Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

December 26, 2013

Christmas traditions--origins and oddities

As we celebrate Christmas and the New Year we always go back to our family’s tradition.

Recently in an article I read, I found some strange but true traditions. From 1659 to 1681 it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in Massachutes. If you were caught celebrating you would be fined.

St. Nicholas is actually a historical figure and he was the Bishop in Asia Minor. He died Dec. 6, 343. We celebrated his birthday and we hung out our stocking and usually got oranges, apples and peanuits, or maybe sticks or coal if we weren’t good.

If we think everything is too commercial these days, as early as the mid-1820s Santa Claus was employed to sell Christmas goods. The modern image of Santa Claus was created by an American cartoonist, Thomas Mast in the 1800s. He as pictured as a fat, jolly old man with white hair.

The first image of a Christmas tree was illustrated in a book written by a German immigrant.

It wasn’t until the fourth century that the Church offically decided to observe the Birth of Christ on Dec. 25.

These were a few interesting facts I found.

Well now to some recipes for the coming year:

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 lb. lean gound chicken

1 c. plain panko bread crumbs

1/2 c. minced onion

1/3 c. milk

2 eggs

2 T. chopped parsley

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper 2 T. Worcestershire sauce

In a large bowl, mix beef chicken crumbs, onion, milk, eggs, parsley salt pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. gently forn into 1-inch balls. Place on lightly greased wire rack on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

They can be frozen for later use in varous recipes.You can add 2 cups of chili sauce and 1 cup of grape jelly and heat through in a crock pot on low for 2 to 3 hours. They make a nice appetizer.

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