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A few more Christmas Stories

Ever find yourself at a Christmas party reaching for conversation topics? Well, reach no further! Here are some – perhaps obscure, but also interesting – tales to do with Christmas time. Pack away those facts and figures to do with work – you can always get them out again after the holidays – and get ready to seem knowledgeable about unimportant things! Now, on with a few more Christmas stories to quench your holiday cravings.

(Note: many of the following stories are more akin to legends, myths and anecdotes, often with little to no historical proof and even more often disproved. For your retelling pleasure, we have labelled the stories that are proven false, so you’ll know to add on the “heard from a mate of a mate’s” to avoid looking like a dingus when someone pulls out the Wikipedia.)

Story 1: The Candy Cane was invented to represent Jesus and the Christian faith

The origin of the striped candy cane is a little curvy – no one’s really sure exactly how a sugar stick with a crook and red stripes came about. There are many different versions, all relating the holiday treat to Christmas time.

One popular version is that a candymaker in Indiana took a white sugar stick, and put a little bend in it so that it would look like the letter J (for Jesus). He added on red stripes to represent Jesus’ blood, whereas the white represents his purity. The crook in the candy also resembles a shepherd’s stick, and the hardness of the candy represents the firmness of the promises of God. The candy canes are created as a secret code for Christians, who were persecuted at the time in Europe.

This version was proven FALSE. Candy canes were not seen in history until late 17th Century, by which time most of Europe were Christians. Also, historical artefacts show that candy sticks weren’t depicted to be anything other than white until early 20th Century.

An Alternative Candy Cane Tale

Another version originated in 1670, where a German choirmaster in Cologne wanted a way to keep his choir children to stay quiet during the sermon. He went to a candymaker to create sugar sticks for the children, but needed a way to justify giving them candy, and so he asked the candymaker to bend the sticks in order for it to resemble a shepherd’s crook, to represent the three shepherds who came to visit baby Jesus on his birth. Thus, the candy cane became associated with Christmas time.

This version is also dubiously FALSE, since there isn’t any historical proof other than anecdotes. Furthermore, candy canes and Christmas were associated together until the late 1800s, nearly 200 years after the choirmaster supposedly invented the confectionery. Nevertheless, it’s a very cute story.

Story 2: Santa Claus prevented a whole bunch of people from unwittingly becoming cannibals

Among many other miracle stories regarding Santa Claus, one might be a little hard to swallow. This story sees a butcher/innkeeper kidnap three wealthy boys in 1150s. The butcher/innkeeper and his wife kill the three boys to rob them of their riches, and then, to cover up the crime, prepare the corpses to pass them off as Christmas ham, or in some versions, Christmas stew.

Along came St Nick, who not only knows when you are sleeping, and sees when you’re awake, but is able to identify when the Christmas ham isn’t all ham. The good Saint prayed and resurrected the three poor children, and the evil butcher was punished.

This butcher, in some circles, goes on to have his own story. To atone for his crimes, he is to follow and accompany Santa as he goes around with his Santa duties. Back in the old days, that meant dispensing the lumps of coal for the naughty children, while Santa gave out presents to the good ones.

parks and rec gif of chris and ben

Needless to say, this story is more lore than fact. Still, that’s something you can casually mention at the next Christmas dinner, as everyone’s tucking into their ham and gravy.

Story 3: Rudolph’s nose guided Santa Claus and the other reindeer’s through a foggy night, ensuring that every child’s present was delivered on time

Alright, this one is for the slightly science-y minded folks. The famous song claims that Rudolph “had a very shiny nose”. In the next line, however, they immediately says that for those who’ve seen it, they would say that it “glows”. Of course, things that take on a shiny property don’t emit light, they simply reflect it. So while, yes, under pleasant lighting circumstances, such as Santa’s cosy cul de sac at the North Pole, Rudolph’s nose may appear to give off a warm glow, the fact is, on that foggy, lightless Christmas Eve, Rudolph’s nose would have been as useful as a wet sock.


Now create a few more Christmas Stories at your next event with Applause Entertainment

Alternatively, you can break the ice at your next party with professional event entertainment. Ask us about ice-breaker activities, or roving character performers! Otherwise, good luck telling Gran about the cannibal-preventing St Nick as she tucks into the Christmas ham!

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