You know what eggnog is – the traditional Christmas/New Year’s drink consisting of milk or cream, sugar, and eggs beaten together and often mixed with rum or brandy. But why is it called “eggnog”? Egg, yes. But nog?

According to my dictionary, a nog is a small wooden block or peg. Doesn’t make sense to me, so I did a little research and found many theories. One suggests that it comes from the Middle English word “noggin,” which was a wooden mug for serving alcohol. Another claims that it’s derived from an Old English word for strong ale. A third attributes it to Colonial America, where it was referred to as egg-and-grog. (Rum was called grog.) And there are lots more.

So the only thing we really know about “nog” is that it maybe/probably has something to do with alcohol…

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When the Three Wise Men gave the Christ child frankincense and myrrh, they were doing much more than giving him something that smelled good. They were giving him a gift of good health. Because in those days, these two aromatics were widely used as medicine. (And they are still used by herbalists.)

Frankincense, a natural antiseptic, sedative, and immune stimulant, was used as a treatment for respiratory problems, depression, infection, and tumors. Myrrh, a natural anti-inflammatory and astringent, was used as a tonic and as a cure for cancer, leprosy, and syphilis. Mixed with coriander and honey, it was also used to treat herpes.

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“White Christmas,” Irving Berlin’s wistful ode to homesickness, was originally meant to be a parody, according to Jody Rosen, author of White Christmas: The Story of an American Song. Inspiration for the song came during the years that Berlin was working in Hollywood. It amused him to watch people celebrating a traditional winter holiday while sunning themselves poolside. So, tongue in cheek, he opened with this:

The sun is shining, 

The grass is green, 

The orange and palm trees sway. 

I’ve never seen such a day 

In Beverly Hills, LA. 

But it’s December the 24th 

And I am longing to be up North.

When Berlin realized that the song had actually turned out to be a sincere expression of the almost universal emotions that are evoked by the Christmas holiday, he had that opening verse suppressed.

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The back is home to several large muscles. These include the rhomboids (upper back, near the shoulders), latissimus dorsi (“lats” – the muscles behind your armpits that help you pick up things), and spine erectors (the muscles that hold your spine up and feels amazing when you get a massage).

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