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The other day, Winter Wonderland came on my Christmas Pandora station which I had cranking while I scrubbed the disgusting bachelor nasty off my toilet. I started belting it out like I have so many times (the acoustics down around the back of your commode are really fantastic), when I had the thought… I have no idea who the heck Parson Brown is, nor do I have any idea if he’s someone I should be building my snowman like.

The song went on, and I realized. Holy smokes, we’ve all been brainwashed. This song was obviously written by communists. Or terrorists. Or the weirdos who never showered in gym class. I mean, listen to it… "later on, we’ll conspire, as we dream by the fire, to face unafraid, the plans that we’ve made…"

That’s some creepy stuff. But not as creepy as the line about pretending the snowman is a circus clown. That’s just straight up wrong. Clowns are scary. And evil. Except for Fizbo maybe.

Anyway, all that got me to wondering. What else don’t I know about this most wonderful time of the year? What is the real truth behind all the things that I think are so magical?

Wondering got me to searching and searching got me to list making, and list making got me to this. The list got a bit long so if you guys like this post I’ll finish and share the other half, too. Enjoy. Starting with Parson Brown.

7 Things You REALLY Should Know About Christmas!
Question #1: Who the heck is Parson Brown?
In the Christmas carol Winter Wonderland, there is an odd verse that goes like this. “In the meadow we can build a snowman. Then pretend that he is Parson Brown. He’ll say are you married, we’ll say no, man! But you can do the job while you’re in town.”
Answer: Protestant ministers were known as Parsons. At the time this song was written, only one notable man by the name of Parson Brown was around, and the only thing he was known for was growing some new kind of super nifty orange, so it is just assumed that the Parson Brown in this song is generic for the local priest in town and that the people building the snowmen were at least a little crazy.
Rest Easy: It turns out it wasn’t written by communists. Dick Smith wrote it after seeing Honesdale’s Central Park covered in snow one winter in 1934. Or at least that’s what the communists would have you think.
Question #2: How did Christmas elves come into it all?
Hopefully we’re all at least educated enough to know that Santa Claus came about because of St. Nicholas, a fourth century bishop. But where on Earth did elves come from, and why is nobody wondering. I mean, the closest thing to real elves is weird-eared vertically challenged children, which make me worry that the whole elves thing is just a cover up for some child sweat shop up in Canada.
Answer: In 1850, Louisa May Alcott completed (but never published) a book entitled Christmas Elves. It is believed that from this, the idea of elves working for Santa started circulating until it appeared in 1873 on the cover of Godey’s Lady’s Book and became a mainstream idea.
Rest Easy: while most of our toys are made in sweatshops, our neighbors to the North have clean hands on this one.
Question #3: Is Jingle Bells really a Christmas Song?
Sing aloud the lyrics of Jingle Bells. Don’t pretend like you don’t know them. My kid has known them since he was a fetus. Now, do you notice anything strange? Like… there’s really nothing about Christmas in the lyrics? Don’t you think that’s a little weird? I mean, I guess it could have to do with Christmas. There are lyrics about hookin’ up with Miss Fanny Bright and I guess that’s kind of Christmasy. All you single people know what I’m talkin’ about.
Answer: James Lord Pierpoint composed the song in 1850, and it was meant to be a Thanksgiving song. Jingle bells were on all sleighs no matter what time of winter because it helped riders not collide with other sleighs. In other words, Christmas stole this song from Thanksgiving. Which was rude.
Rest Easy: The author who penned the words to Jingle Bells was a true gentleman and did not use his sleigh being upsot as an opportunity to put the moves on Miss Fanny. He waited until there was proper mistletoe much later in the year to do that.
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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!