Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Christmas

Having tackled Tesco again this morning and survived the experience in one piece, it's nice to get home again for a coffee and sit down. The festive lights are spreading across the house fronts along our road and each time we look out of our back window, we are greeted by the sight, in our neighbour's garden, of a lit-up snowman, posting letters into a post box ready for the Post Office to go on strike and ensure the cards will not arrive until about March.
The first recorded use of the word "Christmas" was in 1038 when a book from Saxon England used the words "Cristes Maesse" in it. The Christmas crib originated in Medieval times but in Medieval Italy. In 1223, Saint Francis of Assisi is said to have used a crib to explain to the local people of Assisi the Christmas story.
Medieval people would certainly not have eaten turkey on Christmas day. The rich would have eaten goose and, with the king’s permission, swan. If they could be caught, woodcock would also be eaten. To make a roast bird look even more tasty, medieval cooks used to cover the cooking bird with butter and saffron. This would give the cooked bird a golden colour by the time it was served. However, if the poor could afford it, the Church had a fixed price of 7 pence for a ready cooked goose. An uncooked goose would cost 6 pence - about a day’s wages.
Another Christmas song for you today. This time from the glorious voice of Enya. The words to the Advent hymn, 'O come, O come Emmanuel' were originally written in Latin text in the 12th Century. The author of the words and composer to the music of O Come, O Come Emmanuel is unknown. It is thought the melody was of French origin and added to the text a hundred years later. The Latin was translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851. Enjoy.........
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