Everyone gets earworms (songs you can’t get out of your head.) Josh gets earfacts – silly trivia that he picks up from reading or talking with neighbors that he simply can’t get out of his head. Which makes him really great to invite to cocktail parties. But not so great to sit next to on long flights.

Here are a few of the pointless things he’s learned over the years and passes on to anyone who will listen…

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One of the popular Christmas games in William Beekman’s time was called “Snapdragon.” Everyone would gather round the dining room table, and a large dish scattered with raisins was place in the middle. Whiskey or Brandy was poured over the raisins and the plate was set afire. Players would reach in and pluck a raisin from the flaming dish and quickly swallow it. I have no idea how the winner of this game was decided. Maybe the person with the most skin left on their fingers.

 

 

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Nowadays we think of Saint Nicholas as just another name for Santa. We forget that he actually was a Saint. As in the religious sense. And we all know that to become a saint, you have to perform a miracle. So what was Nicholas’ claim to fame? Well, he brought three children back to life who were killed, dismembered, and pickled in brine by a murderous Innkeeper (who also planned on serving the children to guests and passing them off as pork.) Okay, so maybe this isn’t one to share over Christmas Eve Dinner. Unless you’re at the naughty kids’ table.

 

 

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Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a clean outhouse! In pre-Christian Ireland, the Winter Solstice was an occasion to thoroughly clean one’s home. (Much like we regard spring cleaning today.) Somehow, when Christianity came along, the tradition transformed into an annual Christmas Eve white-washing of the outhouse.

 

 

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In Iceland, some families traditionally eat reindeer on Christmas Eve. I expect these families probably wake up to a lot of reindeer poop on their roof.

 

 

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In Massachusetts, it was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas throughout much of the 17th century. The penalty? Five shillings per offense. I have no idea what was considered an offense back then, but I wouldn’t mind reinstating some sort of fine for leaving Christmas lights up all year.

 

 

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Historically, families in Finland slept on their floor on Christmas Eve so that their dead relatives could use their beds. Which is fine, because dead great great grandmothers tend to hog the blankets anyway.

 

 

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In modern day Japan, it’s traditional to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas dinner. Seriously. It all started in 1974 when Kentucky Fried Chicken ran a folksy, popular advertising campaign: Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii! (Kentucky for Christmas!)

 

 

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Another incongruously popular Christmas tradition in Japan is Strawberry Cake. Topped with mounds of whipped cream and ruby red strawberries, this cake came into vogue in the years after World War II when sugar was scarce and American baked goods were synonymous with wealth and plenty. It became so popular in fact, that there is a specific Japanese Christmas Strawberry Cake emoji on your phone: 🍰

 

 

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“Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song, not a Christmas carol. (Has anyone else noticed that there’s a terrible dearth of Thanksgiving music?)

 

 

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Related (sort of): How did the Batman Smells version of Jingle Bells become so widespread? While nobody knows who first penned it, we can all agree that it was probably a boy between the ages of 6 and 9. The kitschy Batman television show first aired in 1966 and quickly became a huge hit with young boys. At roughly the same time, the Vietnam war started, and the draft, so the number of military families in America grew to record numbers. And military families move around. A lot. And when kids move around, their snotty little parody songs do too. So basically, we can basically blame it all on Nixon. Again.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Laura

Love the trivia as my brain seems to be filled with like information. I knew about the snapdragon game. Keep it coming Josh.

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Samantha Craig

Love all the trivia. Brent and I have that in common. My brain is full of often times useless information. I love to read and by doing so pick this up and that and some more inbetween. 🙂

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Rhoda Stevens

Thanks for the trivia. I needed a light hearted segway at our local collectors club lunch and I think I’ll share this with the group if you don’t mind. I love useless trivia. It’s my O.C.D. I guess!

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Karen Ann Jean Turner

Merry Christmas to two of my newest friends and neighbors. I have only been with you for approx. 2 years now, and can’t express enough praises for all the products I have thus far purchased and enjoy using daily. You have entered my home and heart1 Thanks and KUDOS to one and all on the FARM—-and Blessings to each and everyone of you during this wonderful holiday season! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

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Barbara Santiago

Merry Christmas Josh and Brent! I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful season. Thank you Josh for the interesting trivia, it’s always so much fun to read and to pass it along. I also want to thank you both for all the great products you’ve created. We love the soap so very much and it’s so needed this time of year the most when it’s cold out to keep our skin nice and soft and protected. Much happiness and joy to you both and farmer John and all the living creatures at the farm, for the New Year! 🙂

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Debra Bowdin

Too Funny!!
Not only are you & Brent great!!!, but so are your products!!!!!!
My favorite is the sexy/sexy scent, please don’t ever stop making that!!!
I hope the two of you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy this holiday as much as my family and I do, my favorite part is lighting the candles on the tree and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas eve night at my Aunts home……….(we have some strange and strong traditions in South Milwaukee and Fort Atkinson, WI!!!!!!)
I wish you both a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
Sincerely, Debbie

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Darlene

Josh, I love you! Trivia is my love too. We must have been separated at birth; a few generations apart though. Born and living in the South we have all sorts of trivia; some factual, some boarder the line of crazy. But, like you I love it, some I pass along, some is best forgotten. I will pass your trivia along at the office water cooler. As for the decorated outhouse; I’m afraid there is probably a few here in the South.
Thanks for the ear-candy and have yourselves a Merry little Christmas at the Beekman farm.

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Susanne

You guys are so funny. Josh, I loved your trivia. I just kept chuckling as I kept reading. Thank you for bringing more holiday sparkle and spirit to the world. I’ll pass this on to my family😋

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Marianne

Josh’s Trivia was great! I knew most of them except, “Batman Smells”. The accompanying photos are hilarious! Please post the words for us ignorant of the song. The only version I know of, “Jingle Bells” is:

Jingle Bells
Santa Smells
Easters on its way

Or is the Batman version a dirty little boy song? I know a lot of them, too. I had 5 brothers and sisters.

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Mary E Zurlinden

Jingle bells, Bat man smells
Robin laid an egg
The batmobile lost a wheel
And Joker got away

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Tyna Haynes

Dear Neighbors – I look forward to your emails with AWESOME stuff such as Weird Christmas Trivia, you are in our home everyday through soaps, lotions, now my beauty products. Happy Holidays guys! I love you!!

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Dorry Silvey

Dear Josh and Brent,
I wish you and all the family at Beekman 1802 a very happy and healthy holiday season. I have read about your story from the beginning and it is very inspirational. You are two very talented people. Continued success! Love your products and the packaging is art. You should get your own show.
Dorry

P.S, Love Josh’s trivia.

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Mary E Zurlinden

Awesome. Now I have more ways to OWN trivia night! Many thanks from me, and despairing sighs from the family

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Centralia Heart

This is hilarious and a lot of fun. I read them out loud to Steve who is in another room and asked “Where are you getting this stuff?” The one about Saint Nicholas sure made me glad that I never eat pork. Ick.

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