Christmas is Coming!
In just a few days, jolly old Santa Claus will begin his annual gift-giving journey to bring happiness to all the children of the world. The hustle-and-bustle of holiday shopping will magically transform into toys, delicious food and priceless time with family and friends. Yes, Christmas will help bring to an end another tumultuous—yet wonderful—year and will help usher in a new one. And though I’m not nearly as excited as I was as a child, I can say that I’m looking forward to it.
December 25th is an amazing day, to be sure, but it also got me thinking about today, the under-appreciated December 23rd. You see, of all the days leading up to Christmas, I believe that December 23rd gets the least love of them all. By now, people are so excited for “The Big Day” that they’re in a state of panic to finish all their last-minute shopping, wrap their presents and prepare for all the cooking to come. They rarely stop to appreciate the wonder that is December 23rd—a time when dreams still live and the wishes of Christmas haven’t been dashed by poor gift choices or… perish the thought… FRUITCAKE! Yuck!
Yet somehow, December 23rd—the so-called “tenth day of Christmas”—still got stuck with “ten lords a leaping” in that famous holiday song. What in the crap does that even mean? I’m sorry, but even ten “maids a milking” or “swans a swimming” would have been better than a bunch of royals with ADHD.
In an effort to right this terrible wrong and to show December 23rd the respect it so clearly deserves, I am proud to present some interesting facts and other tidbits about this important date—if you’re not too busy with your Christmas chores to check them out, I mean:
- 1783: George Washington resigns as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland.
- 1805: The founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith, is born in Sharon, Vermont.
- 1913: President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act into law and creates the Federal Reserve System.
- 1941: America gets its collective butt kicked as the Imperial Japanese Army occupies Wake Island after 15 days of fighting.
- 1946: Soap opera queen Susan Lucci is born in Scarsdale, New York.
- 1948: I can’t help showing some love for my boy Jack Ham, former linebacker for my Pittsburgh Steelers, who celebrates a birthday today. Hope it’s a good one, Jack!
- 1951: An NFL championship game is televised nationally for the first time as the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cleveland Browns 24-17.
- 1954: J. Hartwell Harrison and Joseph Murray perform the first successful kidney transplant.
- 1963: Former NFL quarterback and current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is born in Toledo, Ohio.
- 1970: The North Tower of the World Trade Center becomes the tallest building in the world at more than 1,300 feet. It would be destroyed 31 years later during the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
- 1972: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Oakland Raiders 13-7 following the “Immaculate Reception” by Franco Harris, who caught a deflected pass and ran it in for the winning touchdown! Go Steelers!
- 1972: The survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 are rescued after 73 days in the Andes—they resort to cannibalism to survive and are later featured in the 1993 film Alive.
- 1973: The soap opera “Young and the Restless” premieres on television, much to the chagrin of husbands everywhere. And no, I don’t watch soaps myself, even though this is the second time I’ve mentioned them here… strange.
- 1982: American actor Jack Webb—best known for his role as Sergeant Joe Friday on the radio and television series Dragnet—passes away from a heart attack at age 62.
- 1996: Four female priests are ordained in Jamaica, the first in the 330-year history of the Anglican Church.
- 1997: Terry Nichols is found guilty of manslaughter in the Oklahoma City bombing.
- 2000: Beloved American actor and “little person” Billy Barty dies of heart failure at age 76.
A lot has happened on December 23rd, don’t you think? And since there are still a few hours of daylight left, who knows what the immediate future will bring?
Happy almost Christmas, everybody!
Posted on December 23, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged Christmas, creative writing, December, History, holidays, jolly old Santa Claus, personal, perspectives, Pittsburgh Steelers, Time. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.