Saturday, December 31, 2011

Joanne's Journal: December 31, 2011


Edition No. 5


There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

- William Shakespeare
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar


This will be my last posting in 2011.  It's time to ring out the old and ring in the new.  Before we say farewell to 2011, however, let's reflect on the year that has passed.  It's been one of unrest and turmoil, but the slate is going to be rubbed clean at midnight.  We'll have a fresh start, a tabula rasa.

Apple founder Steve Jobs, who died this year, exhorted us to "make a dent in the universe."  There are, of course, certain times when we should take a risk,  If we miss the tide "taken at the flood," as Shakespeare put it, we may never have the same opportunity again.  The problem is determining whether the tide is actually at the flood.


I firmly believe that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is taking this country in the wrong direction.  I am strongly opposed to his polices vis-a-vis the environment, the economy, gun control et cetera.  It is my belief that this government has lowered Canada's stature in the world, particularly with its withdrawing of Canada from the Kyoto Protocol.  To put it mildly, the environment is very very low on the Tories' list of priorities.  It's not even on the radar screen. 

As regular readers know, I support strong gun control measures and I was extremely dismayed by the Conservatives' abolition of the Long Gun Registry.  The Conservative government has also brought shame upon this country by continuing to allow Canada to export deadly asbestos to other countries.  This is appalling and is worthy of absolute disdain.

We have a democracy, nevertheless, and some people do not agree with me.  They voted Conservative last on May 2, 2011 and the Harperites formed a majority government.  Nevertheless, the combined popular vote of all the other parties surpasses that of the Conservatives.  The 60 per cent of Canadians who didn't vote Tory are actually in the majority.  We have a "first past the post" system, however, and the Conservatives won the most seats in Parliament.  As long as they hold the confidence of Parliament, they are entitled to govern.  It's we thought about some form of proportional representation.  The problem is getting agreement on any one formula.  To those who argue it would create a pizza Parliament with too many splinter parties, I say a party should have to get at least 10% of the popular vote in order to gain a seat through proportional representation.

My hope is for a strong leader to take Canada out of the wilderness and to undo the damage done by the Conservatives.  This wonderful country deserves better.


There are still about 10 months to go before Americans go to the polls.  Unless something unforeseen happens, it appears that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president.  Romney is not as bad as the other far-right candidate such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann and libertarian Ron Paul.  Indeed, Gingrich has referred to him as a "Massachusetts moderate."  With this bunch of Republicans, it's unacceptable to be moderate.  Romney had to flip-flop after being criticized by conservatives for introducing a health care bill  in Massachusetts in 2006 that was the blueprint President Obama health care reform.  Instead, it seems, Romney’s opponents have been more focused on painting him as the author of a health care bill that was the road map for President Obama’s health care reform. 

Then, of course, there is Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Romney and partners co-founded in 1984.  Romney left the Boston-based company in 1999 to become President and CEO of the Salt Lake City Olympics.  As he campaigns for the Republican nomination, Bain Capital has come back to haunt the former Massachusetts governor.  On December 19, 2011, the New York Times reported that Romney is still cashing in on the sweet deal he made with the firm shortly before his departure.  According to the Times report, the Republican candidate still earns seven figures a year from his share of the company's profits from leveraged buyouts.  LBOs are acquisitions mainly funded by debt and they are frequently used by private equity firms to make investments they would not otherwise be able to afford.
The fact is that Romney's equity firm caused corporate bankruptcies and many layoffs.

Politico revealed how Bain Capital bought ailing companies, slashed them to pieces and sold them, creating job losses.  Some of the companies destroyed by Bain include American Pad & Paper, LIVE Entertainment and DDI Corp. and it must be emphasized that Mitt Romney was with the firm when this happened.  Yet he claims that he knows how to create jobs.  Well, if his record in the private sector is any indication, Romney is a man who knows how to destroy jobs for his own profit.

My wish for America in 2012 is economic recovery, more employment and the re-election of President Barack Obama.


The world's population reached 7 billion this year.  That is a significant milestone and we should reflect upon its ramifications and significance.  Japan experienced a nightmare earthquake and a nuclear crisis.  It wasn't a good year for terrorist leaders and dictators.  Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi were killed.  Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was overthrown and The Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il died, leaving North Korea's future in a state of uncertainty.  His country remains one of the most miserable and impoverished places on the planet.  Yet it flaunts its considerable military power.

Goodbye 2011!  You'll soon be history, but your legacy will linger on.


* The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic (April 15, 1912)

* The London Olympics (Opening Ceremonies will take place on July 27, 2012.

*  Britain's Queen Elizabeth will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne).

* February 7, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great English novelist, Charles Dickens.

*  The United State presidential electon will occur on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

*  A presidential election in France is scheduled for April 22, 2012.  A runoff will be held on May 6, 2012 if necessary.

*  The 2012 Euro Cup (UEFA Eupopean Football Championship) will be held in Poland and Ukraine from June 8 until July 1st.


What kind of school do you have a drop out of to graduate?


Parachuting school


On a personal note, I want to tell you, the readers of Number 16,  how much I enjoy writing this blog.  I appreciate your support and I hope my postings are informative and entertaining to you.  I encourage you to give me your feedback.  Happy New Year to all!

P.S.  I don't make firm New Year's resolutions, but I try to improve myself generally. Every little bit helps.

- Joanne

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day: All about the day after Christmas


My mother and my nephew were both born on the day after Christmas.  It is, therefore, a very special day in my family.  The British and people of many other nations, including we Canadians, refer to it as "Boxing Day."   In old England, it was a custom for servants and the lower classes to approach employees and patrons with a Christmas box on December 26th in order to solicit money.  In modern times, Boxing Day has become a day of frenzied shopping for bargains for many.

December 26th is also know as the Feast of Stephen.  It commemorates St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who was stoned to death.  In the Eastern Church, the Feast of Stephen is celebrated on December 27.

St. Stephen

Today is the birth anniversary of Mao Zedong, also known as Chairman Mao.  The Chinese Communist revolutionary was born on December 26, 1893.  In 1949, he established  the People's Republic of China and was appointed its Chairman.  Mao ruled the nation for over 33 years until his death on September 9, 1976 at the age of 82.


Popular American wrestler Gorgeous George died on December 26. 1963 at the age of 48.  His real name was George Raymond Wagner and he was known for his flamboyance.  In 1962 he retired from wrestling on the advice of his doctors.  He had been diagnosed with a serious liver condition brought on by alcohol abuse.  The following year, on Christmas Eve, Gorgeous George suffered a heart attack.  He passed away two days later.

Gorgeous George

Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States passed away on December 26, 1972.  Truman, who served as President from 1945 until 1953, died in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 88.  He had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia and later developed multiple organ failure.

Harry S. Truman

Comedian Jack Benny passed away on December 26, 1974 in Beverly Hills, California.  He was 80 years old and had been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.

Jack Benny

December 26th is a significant day for java lovers.  On December 26, 1865, the first United States patent for a coffee percolator was issued to inventor James Mason of Franklin, Massachusetts.  Mason's percolator, however, still used a downflow method without rising steam.  It should also be noted that the percolating coffee pot was invented by British scientist and solder Sir Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford) who lived from 1753 until 1814.

- Joanne

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Trivia


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

- John 1:1


Did you know that Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was born on Christmas Day in North Oxford, Massachusetts in 1821.

Clara Barton

Did you know that the poinsettia originated in Mexico.  It was named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico.  Poinsett introduced the plant into the United States in the 1820s. In Mexico, it is called "Flor de Noche Buena" (Christmas Eve flower).

Did you know that a cyclone devastated Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia on Christmas Day, 1974.  Known as Cyclone Tracy, it killed 71 people and destroyed over 70 per cent of Darwin's buildings.

Did you know that Christmas Island is a territory of Australia?  It is located in the Indian Ocean, 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) northwest of the Western Australian city of Perth.  It's closest neighbour, however, is the Indonesian island, Java, which is 360 km. (223 miles) away.  It was named Christmas Island because it was discovered on Christmas Day in 1643.  Its discoverer was Captain Willaim Mynors of the Royal Mary, a ship of the British East India Company.  The island has a tropical equatorial climate.

Did you know that the turkey is native to the forests of North America?

Did you know that in the middle ages the traditional Christmas dinner in England was a pig's head prepared with mustard sauce?

Did you know that the abbreviation Xmas is religious?  The letter X is actually the Greek abbreviation for Christ.

Did you know that the correct name of the famous Christmas poem by Clement C. Moore is not Twas the Night Before Christmas?  The correct title is A Visit from St. Nicholas.


- Joanne

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joanne's Journal: December 21, 2011


Edition No. 4


I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

- Irving Berlin (1888 - 1989)
From the 1942 song "White Christmas"

Well, it's December 21st and we still haven't had any snow to speak of here in Toronto.  I've lived in this city my entire life and I've never experienced a milder, wetter December.  I glance out the window as I write this and it's dull and grey outside.  Now I don't mean to whine and complain about the weather.  There's nothing much one can do about it and I'm not in a bad mood.  It's just that I can't help dreaming of a white Christmas.  A pretty winter wonderland snowfall would be magnificent.  Let's face it, no one dreams of a wet Christmas.

Due to climate change, the winters here seem to be getting warmer every year.  Thanks for pulling out of Kyoto, Stephen Harper, and disgracing Canada.  By the way, I don't accept the argument that we shouldn't be part of Kyoto because the Americans aren't.  Our two nations are certainly allies, but that doesn't mean we have to do everything they do.  What about our independence?  What about taking our own principled stands on issues?  Do we have to be twiddle-dum to America's twiddle-dee?  Oh yes, and what about the environment?

December 21st marks the Winter Solstice.  From now on, the evenings will become brighter and brighter.  That makes me very happy.  If I had my druthers, there would be Daylight Saving Time all year round.


I see that Sarah Palin is reconsidering her decision not to run for the presidency of the United States.  She'd certainly liven up the Republican race. but what a nightmare if she should ever win the White House.  God bless America if Palin or Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry becomes President.  America will need all the prayers it can get.  The Republicans are no longer a party of moderate views.  More and more, their candidates are espousing extreme anti-government right-wing positions.


How do we know that Santa Claus enjoys gardening?


Because he likes to HO HO HO


Am I disappointed that the Toronto Blue Jays were outbid by the Texas Rangers for star Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish?  Well, I have mixed feelings.  It would have been exciting to have him play in Toronto.  He's still unproven, though, and maybe the money could be better spent.  The Jays still need to make improvements for the 2012 season.  I'd like them to acquire another decent starting pitcher.  I also hope that they can lure Joey Votto home to T.O. in about two years time. 

2012 is a crucial year for the Bluebirds.  They really need to make the postseason play this year.  There are no more excuses for Beeston and the Boy Wonder.  Another .500 season will not do.  It's not acceptable if they want to attract fans and sign talented free agents.

Blue Jay fans are fair weather fans.  In the glory days of the franchise, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, 50,000 people filled the dome here almost every night.   The Blue Jays were trendy.  It was cool to be seen at the dome, even if you weren't really a baseball fan.  The Toronto Maple Leafs rule in this town.  Leaf fans support the Blue and White no matter how bad the team is or how expensive the tickets are.

Speaking of the Leafs, what's happening with them?  Are they going into their usual swoon again?  That usually happens in November.  It seems as if it's happening a little later this year.  There is also talk about extending Ron Wilson's contract.  I realize that the team needs stability, but I don't think Wilson should be rewarded until the Leafs make the playoffs.  Unless something is done (and soon) about their egregious penalty killing, they are headed for another season of futility.

- Joanne

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Ace Bailey - Eddie Shore Incident


Boston's Eddie Shore shaking hands with Ace Bailey (left).

As the Sidney Crosby saga continues, let's remind ourselves that head injuries and concussions are nothing new to professional hockey.  Let's go back to the Dirty Thirties, to a time when Conn Smythe ruled the Toronto Maple Leafs and they played at Maple Leaf Gardens, the massive arena he built in 1931 during the Great Depression.  Let's remember the day Toronto Maple Leaf star Ace Bailey's career ended.

Irvine Wallace "Ace" Bailey played in the NHL from 1926 until 1933.  Born in Bracebridge Ontario on July 3, 1903, Bailey was raised in Toronto.  He played two seasons of junior hockey for St. Mary's in the Ontario Hockey Association.  In 1924-25, Bailey joined the Peterborough Seniors where he spent two successful seasons and celebrated an Allan Cup victory.  

Ace caught the eye of the NHL's Toronto St. Patrick's.  The St. Pat's convinced him to try out with them and, on November 3, 1926, he signed with the team as a free agent.  During Bailey's rookie season, the financially ailing franchise was purchased by a consortium headed by Conn Smythe and renamed the Maple Leafs.  The team's green and white colours were changed to the familiar blue and white.

Ace Bailey became a star with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  During the 1928-29 season, he was the NHL's scoring leader with 22 goals and 10 assists in 44 games.  His life changed irrevocably, however, on December, 12, 1933.  It was on that day, exactly 78 years ago, that Bailey's hockey career ended cruelly and abruptly.  During the second period of a game between the Leafs and the Boston Bruins at the Boston Garden, Ace was hit from behind by defenceman Eddie Shore of the Bruins.  His head hit the ice, fracturing his skull. 

Shore's attack on Bailey was in retaliation for a hipcheck from Leaf defenceman Red Horner.  Here's how Horner described the incident.

Eddie Shore was having a very frustrating night.  He was playing a great game but it wasn't getting him or the Bruins anywhere.  They couldn't scare us.  (Coach) Dick Irvin sent out King Clancy and myself and Ace Bailey up front to kill off (two) penalties.  Bailey was a very expert stickhandler, and he ragged the stick for awhile.  Eventually, Shore got his stick on the puck and made a nice rush deep into our end and I gave him a very good hipcheck. 

Shore was stunned by that hard check from Red Horner and skated wildly toward Ace Bailey, likely confusing Bailey with Red Horner.  According to Horner, Eddie Shore "wanted to get even for the check I'd just put on him.  He thought Bailey was me.  He charged into Bailey on an angle from the side.  He hit Bailey and flipped him in the air, just like a rag doll.  Bailey landed on his head just a few feet from where I was standing.  Bailey hit the ice and went into some kind of convulsion.  I thought to myself, 'That's the end of Ace.'"

An unconscious Bailey began bleeding from the wound to his head.  Red Horner, upset by the injury to his teammate, knocked Eddie Shore to the ice.  Horner felt that "Shore skated away in a very nonchalant fashion.  I wasn't going to let him get away with it, so I went after him."

Eddie Shore suffered a deep gash to his head.  Both Bailey and Shore were carried off the ice by teammates.  While being attended to by Boston doctors in the Bruins' dressing room, Ace regained consciousness.  Shore approached him to apologize.  "It's all part of the game," Bailey uttered before losing consciousness again.  (Hmmmm.  I wonder if any hockey player has ever said it shouldn't be part of the game?)

By the next morning, Ace's condition was very grave.  The 30-year-old hovered between life and death.  His temperature surpassed 106 degrees Fahrenheit and it was feared that he would not survive his injury.  Bailey underwent two operations to relieve the pressure on his brain and Dr. Donald Munro, a brain specialist, declared that his chances of living were "very slim." With death seemingly imminent, a priest was summoned to give Ace the last rites. 

Boston homicide detectives interviewed Shore and other players about the altercation.  If Bailey had died, Eddie Shore would have been charged with manslaughter.  When Ace's father was informed of his son's condition, he became so incensed that he armed himself with a handgun and took the train to Boston. to seek revenge on Eddie Shore.  Conn Smythe and his top assistant, Frank Selke, got word of the elder Bailey's plans and alerted the Boston police.  They located the distraught dad in the bar of the Leafs' hotel and sent him on a train back to Toronto without the weapon.

Ace Bailey began to recover.  By Christmas, and it was evident that he was going to survive, although he would never be able to play hockey again.  Boston manager Art Ross visited Bailey in the hospital and Ace told him that he did not believe that Eddie Shore willfully meant to hurt him.  The Leafs star then went to Bermuda to recuperate.

NHL president Frank Calder suspended Eddie Shore indefinitely and Red Horner was prohibited from playing until January 1, 1934.  It was not until Bailey's survival was assured that the NHL announced that Shore would be permitted to return to action on January 28, 1934.  He missed a total of 16 games.

An all-star benefit game was held in Ace Bailey's honour at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on February 14, 1934.  The game featured the Leafs versus the best in the league.  Before the game, the All-Stars skated onto the ice in their regular team sweaters and a group photograph was taken.  Frank Calder then handed them their All-Star sweaters.  A hushed crowd at Maple Leaf Gardens looked on as Ace Bailey forgave Eddie Shore and shook his hand at centre ice. 

The crowd cheered loudly as Bailey, dressed in street clothes, presented Eddie Shore with his Number 2 All-Star sweater.  Ace later stated, "I hold no grudge.  I see Eddie when he comes to Toronto for the games.  It was one of those things that happens."  Shore once said there was no bad feeling between them and that the incident was "purely accidental."

Before the opening face off of the Ace Bailey benefit game, Ace's Number 6 was retired, marking the first time in NHL history that a sweater number had been removed from use.  The fans roared their hearty approval when Conn Smythe announced that no Maple Leaf would ever wear the Number 6 sweater again.

The primary purpose of the benefit game, however, was to raise funds for Ace Bailey.  In this, it was highly successful.  Ace and his family received $20,909.40 in gate receipts from the game (a princely sum in Depression days).  As for the outcome of game, the hometown Maple Leafs defeated the All-Stars by a score of 7-3.  It should also be noted that the NHL All-Star Game took place more regularly after that 1934 event.

During his NHL career, Ace Bailey accumulated 111 goals and 82 assists in 313 games.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.  From 1938 until 1984, Bailey served as a penalty timekeeper at Maple Leaf Gardens, a position he enjoyed very much.  In 1984, when Ace was 81, Toronto Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard dismissed him from his job.  The penny-pinching Ballard callously fired Bailey in order to save money.

Prior to the 1968-1969 season, Ace Bailey requested that Leaf forward Ron Ellis wear his retired number 6 sweater.  Ace admired Ellis' effective but clean style of play.  "Wearing No. 6 was my greatest honour ever as a Maple Leaf," said Ellis proudly.  "Ace Bailey personally asked me if I would consider wearing his number.  He had followed me for years and considered our styles of play comparable."  There was one stipulation, however.  Bailey told Ellis that once he left the game, the number would be retired again.  It was.

Eddie Shore died on March 16, 1985 in Springfield, Massachusetts.  He was 82 years old at the time of his passing.  On April 1, 1992, Ace Bailey suffered a stroke.  He passed away in Toronto on April 7, 1992 at the age of 88.  Sadly, Ace died without getting to see his sweater raised to the rafters at Maple Leaf Gardens.  The Leafs had planned to honour both him and Bill Barilko in a pregame ceremony on April 1, 1992, the very day of Ace's stroke.  The ceremony was delayed anyway because of a players' strike which shut down the league for ten days beginning on March 30.

Ace Bailey's Number 6 and Bill Barilko's Number 5 were finally hoisted to the rafters at Maple Leaf Gardens in a poignant display on October 17, 1992.  Ron Ellis and Ace's daughter Joyce were in attendance.

- Joanne

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Great Christmas Song Quiz


How much do you know about Christmas music?  Try this Yuletide quiz and find out.


1.  Where did the hymn "Silent Night" originate?

A.  England

B.  France

C.  Austria

D.  Germany

E.  United States

2.  Name the first film in which Bing Crosby sang "White Christmas."

A.  The Country Girl

B.  High Society

C.  White Christmas

D.  Holiday Inn

E.  Going My Way

3.  In The Twelve Days of Christmas, what do the lords do?

A.  They laugh.

B.  They lift.

C.  They leap.

D.  They leave.

E.  They lilt.

4.  The Beach Boys had a hit Christmas song.  What was it called?

A.  Little Saint Nick

B.  California Christmas

C.  I Want a Surfboard for Christmas

D.  Surfin' Santa

E.  Under the Mistletoe

5.  In the song "Little Drummer Boy," which two animals "kept time" with the drum music?

A,  The donkey and lamb

B.  The cow and lamb

C.  The ox and camel

D.  The ox and lamb

E.  The cow and camel

6.  Who had a hit song with "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree?"

A.  Leslie Gore

B.  Brenda Lee

C.  Annette Funicello

D.  Sandra Dee

E.  Connie Francis

7.  They looked up and saw a star
      Shining in the East beyond them far
      And to the earth it gave great light
      And so it continued both day and night

This is the second verse of which Christmas carol?

A,  Hark the Harald Angels Sing

B.  It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

C.  Angels from the Realms of Glory

D.  While Shepherd's Watch

E.  The First Noel

8.  In the song "We wish you a Merry Christmas," what kind of pudding is requested.

A.  Plum pudding

B.  Toffee pudding

C.  Figgy pudding

D.  Bread and butter pudding

E.  Yorkshire pudding

9.  Who first recorded the Christmas novelty song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus?

A.  A 13-year-old American boy

B.  An 11-year-old English girl

C.  A 10-year-old Canadian girl

D.  A 12-year-old Canadian boy

E.  A 7-year-old American girl

10.  Bruce Springsteen recorded a version of this popular Christmas song.

A.  Jingle Bell Rock

B.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

C.  Jingle Bells

D.  Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

E.  Santa Claus is Coming to Town

11.  In the popular Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas," when does the king gives alms to a poor peasant?

A.  On Christmas Eve

B.  On the Feast of Stephen

C.  On Christmas morn

D.  On the 10th day of Christmas

E.  On Christmas Day at noon


1.  C   Austria

The original words to "Silent Night" come from a poem written in German by a priest named Father Joseph Mohr.  Father Mohr was the assistant pastor at St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria.  Mohr asked his friend, schoolmaster Franz Xaver Gruber, to write some  music for his poem "Stille Nacht"   Gruber, the choirmaster and organist at St. Nicholas, composed the melody for "Silent Night" on Christmas Eve in 1818.

Fr. Joseph Mohr

2.  D  Holiday Inn

Bing Crosby sang "White Christmas" in the 1942 movie Holiday Inn in which he starred with Fred Astaire.  The film White Christmas was released 12 years later, in 1954.  To watch a clip of Bingo singing White Christmas in a duet with Marjorie Reynolds in Holiday Inn, click on the link below.  By the way, Marjorie Reynolds' voice was dubbed.

3.  C.  leaping

In the "Twelve Day of Christmas," the lords are a-leaping.

4.  A.  Little Saint Nick

"Little Saint Nick," originally performed by The Beach Boys, was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love.  It was first released as a single in December of 1963.  Christmas celebrations were rather subdued that year due to the recent assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  "Little Saint Nick," however, reacher Number 3 on the Billboard Christmas charts.

5.  D  The ox and lamb

It comes from the following line in "Little Drummer Boy."

The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum

6.  B   Brenda Lee

"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" was written by Johnny Marx.  It was recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958.  I did not become a hit until 1960 when Brenda Lee's popularity had increased.

To listen to Brenda Lee singing "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," click on the link below.

7.  E.  It is the second verse of "The First Noel."

8.  C  Figgy pudding

In the song "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," figgy pudding is requested.  Figgy pudding is a traditional English pudding with a history going back to the 16th century.  It is a custard-like dish made with figs or raisins, often at Christmas and can be steamed in the oven, baked, boiled or fried.

9.  A   A 13-year-old American boy named Jimmy Boyd first recorded "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."  The song was composed by British songwriter Tommie Connor and reached the top of the charts in 1952.  Jimmy Boyd, who died of cancer in 1970, married Yvonne Craig of Batgirl fame in 1960.  The couple divorced in 1962.

A young Jimmy Boyd

10.  E.  Santa Claus is Coming to Town

To watch a video of Bruce Springsteen performing Santa Claus is Coming to Town, click on the link below.

11.  B  On the Feast of Stephen

The song begins with the words "Good King Wencelas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen."  The Feast of Stephen or St. Stephen's Day is celebrated on December 26th, the second day of Christmas, in the Western Church and on December 27th in the Eastern Church.  It commemorates St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

Good King Wencelas biscuit tin

- Joanne