I hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas.
We woke up to, you guessed it, more snow. The forecasters had originally called for nearly a foot of the stuff, making it the 2nd such storm in two weeks. I was worried because, with a fair amount of the first storm still on the ground, I’d have some challenge trying to find places to chuck another foot.
Fortunately, as the storm’s track resolved itself, it became apparent that we wouldn’t get the massive dumping first predicted. Still we ended up with nearly 6″, and the warmer temps meant it was somewhat heavy, providing me with nearly 2 hours of outdoor “refreshment” with the shovel. But it’s a chore I really enjoy.
As we move on to something historical, we can’t really talk about the birth of Jesus Christ (even though it seems a given), simply because December 25th was the date chosen to celebrate his birth, not necessarily his actual birthday. We also shouldn’t talk about General George Washington crossing the Delaware River and attacking the British and Hessian troops at Trenton in 1776 because, well, we’d just be repeating last year’s Christmas Day discussion. No fair doing that.
So let’s talk about Christmas Island. It’s a 50-square-mile chunk of rock that’s located about 300 miles south of Jakarta, Indonesia. But it’s actually owned by Australia, which is more than 1,500 miles south and east.
William Mynors was a British captain and his ship, the Royal Mary, was owned by the British East India Company. Many of you will remember this as the same company that caused so much controversy (and spilled tea) in the Colonies in the 18th Century.
Anyways, Mynors sailed by the island on December 25, 1643. And lacking a better name, he named it after the day of its discovery, and Christmas Island came into existence.
It would be another 45 years before the first people would set foot on the island. Eventually, it would be controlled by the British, who harvested its rich phosphate desposits. Intrepid readers of this site will also recall that Christmas Island was occupied by the Japanese in World War II.
Anyways, so there you have it. For what’s left of the day, have a safe, joyous, and blessed Christmas.