FYI December 25, 2017

“Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.”
Ruth Ann Schabacker


336 – First documentary sign of Christmas celebration in Rome.

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,[8][9] observed most commonly on 25 December[4][10][11] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.[2][12][13]

A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night;[14] in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave.[15]

The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies;[16] when Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then further disseminated the information.[17]

Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations,[18][19][20] is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians,[21] as well as culturally by many non-Christians,[1][22] and forms an integral part of the holiday season.

Although the month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid fourth century the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25,[23] a date that was later adopted in the East.[24][25] Today, most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world.

However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. This is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25. Moreover, for Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.[26][27][28][29]

The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins.[30] Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly.

In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.[31] Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

More on wiki:


1665 – Lady Grizel Baillie, Scottish-English poet and songwriter (d. 1746)
Lady Grizel Baillie (née Hume; 25 December 1665 – 6 December 1746) was a Scottish songwriter.

Born at Redbraes Castle, Berwickshire, Grizel Hume was the eldest daughter of Sir Patrick Hume, Bt (later Earl of Marchmont). When she was twelve years old, she carried letters from her father to a Scottish conspirator in the Rye House Plot, Robert Baillie of Jerviswood, who was then in prison. Hume’s sympathy for Baillie made him a suspected man, and the king’s troops occupied Redbraes Castle. He remained in hiding for some time in the crypt of Polwarth Church, where his daughter smuggled him food; but on hearing of the execution of Baillie (1684), he fled to the United Provinces, where his family joined him soon after. They returned to Scotland after the Glorious Revolution.[1]

In 1692, Lady Grizel married George Baillie, son of Robert.[1] The couple had first met when they were twelve, and supposedly fell in love at that point. What is known for certain is that after returning to Scotland, Lady Grizel turned down the offer to be one of Queen Mary’s maids of honour, and insisted to her parents on marrying Baillie over a more advantageous match. The couple had two daughters: Grizel (1692–1759), who married British army officer Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope in 1710; and Rachel (1696–1773), who married Charles Lord Binning in 1717 (and whose son Thomas became the seventh Earl of Haddington).[1] They also had a short-lived son, Robert (23 February 1694 – 28 February 1696).

Grizel died in London on 6 December 1746, and was buried at Mellerstain on 25 December, her eighty-first birthday.


Her elder daughter, Lady Grizel Murray of Stanhope, had in her possession a manuscript in prose and verse of her mother’s. Some of the songs had been printed in Allan Ramsay’s Tea-Table Miscellany. The most famous of Lady Grizel’s Scots songs, “And werena my heart light I wad dee”, originally appeared in William Thomson’s Orpheus Caledonius, or a Collection of the Best Scotch Songs (1725).[1]

Household books
Lady Grizel Baillie’s account books, meticulously kept from 1692 to 1746, reveal information about social life in Scotland in the 18th century. Her entries begin late into her first year of marriage and finish just before her death, and consist of more than a thousand pages of entries.[2] In 1911 the Scottish Historical Society published a 400-page scholarly edition of Lady Grizel Baillie’s accounts, edited by Robert Scott-Moncrieff. This edition focused mainly on the entries from 1692 to 1718, which give extensive details about the early years of the Baillies’ marriage, the births and upbringing of their children and the marriages of their daughters. Historians have cited these accounts to demonstrate cost of goods and to provide evidence for the caloric intake of servants during this period.

A great deal is known about George and Grizel Baillie’s marriage and family thanks to the biography written by their daughter, Grizel Murray. Although not intended for publication, the biography appeared in print in 1809 in Observations on the Historical Work of the Right Honorable Charles James Fox under the title “Lady Murray’s Narrative”. George Baillie’s Correspondence (1702-1708) was edited by Lord Minto for the Bannatyne Club in 1842.[1]

Lady Grizel was also memorialized by Scottish poet Joanna Baillie, who claimed to be a distant relative, in a poem first published in 1821 in Metrical Legends of Exalted Characters.


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And that’s why I’m writing you now. I want to give you something that’s tangible. That you can hold on to. My hope is that, from time to time, you can pick up this letter and read it with Grandma, and remind yourself that you were — for one boy, at the very least — the most important thing in the world. That you were a source of happiness and pride and confidence and joy, that you were the best grandfather any boy could ever have, and that somewhere, wherever that boy has gone to next, he still loves you, more than he can really describe, and he will not, until the day he dies, forget about you, nor the memories you created for him — memories he keeps in his pocket, everywhere he goes.
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