A Month of Christmas: Snow Angels

When I was a kid, I would more often lob a snowball (occasionally hardened in the freezer portion of our refrigerator) from behind some sort of shelter (snow forts, anyone?) that I was to create anything like a snowman. My father would occasionally make one of those while my sister and mother would be swinging their arms and legs in a snow bank creating angel … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Snow Angels

A Month of Christmas: Childermas, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and the Book of Hours

The Feast of the Holy Innocents, also called Childermas or Innocents’ Day is a Christian feast held on December 28 in the Western Church and December 29 in the Eastern Church in remembrance of the execution of all male children two years old and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem by Herod the Great — king of Judea — in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Childermas, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and the Book of Hours

Apollo 8 and Earthrise

Fifty years ago today, on December 27, 1968, the command module of the United States spacecraft known as Apollo 8 completed its mission at 15:51:42 UTC by achieving splashdown in the North Pacific Ocean, southwest of Hawaii. The mission lasted six hours, three hours and 42 seconds. This was the second manned spaceflight mission flown in the United States Apollo space program, launched on December … Continue reading Apollo 8 and Earthrise

A Month of Christmas: Ho! Ho! Ho! The Modern Image of Santa Claus

It is now nearing the end of Christmas Day in Thailand where, for the previous twenty-four days, I have posted articles dealing with different aspects of the Yuletide holiday season each featuring an appropriate stamp. Since I just spent the past four days donning a (very hot) Santa Claus suit for party appearances at various local kindergartens, I thought an examination of the most widely … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Ho! Ho! Ho! The Modern Image of Santa Claus

A Month of Christmas: Santa’s Around-the-World Journey by Sleigh on Christmas Eve

As I write this, it’s almost 8:00 p.m. Christmas Eve here in Thailand and Santa Claus has already begun his long series of flights delivering gifts to all of the good boys and girls in every corner of the world. This journey, via his technologically-advanced sleigh pulled by a total of nine reindeer (including the famous guide, Rudolph) will cover an estimated  316,899,308 miles (510,000,000 … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Santa’s Around-the-World Journey by Sleigh on Christmas Eve

A Month of Christmas: The Finnish Joulu

Jul or jol is the term used for the Christmas holiday season in most of Scandinavia and parts of Scotland. Originally, “jul” was the name of a month in the old Germanic calendar. The concept of “jul” as a period of time rather than a specific event prevailed in Scandinavia; in modern times, Jul is a period of time stretching from mid-November to mid-January, with … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: The Finnish Joulu

Japan - Scott #3386c (2011)

A Month of Christmas: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town & Christmas in Japan

Earlier this week, I wrote that my favorite rock Christmas song is the live version of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” as performed by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in 1975 and released as the B-side of a single in 1985. The song was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie and was first sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town & Christmas in Japan