Self-promotion and some trivia

Now that we?re done with Black Friday, which actually started on Semi-Dark Thursday, though a lot of stores had deals going on A Dark Shade of Aqua Wednesday, with others already sneaking a sale in on Lightly Burnt Orange Tuesday, and most e-commerce sites advertising early-bird savings as early as Just Off-White But With a Hint of Yellow, But Not Bright Yellow Monday, we can say?with what little breath we have left?that it?s officially the Christmas season.

Which means I can finally unbutton my lip and shamelessly plug the Free Press?s Christmas music radio station, MCXRadio.

This is the second year we?ve hosted the online station. Big thanks to Ag Ser?vice, Great Plains Federal Credit Union, Hillsboro Ford, Midway Motors and Rod?s Tire and Service for sponsoring it this year.

If you?re a Christmas music nut like me, all you have to do for round-the-click holiday tunes is visit mcxradio.hillsborofreepress.com. But if you?re not quite in the mood yet, here?s some trivia to jingle your appetite.

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The world?s largest caroling service took place Dec. 20, 2003, as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records. Organized by the City of Cambridge in Ontario, Canada, 1,175 carolers sang Christmas songs in the Civic Square for 28 minutes.

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In ?The Twelve Days of Christmas,? counting each unit as a gift, the total number is 364.

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?Snoopy?s Christmas? by the Royal Guardsmen takes place during World War I, when fighter pilot Snoopy is forced to land by the Red Baron to give him a Christ?mas gift. There really was a Christmas Truce in 1914 between the British and German troops, and the enemies, who met in ?No Man?s Land,? exchanged small gifts like whiskey, rum, cigars and chocolates.

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?O Holy Night? is reportedly among the first live music that was broadcast over the radio. It was aired on a Christmas show hosted by Reginald Fessenden from Brant Rock, Mass., on Dec. 24, 1906.

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John Lennon and Yoko Ono may have written the lyrics for ?Happy Xmas (War is Over)? in 1971, but the melody was taken from an old folk song about a racehorse called ?Stewball.?

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The Chipmunks? ?The Chipmunk Song? has hit the Billboard Hot 100 over and over, most recently in 2007, when it was re-released with the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.

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When Irving Berlin wrote ?White Christmas? in his head, he reportedly said to his secretary, ?Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I?ve ever written?heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody?s ever written!?

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Berlin later said that Elvis Presley?s recording of ?White Christmas? was a profane parody, and it was ordered off a number of radio stations.

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Meanwhile, Presley?s 1957 collection of Christmas songs spent four weeks at the top of the album chart. With sales topping out at 9 million copies, it is considered one of the best-selling Christmas albums of all time in the U.S.

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To celebrate the invention of the printing press, Felix Mendelssohn composed a cantata in 1840 titled ?Festge?sang? or ?Festival Song.? The melody of Men?dels?sohn?s cantata was then used by William H. Cum?mings, who adapted it to the lyrics of Charles Wesley?s ?Hark the Herald Angels Sing? in 1739. Mendelssohn, meanwhile, was Jewish by birth.

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Jimmy Boyd was only 12 years old when he scored a hit with a song in 1952 about something that happened under the mistletoe.