December: John & Tonya

These two never disappoint with their reports, and this month they rolled their five-minute holiday topic into one ten-minute report.  (Smart, no?)  Armed with power point and a rhyming poem entitled “Twas the Night Before Report Night,” John & Tonya hilariously took us through their topical brainstorm.  The result was a smattering of many interesting topics.

We learned that Puerto Rico celebrates Christmas with Asalto–which is the Spanish word for assault. Sound merry yet?  It is.  Imagine this: instrument-toting parade and party goers show up at your house unannounced, you invite them in and serve them food and drinks, and then you travel with them to go to the next person’s house–all night long. (I told you it was merry.)  In Scandinavia they start partying at 3pm with a drink called aquavit, said to raise the dead.

But cross-cultural Christmas celebrations were only the beginning.  They also elaborated on the following:

-special Christmas brews from the Annual Belgium Festival, such as Very Bad Elf Special Reserve Ail from a 1795 recipe

-liberal reasons not to celebrate Christmas, such as supporting China’s economy  and the environmental impact of chopping down countless Christmas trees

-top-selling toys from the last century, from iTouch in 2007 to Cabbage Patch Kids in 1983 to the Duncan Yo-Yo in 1929

-The Annual North Pole Ice Sculpture Contest

They ended with a fun video clip from Straight No Chaser:

*John’s white elephant topic is Mike–as in, the Mike who reported on the Star Wars Holiday Special.

*Tonya’s topic for January will be (if I remember correctly) the history of contact lenses.  (Please correct me on a comment if I’m wrong about that.)

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Filed under Art, Christmas, Culture, Pop-culture

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