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A short history of animals and the holidays

Hi All,

Oscar here.

Whether or not you truly believe that it’s the most wonderful time of the year, I think it’s safe to say that it’s a poignant time of year, filled with family time, far too much food and drink, and cozy cuddles with loved ones.

But, as the de facto (self appointed, but still) representative of the animal kingdom, I’d be remiss to not take this special time of year to recognize the role that animals play in holidays year round. Did you ever really stop to think about how largely we factor into pretty much every single holiday? Yeah I bet you didn’t! Well without further ado, here’s a short list.

Christmas Reindeers. Now, contrary to public perception, these creatures, otherwise known as caribou, are in fact real! Aside from their actual roles pulling sleighs in cold climates, and the fact that their noses do in fact sometimes turn red because they activate capillaries in their noses to keep warm, a man named William Gilley introduced the now commonplace association of these animals to Christmas in his 1821 children’s story. A reminder, although they are based in reality, they don’t actually fly or help Santa deliver toys. Sorry

Easter Bunny. Another fictitious character based in reality, the Easter bunny was a mythical creature that apparently laid eggs and brought them to good boys and girls. Again, to right any misconceptions, bunnies (or hares) do not lay eggs, come enrobed in chocolate or, discriminate between good or bad boys and girls. 

Thanksgiving Turkey. I don’t think this one requires much explanation. But turkeys, just so you know, we’re over here pouring one out for you all.

Groundhog Day. The subject of a much beloved film and recently a Broadway play. Groundhog’s day is a holiday wherein Punxsutawney Phil, a lovable groundhog, is responsible for poking his head out of the ground and depending on whether or not he sees his shadow, helps determine whether we’ll have a long or a short winter  

Now, I know this is a very short list and not nearly as extensive as it should be. But, I didn’t want to be too macabre. We all know that often, the role of the animal in a particular holiday is that of the meal! And no one wants to read too much about that.

That said, I think it’s pretty clear we’re as important as I’ve thought all along.

So, Happy Holidays and New Year to all. Now go hug your pet!

Til’ next time,

Oscar

 

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