Category Archives: Christmas

Got lights?

This display is on a house in a town nearby.

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Poinsettia Time

Poinsettias are a popular symbol of Christmas in North America. The name is pronounced poin-set-ee-uh and spelled with an ia at the end of the word, not just an a as thousands on the Internet would have you believe (poinsetta). Nor is there an extra t (pointsettia) as thousands more believe. The poinsettia is native to Mexico and Central America.  It was first brought to North America in the 1820s by the first United States Minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett. Poinsett was a physician and amateur botanist who went on to be a co-founder of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science and the Useful Arts (a predecessor of the Smithsonian Institution)  among other things.

There are now over 100 varieties of poinsettias. They come in single or double form, with solid-coloured or marbled leaves, and in many shades of red, pink, salmon, cream and white. I love visiting the greenhouses at this time of year to see their poinsettia selections, although choosing just a couple of different varieties to take home is difficult.


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Elf Yourself

The stores are setting out their Christmas produce, light displays are being arranged, and, perhaps most important, Elf Yourself is up and running for another season.  A free holiday e-greeting produced by JibJab Media Inc., Elf Yourself premiered in November of 2006.  Since then, millions of people around the world have uploaded photos of themselves with their friends and family and produced videos of their loved ones frolicking as “Disco” or “Country” elves or in the “Elf Classic” that started it all. The new offerings this year are “Hip Hop Elves”, featuring modern break dancing, and “Singing Elves”, who perform a medley of holiday music.

I elfed myself and my family last year and got quite a kick out of watching us disco dancing together. With four styles of dance to choose from this year, it’s just like being on So You Think You Can Dance … while dressed in an elf costume … without the danger of being assigned the dreaded quickstep … or having to expend any actual energy.

‘Tis the season to spread some cheer. Click here to  elf yourself .

Here’s a video of JibJab’s recent “elf invasion” in New York City to promote the 2009 launch of Elf Yourself. Note what appears to be a werewolf in the crowd enjoying the show.

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