linked up to allow him to tap home his 27th league goal of the season all be it from a suspiciously offside looking position.
Athough Rakitic and Suarez starred for Barcelona, there is no doubt Rayo Vallecano striker Alberto Bueno was the man of the day in La Liga.
The former Real Madrid youngster scored all four goals in his side's 4-2 win at home to Levante in a devastating 15 minute first half spell.
Levante had opened the scoring through Victor Casadesus after 13 minutes in the Vallecas Stadium before Bueno enjoyed his best ever day in professional football with goals in the 23rd, 32nd, 33rd and 38th minutes to seal the win for Rayo before halftime.
Kala Uche pulled a late consolation goal back for Levante, but the result leaves his side in the bottom three, while Rayo move seven points clear of the drop zone.
Almeria and Deportivo la Coruna ended in a 0-0 draw with Almeria finishing the match with just nine men after Thievy and Michel were both sent off for seeing two yellow cards each.
INDIAN WELLS, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Simona Halep claimed her first Indian Wells WTA title with a hard-fought 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over the former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic in BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday, giving the Romanian the biggest title of her career and a WTA Tour-leading third tournament victory of the year.
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