December 2017 - Volume XV, Issue 12 Cool Blogs, Sites & Online Resources to Check Out! The Story Behind Jingle Bells Bostonian James Pierpont wrote “Jingle Bells” in the 1850s. It alluded to the annual sleigh races on the mile-long stretch between the squares in Medford and Malden, towns near Boston. The song was published in 1857. Some music historians say that Pierpont originally wrote it as a Thanksgiving song for a children's church program. Others contend that "Jingle Bells" was quite racy for its time, noting its references to speed racing and courting verses, such as "go it while you're young." These made it unacceptable for church use. Pierpont, the son of a minister, was considered something of a rogue. He died in 1893 before his song became a hit. In 1902, the Hayden Quartet, a barbershop group, recorded it and helped spread its popularity. Some December Holiday Trivia Christmas Day (Dec 25). Some cultural anthropologists say that the custom of Santa climbing down the chimney on Christmas Eve stems from an old English belief that it was good luck to sweep out the chimney before the New Year. Others believe the lore dates back to a legend in which St. Nicholas threw a sack of gold down a chimney to help a poor family. The Festival of Chanukah (Nov 30 – Dec 7) celebrates the Jewish peoples' struggle for religious freedom. The festival has been observed, in Israel and the Diaspora, sometimes even at the risk of life. The story behind the holiday, of how the menorah in the Holy Temple miraculously stayed lit for eight days, with very little oil, is recounted each year as people light the Chanukah candles. Boxing Day (Dec 26). A 'Christmas Box' in Britain is a name for a Christmas present. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants and the day when they received a 'Christmas Box' from the master. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give 'Christmas Boxes' to their families. Cool websites to visit this month: GoodThingsGuy.com How about some good news for a change? This website is on a mission to change what the world pays attention to. They believe there is good news all around us, and over 1 million readers a month agree. They hunt down and report on the best Good News stories from around the World, and only promote good news, inspirational stories and promote only positive, upbeat media. www.GoodThingsGuy.com Fatherly.com This is a fantastic website with resources for fathers (applicable to mothers too!). They aim to be the most robust source of practical parenting advice on the Internet. They publish next-level stories that take interesting and unconventional approaches – very cool and practical stuff! www.Fatherly.com “Like” us at www.Facebook/PCSNiagara! ©2017 Piranha Marketing, Inc.