Here’s a nice little page explaining the origins of Christmas, reindeer, mistletoe, Christmas carol, St. Nicholas, poinsettia, and wassail. I should point out that in the Christmas entry they have “moesse” for mæsse. (Via Circadian Shift.)

Merry Christmas to all LH readers that celebrate it, and waes haeil to all!


  1. Wassail comes from the Middle English waes haeil (c. 1205), which means ‘be in good health’ or ‘be fortunate’. Wassailing was the Old English custom of toasting the holiday and each other’s health.
    Interesting. I wonder why English-speakers don’t toast one another’s health anymore. – Unless you count “Cheers”? The default Russian toast is “To your health”, and health has a place in every list of good wishes for New Year’s, for birthdays, and so on.
    And Merry Christmas to you too!

  2. Perhaps because English-speakers mostly don’t live in fear of epidemics anymore.

  3. helloween is better….

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