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ANGLOTOPIA

The Most Wonderful Time of Year


Christmastime is one of the best of the year, regardless of whether you live in the UK
or the US. In both countries, the air is filled with carols, stockings are filled with gifts,
and the eggnog is filled with plenty of rum. And while youre busy with last-minute
shopping, decorating, and other holiday preparations, we are at Anglotopia have
provided a set of Christmas facts for you to consider. Happy Christmas!
Im Dreaming of a White Christmas?
A White Christmas, in which there is a covering of snow on December 25, is
actually pretty rare in England. The Meteorological Office is London traditionally uses
the definition of a single snowflake observed falling at one location in the 24 hours of
Christmas Day. While the normal location was the Meteorological Office itself, now it
includes several locations such as Buckingham Palace, Aldergrove Airport in Belfast,
Abderdeen, Edinburgh Castle, Coronation Street in Manchester, and Millennium
Stadium in Cardiff. While 38 instances of a snowfall have been observed in the last
52 years, only 4 instances of a complete covering have occurred since 1963.
Big Spender
It is estimated that British households spend 22 billion at Christmas with the
average household spending 835. Of the per household amount, 161 is spent on
food and drink, 634 on gifts, and 40 on decorations.
Christmas Pudding
Originated as early as the 15th Century as a means of preserving meat. By the end
of Autumn, any surplus livestock was slaughtered and the meat was kept in a pastry
with dried fruit to act as a preservative. The resulting mince pies became something
of a holiday tradition as they could serve several people. As the techniques for
preserving meat improved over time, the meat started to be removed (though still
existing in some place as mince pieces) and a pottage was made out of plums,
spices, and pastry. As time went on, the sweet aspect of it was emphasized and
morphed into the modern pudding.
Christmas Goose or Christmas Turkey?

ANGLOTOPIA

Christmas Goose was the traditional meat before turkey became more widely
available in the 1950s. In fact, the Cratchit family of A Christmas Carol was set to
have a goose before a reformed Ebeneezer Scrooge purchased a turkey for their
Christmas dinner. Now approximately 76% of British households serve turkey on
Christmas.
Britains Black Friday
On Christmas Day 2012, British retail websites experienced 107 million hits with peak
activity in the evening. While once a day in which servants and tradespersons would
receive gifts, Boxing Day (December 26) is also a peak shopping day. Last year,
shoppers spent a reported 2.7 billion.
Get to the Church on Time
The Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551 required that everyone in Britain attend
church on Christmas Day and not use any vehicle to get there. While some parts
were repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act of 1888, the remainder was repealed
by the Statute Law (Repeals) Act of 1969, though its often reported that the original
act is still in force and simply not enforced.
Many Happy Returns to the Shops
In 2011, people received approximately 594 million worth of unwanted gifts, with 1 in
every 10 gifts being something the receiver did not want. These people were quick to
get rid of the unwanted presents as 1.5 million new items were listed on eBay on
Boxing Day that year.
Christingle
The fourth Sunday of Advent sees a traditional service known as Christingle at
certain churches in Britain. The tradition began in Germany and Scandinavia and the
service involves a large amount of caroling. Children receive an orange with a candle
in it wrapped in red ribbon. The candle representing the light of Jesus and the ribbon
being the blood he shed. The orange, meanwhile, represents the Earth. Some also
include candies or dried fruits stuck in with cocktail sticks to represent the four
seasons and the fruits of the Earth.

ANGLOTOPIA

Christmas Canceled
Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas festivities in 1647 and even instructed soldiers to
confiscate any meals being prepared for the holiday. The law wasnt repealed until
1660, two years after Cromwells death.
Cracking Idea
Tom Smith of London invented crackers in 1847. A confectioner by trade, he created
them during a bon-bon slump as a sales gimmick, increasing the size of the paper to
incorporate the banger mechanism. Eventually, he dropped the inclusion of the bonbons in favor of including some French novelty items he hadnt been able to sell. His
son Walter went onto to include the paper hats you force your relatives to wear as
well as varying the designs on the paper.