Seasonal decorations of GREENERY have embellished European Christmas celebrations for centuries. Rosemary was at one time a popular element in these decorations. Between the fourteenth and the mid-nineteenth centuries, rosemary reigned as a favorite item in English Christmas garlands.


The robin appears on CHRISTMAS CARDS, ORNAMENTS, and other Christmas decorations. No one seems to know, however, just how the bird became a CHRISTMAS SYMBOL.


The French celebrate Christmas Eve with an elaborate meal called réveillon (pronounced ray-veh-YON). Réveillon means “awakening” in French. This banquet usually takes place after attending MIDNIGHT MASS on Christmas Eve.


Many Americans begin the new year by resolving to change something about their lives. The most common resolutions seem to involve losing weight, quitting smoking, getting more exercise, spending more time with loved ones, improving one’s finances, and lowering stress.


The natural habitat of the reindeer, or Arctic deer, spans the north-ernmost reaches of RUSSIA, Siberia, and the Scandinavian countries. Reindeer also roam across Canada, where they are known as caribou. Reindeer differ from other deer not only in their capacity to withstand cold, but also in the fact that both male and female animals grow antlers.