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Killing time until Christmas - Ed Brock

Now that we have that pesky Thanksgiving out of the way we have about four weeks until Christmas.

That means four columns about Christmas from me. Brace yourself.

Let's start with a review of some strange Christmas traditions and facts as posted on StrangeCosmos.com.

First, a little fact I find dubious. According to Strange Cosmos it's bad etiquette in Japan to send red Christmas cards since funeral notices are printed in red.

Now, that's a problem, if it's true, since my wife and I have some very nice cards with red lettering and a red border. And many of those cards will be going to Japan because my wife, as most of you know, is Japanese.

However, while the color red does seem to send my wife into a panic (I have a red T-shirt that she refuses to let me wear) she hasn't mentioned anything about not getting red letters on the cards. So either she hasn't thought about it yet since she's so busy nagging me about all the other things I do wrong or this little fact is not so factual.

Strange Cosmos would also have us believe that the name of one of Santa's reindeer is “Donder,” not “Donner.” They also contend that the Christmas carol is “God rest ye merry, gentleman,” not “God rest ye, merry gentleman.”

I did find an entire Web site dedicated to restoring the name Donder instead of Donner. According to that site the original version of “The Night Before Christmas” poem called said deer Donder and the song written later changed it to Donner. Big issue, that.

One of my favorite weird Christmas facts on the Web site is that there is a 40-something man named Kris Kringel living in North Pole, Alaska, who drives a 1984 Ford Tempo and delivers pizzas. That's my favorite, unless you also count the one about St. Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus, being the patron saint of thieves and pawnbrokers as well as children.

Somehow that last one makes me picture St. Nick's desk up in heaven with in-boxes labeled “Kids,” “Criminals” and “Cutthroats.”

Also, 53 percent of Americans will “re-gift” this year, which of course doesn't apply to me. I keep all the gifts I get.

I will recycle wrapping paper, however.

Ed Brock, a Henry County resident, covers public safety and municipal governments for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or at ebrock@news-daily.com .