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In the spirit of the season enjoy this tale of the optimist and the pessimist from your friends at RopeShop.ca May your days be filled with wonder and joy!
This is a Christmas story of an optimist and a pessimist. “There once was a family who was blessed with twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was in their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed it was not loud enough. They were opposite in every way, one the eternal optimist, and the other a doom and gloom pessimist.
One Christmas their father decided to put them to the ultimate test and in the still of the night on Christmas Eve he crept into their rooms. In the pessimist’s room he laid about every imaginable toy and game, each wrapped in colourful paper and tied with ribbons of gold but in the optimist’s room he laboured with a shovel silently building up a mountainous pile of horse manure.
Morning approached and he could hear them both stirring, as he poked his head into the room of the pessimist son he wasn’t surprised to see him crying bitterly surrounded by his new gifts ‘Why are you crying?’ the father asked. Through his tears he exclaimed ‘Because my friends will be jealous… I’ll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff… I’ll constantly need batteries… and all of these toys will break anyway!’. Shaking his head the father moved on to the optimist twin’s room, and there to his surprise he found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. ‘What are you so happy about?’ he asked. To which his optimist twin replied, ‘There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!’
Thought you knew everything about Christmas?
Frayed Knot! Let’s play holiday True or False trivia!
- Christmas was illegal in puritan New England.
TRUE – The Puritans were sticklers for details. And because the Bible does not actually indicate the exact anniversary of the Nativity, they reasoned that God must not have intended for it to be observed at all. So they banned its celebration. Between 1659 and 1681 it was actually a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of five shillings, to celebrate Christmas in Massachusetts.
- The modern image of a fat, red-suited Santa Claus was invented by the Coca-Cola Company.
FALSE – In 1931 Coca-Cola commissioned the artist Haddon Sundblom to create images of Santa Claus drinking from a bottle of Coke. While the image became incredibly popular it’s not accurate to say that Sundblom actually invented it. Santa was already commonly being depicted as a fat, jolly, red-suited, long-bearded old man as early as 1885. But the cltaim remains today, even repeated as fact by Coca-Cola itself.
- The bones of the original Santa Claus, (St. Nicholas) are preserved in a church in Italy.
TRUE – St. Nicholas was a fourth-century bishop who lived in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). Upon his death his bones were preserved in the town of Myra, but in 1087 these bones were stolen and moved to the town of Bari in Italy. They remain there to this day, located in the church of San Nicola.
- NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks Santa and his sleigh every year on radar.
TRUE – They’ve been doing it since December 24th, 1955. In fact, it all began with a typo on a phone number in an ad produced by Sears that invited children to call Santa and check on his progress. However when the first excited child called in on that wrong number it rang the “red telephone” at the Continental Air Defense Command. She was answered by Colonel Shoup who was quick enough to realize some sort of phone error and sentimental enough to play along. That misprint spawned a tradition that is still celebrated today. Visit the website at www.noradsanta.org
- Rudolph has always been a part of Santa’s reindeer team.
FALSE – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was originally created for Montgomery Ward department stores as part of a promotional gimmick. They hired writer Robert L. May in 1939 to write a Christmas story to be given away to holiday shoppers. May’s brother-in-law, song-writer Johnny Marks liked the story so much he decided to write a song to go with it. The song “Rudolph the Red‑Nosed Reindeer” was recorded in 1949 by Gene Autry. To this day the original reindeers remain in the shadow of Rudolph’s nose.