Merry Christmas everyone.
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!
Apparently, the music to this carol was composed by Edith Nesbit Bland in the late nineteenth century. The author of the lyrics is unknown. (Courtesy of Carols U.K. by Linda Alchin.)
A Christmas carol is a song which is traditionally sung in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day and throughout the holiday season. The first known carols may be traced back to 4th century Rome.
Christmas Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom on December 25th and is a religious holiday. For the last two thousand years people have been celebrating this time by giving gifts and cards to their family and friends. However, it is now also a commercial holiday, as the gift giving in recent years has expanded to colleagues, loyal customers and even potential business contacts.
Christians observe December 25th as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. Gifts are given in memory of the Three Wise Men who gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. But the custom of giving presents (gifts) actually dates back to Pagan times when in Europe and the Middle East, people gave gifts at various winter festivals to honour their gods.
Other customs at this time include buying and decorating a tree, (usually pine), going to church, having friends and family over for a traditional meal, and of course being visited by a mythical Father Christmas (Santa Claus) who is said to come down to the chimney and leave presents for the children. Indeed, some families even provide a glass of ale and a mince pie for Santa to eat whilst he is visiting.