Hey, give Rudolph a little vitamin C

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If you hear sneezing on your roof Sunday night, don’t worry. It’s just Rudolph’s cold. Norwegian scientists suggested any red-nosed reindeer must have a parasitic respiratory infection.

Ten more Christmas tidbits from various sources collected by RandomHistory.com:

1. Dyed goose feathers comprised the first artificial tree in Germany.

2. Christmas trees were sold in the U.S. as early as 1850, and can take 15 years to grow to full height.

3. The Twelve Days of Christmas gifts total 364.

4. Europeans of old believed spirits, both good and evil, were active during the Twelve Days of Christmas. These spirits evolved into Santa’s elves.

5. Speaking of the carol, they say the “true love” part isn’t romantic, but church lingo for God. The partridge signified Christ, and turtledoves, the Old and New Testaments.

6. Christmas colors are also symbolic: Green for life and rebirth; red, the blood of Christ; and gold, wealth and royalty.

7. Male reindeer shed antlers in winter, so Dasher and her pals had to be girls.

8. Speaking of the sexes, be careful: Couples are least likely to break up on Christmas Day, but a popular breakup time is just before. All that emotion stirs the pot.

9. Speaking of feelings, about 20,000 rent-a-Santas nationwide undergo attitude training, trying to stay jolly under public pressure. That includes practical advice, such as not taking parents’ money in kid-view, and avoiding garlic, onions, and beans for lunch (lol).

Finally, have a cock-a-doodle Christmas. Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo (mass of the rooster) on Christmas Eve. Some bring roosters to midnight mass, symbolizing a belief that a rooster was the first to announce the holy birth.

Rather loudly, I imagine.

•••

Sholeh Patrick is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network who wants to know if cats frequented mangers; they’re much quieter in church. Contact her at Sholeh@cdapress.com.

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