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Friday, December 23, 2016

Greetings Infomaniacs,

Happy Holidays to everyone! It's almost Christmas Eve, and I wish you all a beautiful holiday season filled with happiness and love.

Congratulations to "Bill Wanta" who won this week's "Mind Scrambler". Here was the scrambler:


My head and tail both equal are,
My middle slender as a bee.
Whether I stand on head or heel
Is quite the same to you or me.
But if my head should be cut off,
The matter's true, though passing strange
Directly I to nothing change.

What Am I?

ANSWER: The figure 8.

Enjoy!

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WHO SAID IT?

QUOTE: "Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

HINT: (1898-1993), was a minister and author (most notably of The Power of Positive Thinking) and a progenitor of "positive thinking".

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RANDOM TIDBITS

The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children. His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop's mitre.

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Mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter. Scandanavians associated the plant with Frigga, their goddess of love, and it may be from this that we derive the custom of kissing under the mistletoe.

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In Northern Europe Christmas occurred during the middle of winter, when ghosts and demons could be heard howling in the winter winds. Boughs of holly, believed to have magical powers since they remained green through the harsh winter, were often placed over the doors of homes to drive evil away.

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A native Mexican plant, poinsettias were named after Joel R. Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico who brought the plant to America in 1828. One legend has it that a young Mexican boy, on his way to visit the village Nativity scene, realized he had no gift for the Christ child. He gathered pretty green branches from along the road and brought them to the church. Though the other children mocked him, when the leaves were laid at the manger, a beautiful star-shaped flower appeared on each branch. The bright red petals, often mistaken for flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant.

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It was not long after Europeans began using Christmas trees that special decorations were used to adorn them. Food items were used predominately and straight white candy sticks were one of the confections used as ornamentation. Legend has it that during the 17th century, craftsmen created the white sticks of candy in the shape of shephreds' crooks at the suggestion of the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. Thus, the creation of the candy cane.

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Sir Henry Cole is credited with creating the first real Christmas card. The first director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Sir Henry found himself too busy in the Christmas season of 1843 to compose individual Christmas greetings for his friends. He commissioned artist John Calcott Horsley for the illustration. The card featured three panels, with the center panel depicting a family enjoying Christmas festivities and the card was inscribed with the message "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You."




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*** Weekly Mind-Scrambler ***

Look for a new mind scrambler in Monday's issue of Trivia Today!

Submit your answer by clicking: TheDailyTease

Answer will be posted in Friday's Trivia Today. Good Luck! If your name appears in Friday's newsletter, EMAIL MICHELE your complete name and address to be shipped your prize.

Be sure to put "Winner" in the subject line.

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WHO SAID IT?

QUOTE: "Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

ANSWER: Norman Vincent Peale.

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