Annual Christmas Number.

Fruitcake. In the days before the idea of minted coinage penetrated the Germanic forests of western Europe, fruitcakes were a handy and durable medium of exchange.

Santa Claus. The figure of “Santa Claus” in American popular culture is actually conflated from two traditional figures of European folklore. St. Nicholas of Myra was traditionally said to bring good children fruits, confections, and baked treats on Christmas Eve. Santa Clausewitz brought them toy machine guns, tanks, and remote-controlled fighter planes.

Saturnalia. Before Christianity, the ancient Romans celebrated the midwinter festival of Saturnalia to mark the point in the year when retail sales traditionally began to pick up again.

Season, Reason for the. A campaign by French Catholics to keep the “Christ” in “Noël” inexplicably never caught on.

Tinsel. Overharvesting has led to a drastic decline in the natural tinsel forests of the Amazon, leading some environmentalists to predict that tinsel will be entirely extinct by 2050.


  1. RepubAnon says:

    Aren’t some of the original Germanic fruitcakes still in circulation?

  2. I should be interested in learning more about the durability of minted coins, as opposed to a more standard currency. Were there coin shortages during the first years after peppermint was introduced into circulation? Which was the most popular flavor?

    I have a pet theory which postulates that if too many minted coins were consumed, and then the person in question went for a swim, some interesting statistical anomalies might be created in the ‘accidental death’ column.

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