The word Christmas comes from the words Cristes maesse, or "Christ's Mass." Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus for members of the Christian religion. 

Many of our Christmas traditions were celebrated centuries before the Christ child was born. The 12 days of Christmas, the bright fires, the Yule log, the giving of gifts, carollers' who sing while going from house to house, the feasts, and the church processions can all be traced back 4000 years.

In 350 AD Julius1, a Bishop in Rome chooses December 25th, as the 
observation of Christmas.

Both Australia's and New Zealand, Christmas occurs during summer and is celebrated at the beach.

Christmas celebration was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681, however residents of Virginia and New York celebrated the Christmas holiday freely.

Christmas was declared a U.S. federal holiday in 1870.

Many public buildings once commonly included Nativity scenes.  By doing so the practice led to lawsuits, claiming the government was endorsing a religion.

In 1984 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a city-owned Christmas display, including a Nativity scene did not violate the First Amendment.

For a complete history on Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Ramadan,
Christmas Customs, Carols, crafts, click on the link below:
http://www.ask.com/web?q=christmas+history&qsrc=8

Christmas Around The World. History from most countries.
http://www.santas.net/aroundtheworld.htm 

GRANDMA'S WRAPPED TURKEY

Place dressed turnkey, breast up in centre of greased, wide,
heavy foil.  Bring ends of foil up over breast.  Overlap fold
and press up against ends of turkey.  Place bird in shallow pan.
Open foil last 20 minutes to brown.  Bake at 450 F, (230 C)
according to timetable.

Weights Roasting Times

Ready To Cook Weight.               Roasting Time.
8 – 10 lbs.                         2 ¼ - 2 ½ hours.
10 – 12 lbs.                        2 ½ - 3 hours.
14 – 16 lbs.                        3 – 3 ¼ hours.
18 – 20 lbs.                        3 ¼  - 3 ½ hours.
22 – 24 lbs.                        3 ½  - 3 ¾ hours.

TURKEY

1 whole turkey fresh or thawed (12 -13 lbs.) 

1/2 cup of butter 

1 cup of mixture of fresh chopped herbs (thyme, tarragon, sage, summer savoury etc.) 

Salt and pepper 

1 whole peeled onion

Mix the butter and herbs and set aside.

Clean the turkey inside and outside and drain dry.

Using your hands, slide through the skin and the meat of the breast and thighs as much as you can.  Now take knobs of the herbed butter and spread it all over underneath the skin and onto the breasts and thighs.  Also rub some of the butter all over the outside skin as well.

Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the bird and inside cavity.  Put the whole onion into the cavity of the bird. 

Put the bird onto a disposable aluminum-roasting pan and put it into a hot BBQ, cooking it using indirect heat.  Ensure the BBQ is about 325 -350 degrees throughout the cooking process. Adjust temperature if needed. 

Baste every ½ -hour for about 2 hours until temperature reads 180° at the thigh level. Tent the turkey with aluminum foil loosely around the pan if the skin is browning too fast.

Let rest 10-15 minutes before carving.

Cooking time two hours

GRANDMA'S BAKED HAM AND APPLES

2 large slices of ham steak.
2 teaspoons……………..(10 ml)………………….prepared mustard.
4 tablespoons………….(60 ml)……………………brown sugar.
2 tart apples.
1 ½ cups…………………………(375 ml)…………………apple juice.

Place the ham in baking dish and rub with mustard.  Sprinkle
with 2 tablespoons (30 ml), of brown sugar.  Core the apple
and cut into thin slices.  Cover the ham with the apple slices and sprinkle with rest of brown sugar.  Add apple juice. Bake at 300 F, (150 C), for 30 minutes or until tender.
YIELD:  4-5 servings.
TIME:   40 minutes.

AUNT PAT'S FAVOURITE BUTTER TARTS

1/3-cup ………………………(80 ml) …………………butter.
1-cup………………………………(250 ml)…………………brown sugar.
2 tablespoons…………(30 ml)……………………milk or cream..
1/3 cup……………………….(80 ml)……………………currants
1 egg beaten well.
1 teaspoon……………….(5 ml)………………………vanilla.

Mix all ingredients together.  Put in unbaked tart shells.  
Bake at 450 F, (230 C), for 8 minutes.  Turn down to 350 F,
(175 C), and cook until brown.


MOM'S MINCEMEAT COOKIES

¾ cup............(185 ml)........shortening

1 ½ cups.........(375 ml).....sugar

3 eggs beaten

3 cups.........(750 ml).......flour

¾ teaspoon.....(3.75 ml)......salt

1 teaspoon.....(4 ml).........soda

1 cup..........(250 ml........canned mincemeat

3 tablespoons..(45 ml).......water

1 cup.........(250 ml)........walnuts

GRANDMA"S SHORTBREAD

1-cup butter 

2 cups all-purpose flour 

½ cup fruit sugar

In a large bowl, cream the butter.

Add sugar to creamed butter and cream the mixture together.

Slowly mix in 1 ½ cups of the flour.

Place mixture on clean surface and knead in the remaining flour.

Spread mixture in an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Alternatively, you can form them into 2 big cookies, each ½ inch thick, and place on a non-stick baking tray. Using a fork, punch holes all over mixture. Bake at 300°F for 40-45 minutes.

LIGHTSIDE
A priest dies and is in line at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter asked the guy ahead of him his name.  The guy replies, "I am Sam Horton, taxi driver from New York." Saint Pater gives him a silken robe and golden staff and said, "Enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

Now it's the priest‘s turn. He booms out " I am the Right Reverend Anderson." Saint Peter gives him a cotton robe and a wooden staff, and says to the Priest, "Enter the Kingdom of Heaven."  Taken back the priest asks, " That man was a taxi driver why does he get a silken robe and golden staff".

"Results," Said Saint Peter. "While you preached, people slept.
When the taxi driver drove, people prayed.

WARNING
DEEP-FRYING CRAZE
With the coming of Christmas people can do themselves serious
injury attempting to deep-fry their turkey. In the past deep-frying has burned down houses and put cooks in hospital. 

Deep-fried turkey is juicy, and better tasting. However with
this high-risk method of cooking, besides the above, your turkey can end up charred by the resulting inferno.

There is an advantage of deep-frying due to its speed. Cooking
time is 3 1/2 minutes per pound. A big turkey is done in less then an hour. If you are going to deep-fry your turkey use a commercial pressurized fryer, rather than vats on a stand.

FOOD INFORMATION

Improper food storage (inadequate refrigeration temperature or hot holding temperature). Safe refrigeration temperature is less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and safe hot holding temperature is greater than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

* Improper washing of hands and fingernails.

* Improper cooling of foods. Safe cooling of foods is getting the foods to less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit within a four-hour time period.

* Cross-contamination (such as from uncooked meat to salad ingredients).

* Improper cleaning and sanitizing of eating and cooking utensils, work areas and equipment.

* Contamination of food, utensils and equipment from flies, roaches and other pests.

Tips to prepare turkeys safely:

* A whole turkey should be cooked at an oven temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

* An 8-12 pound unstuffed turkey should be cooked for 2-3 hours.

* Preparers should use a meat thermometer. Every part of the turkey should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frozen turkeys should be kept frozen until ready to thaw.

Price Check out the latest prices, compare, by clicking on:
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RESPONSIBLE DRINKING
If you have teenagers, or in fact any adult, impress on them
the risks of driving while intoxicated.  Statistics demonstrate
many fatal road accidents are caused by drunk drivers.

If you're having a Christmas party, provide food with drinks. 
Offer non-alcoholic substitutes such as fruit, soft drinks.

2 drinks taken within an hour by a person 100 pounds produces a 075 reading.  One drink is equal to about 1.5 oz. of whisky or 2 bottles of beer. The rate of elimination for each hour after drinking has stopped is 015.  A 200-pound person, after 1 drink produces a reading of .019, so you can see there is a bigdifference due to weight.

As a host it is your duty to make sure no one leaves your party impaired.  Have some one drive them home.

BAR MIXES, Drinks

EGGNOG

4 eggs, 4 cups milk, 4 tablespoons lemon juice ½ cup cream. 

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup sugar.

Beat eggs until thick and lemon colour

Add sugar, nutmeg, and lemon juice

Add ice-cold milk and cream

Beat with rotary beater until frothy

Makes: 6 large glasses

Christmas Juice Punch.
2 quarts apple juice.
2 quarts cranberry juice.
8 oz. lemon juice.
8 oz. Sugar.
2 bottles ginger ale.
Combine everything except the ginger ale.
Stir well.  Add ginger ale plus chunks of ice before serving.

BLIZZARD.
3 ounces bourbon.
1 ounce cranberry juice.
1 teaspoon lemon juice.
2 teaspoons sugar syrup.
4 ounces crushed ice.
Combine in blender until the drink is thick.  
Serve straight up.