Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Kala Christouyenna! Buon Natale! Joyeux Noel! Froehliche Weihnachten! Gledelig Jul! Nollaig Shona! Vrolijk Kerstfeest!

Happy Holidays from Mondo Explorer! Since this is the time of year to have fun with friends and family, take a little time to reflect on things past, and, in general, just enjoy life, here are some things that we hope will make you smile, maybe make you think a little too, and definitely get you into the holiday spirit!

Did you know that . . .
. . . it takes the average Christmas tree about 15 years to grow before it’s ready to be sold.
. . . Christmas was actually outlawed by the Puritans in Boston, Mass for a few years during the late 1600s.
. . . the legend of Santa Claus most likely originated in what we know now as modern-day Turkey some time in 280 A.D. with a monk named St. Nicholas who is said to have traveled the country helping the poor and sick. He later became known as the protector of children and sailors, and by the late 1500s, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe.
. . . the popular Christmas Poinsettia plant was first imported to the U.S. from Mexico.
. . . the first Christmas trees appeared in Strasbourg, Germany in the early 1600s and were not imported to places like the United States until the early 1800s, where it took about twenty five years to become the widespread custom that we know today.
. . . the Hanukkah dreidel, a four-sided spinning top associated with the Jewish holiday, was used by the Jews to escape persecution. When Jews gathered to study the Torah, they would bring along a dreidel to pull out in case dissenting soldiers passed by. They would quickly hide the scripture and begin spinning the top when soldiers approached, which many oftentimes spared them their lives.
. . . in some Celtic traditions, mistletoe is believed to posses magical powers, including the power to heal and to increase fertility.

Enjoy one of our holiday recipes, on the house!
Eggnog Martini (makes one):
1 oz of eggnog
1 oz of Frangelico
1 oz of vodka
2 tbsp. crushed ice
nutmeg or cinnamon for topping
Mix all ingredients and shake well in cocktail shaker. Pour through a strainer and sprinkle with your choice of nutmeg or cinnamon. If Celtic, go stand under mistletoe and wait for magical powers to begin.

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