Friday, 10 July 2009

Radio Silence

If you drop by this blog over the next couple of weeks and think it's been a while since it's been updated, have no fear, I haven't given up blogging. It's just that I'm off on holiday for a couple of weeks and won't have access to the Internet. So play nice while I'm away and remember, if you break anything you pay for it. ;-)


It's not just the drink of wizards from the world of Harry Potter. As it turns out, Butterbeer is actually a genuine Tudor recipe and one that's perfect to bring a bit of seasonal cheer to any festive occasion.

If you would like to try brewing your own butterbeer, it's easier than you might think. Here's a recipe that includes ale among its ingredients. And here's a non-alcoholic version for the kiddies and teetotallers among the audience.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Where do turkeys come from?

Did you know that turkeys don't originally come from Turkey?

No, they actually come from Mexico. The confusion arose due to the fact that they were introduced into central Europe by Turkish merchants.

Just to add to the confusion, because America had been discovered by explorers seeking an alternative route to India and the East, other nations named the bird assuming it was of Indian descent.

In France the turkey was called coq d'Inde, (now corrupted to dindon). In Italy, turkey was galle d'India, in Germany the name was indianische henn, while throughout the Ottoman Empire it was called the hindi.

Other tasty morsels of information like this can be found in Christmas Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas, out this fall from Skyhorse Publishing.

But to keep you amused until then, why not take part in a festively-themed turkey shoot, by clicking this link?

Monday, 6 July 2009

Think you know the Twelve Days of Christmas?

I know I thought I did. I grew up with the version which has nine pipers piping, ten drummers drumming, eleven ladies dancing and twelve lords a leaping.

Then, while I was writing my Christmas Miscellany I discovered that there's some confusion over who, and how many, did what on which day!

And then there's this version...

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Meet the Christmologist

Over at

Customize your own Christmas tree

If you have had a wander round the Christmas Miscellany blog, you might have spotted the Christmas tree Christmas countdown in the right-hand column.

Now, what makes this particular countdown to Christmas widget so special is that it is entirely customizable. You can choose everything from the colour of the decoration on the top to the colour of the lights and baubles right down to whether there are presents under the tree or not.

So if you would like to customize your own Christmas blog countdown, click here.

And now, the weather...

Have you noticed that it's snowing on this blog (Even though there's been a heatwave over here in the UK)? How cool is that?

If you're thinking of starting your own Christmas blog or would like to refresh last year's for 2009, or want to add some suitably festive widgets of your own, click here.

Pumpkins and Reindeer

One of the things I hope to do through the blog is to connect you to other Christmas-related blogs and festive sites on the Internet.

The first of these is Pumpkins and Reindeer. Why not check out Cathy Miller's ideas for festive table decorations and her recipes for Christmas cheer? And if you do drop by, mention that I sent you. ;-)

Getting in the Christmas spirit

I know Christmas is still almost six months away, but it's only around four months now until Christmas Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas is published and so to get you in the mood, I thought you might like to try this festive quiz.

I'll warn you now, however, I didn't write this quiz and some of the answers are wrong. To find out the correct answers, you should really pre-order your copy of my book now.

The answers to questions like these (and many more) can all be found in Christmas Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas by Jonathan Green, published by Skyhorse Publishing.

I wish it could be Christmas everyday...

It may be July but you can pretty much guarantee that somebody, somewhere, is celebrating Christmas today - like this gentleman.

I expect Wizzard are his favourite band too...

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Only 174 shopping days 'til Christmas

If you click on the link at the top of the right hand column you will be whisked away to my Christmas Store, which in time I hope will come to rival Santa's grotto itself.

So remember to check back from time to time to see what has been added to my Aladdin's cave of goodies - the latest Christmas must-have toys and seasonal gifts - and take the stress out of Christmas shopping this year thanks to the Christmas Miscellany blog.

Happy shopping!

Happy Chr... (sorry) Fourth of July!

For anybody who has any connection whatsoever to the United States, today is Independence Day, commonly referred to as the "Fourth of July". It is a federal holiday that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

In the States (and anywhere ex-pat Americans gather in any number) Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

So from the Christmas Miscellany blog and me the author, Jonathan Green, Happy Fourth of July!

Welcome to the blog of the book

And that book is Christmas Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas, to be published by Skyhorse Publishing, November 2009, and written by me - Jonathan Green.

For those of you who might be wondering, it's a book about the Christmas traditions which we all take for granted, and partake in every year, without necessarily knowing why.

Through this blog, as well as keeping you up to date with any developments regarding Christmas Miscellany, I will also be publishing unique content linked to the book, and posting other snippets of festive cheer.

To get a better idea of what you'll find inside the book, here's the blurb that Skyhorse Publishing have put out.

Wouldn't it be great to understand all our Christmas traditions? Here, Jonathan Green offers the fascinating history behind our most beloved holiday traditions. For example, myrrh is incense made from the resin of a North African bush and was a special gift during biblical times. To the Romans, mistletoe was a symbol of fertility, so today we are encouraged to kiss when it is near. The Yule log was originally used to brighten homes during the dark, cold Scandinavian Christmas season.

Packed with all manner of delightful surprises and delicious morsels, A Christmas Miscellany demystifies the origins of familiar festive customs such as caroling and Christmas cards, and entertains with fun, little-known facts. This is the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the curious-minded during the holiday season.

That's it for now, but I hope to see you here again soon. So until next time...