It’s been a year like no other. But alas, the holidays are finally here.
And any reminder of pre-pandemic routines – even if they look a little different – is a welcome respite.
Luckily, there are time honored traditions to add a little normalcy to a year that’s been anything but.
You either love it or hate it, right? More than likely though, you like it, according to marketing research provider NuVoodoo’s holiday music survey of 1,000 respondents. More than half said they look forward to hearing Christmas music – with 20% saying they can’t wait for it. Another 30% say they “tolerate” Christmas music, while 11% admit they hate it.
So when exactly should music for the holidays take over the radio?
Among those looking forward to hearing it, nearly three in four are ready around Thanksgiving. Half of that group said they would be ready to listen after the election.
It doesn’t snow often in the Carolinas during the holidays. But when it does, it’s memorable. For example, in 1989 in Wilmington, N.C., a late December snowstorm dropped 20 inches of snow by Christmas Eve, and the big day brought a record low of 0 degrees, according to Spectrum News. That storm was confined to the N.C. coast – Charlotte and Greensboro didn’t see any.
More recently, a 2010 storm brought six inches of snow to some parts of the Triad. The last sizable snowfall on Christmas Day in Greensboro prior to that? It was 1947, the Greensboro News and Record reports.
And it’s unlikely we’ll see any this year. The average chance for a white Christmas in the Forsyth County area is less than 5%, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports.
Real or fake, that’s the question when it comes to Christmas tree preference. The American Christmas Tree Association reports that 95 million U.S. households put up a tree each year. About 18% are real trees.
Not surprisingly, North Carolina – affectionately called the Tar Heel state because of its early economic dependence on pine derived products – produces more than 20% of the real Christmas trees in the U.S., according to the N.C. Christmas Tree Association. Our state has about 1,300 growers producing Fraser Fir Christmas trees on an estimated 40,000 acres. Most of the growers are in the far western part of the state. Fraser fir represents over 99.4% of all species grown in North Carolina.
According to the association, the Fraser Fir is the most popular Christmas tree in the U.S. because of its “soft, pleasant-to-touch needles, incomparable needle retention, long-lasting aroma, and more pliable yet stronger branches for even the heaviest ornaments.” Additionally, they report that the average amount of time to grow a tree of typical height of six to seven feet is seven years.
December is National Eggnog Month. And in a year that saw a surge in home-based bread making and cooking, who knows, maybe eggnog is primed for a kitchen renaissance.
Variations of the thick, spiced egg and milk drink are enjoyed in countries around the world. It has been enjoyed for centuries, even among the founding fathers. The Old Farmer’s Almanac reports that George Washington had his own recipe, which included the instruction to “Taste Frequently” at the end of it.
With eggs as the main ingredient, foodborne illness can be a risk. The Food and Drug Administration advises using pasteurized eggs or egg products when preparing eggnog. If you’re buying eggnog in the store, it likely already does. If you’re making it homemade, the FDA advises heating the egg base to 160 degrees. Looking for a recommendation on which store bought eggnog to buy? Surprisingly, the Huffington Post gives high marks to Lactaid Eggnog.
We’ll talk about fruitcake next year! Happy Holidays.
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