by James D. Irwin

Today is Christmas Eve, which means one sleep until Christmas! Here at Splendid Fred we couldn’t be more excited, except for Robert Cratchit in accounts who has just been let go.

On this day many years ago Mary and Joseph turned up at an inn, but could not get a room. I don’t know what they were thinking— Christmas is always a busy time for travelling and they didn’t phone ahead. Only themselves to blame really. But this momentous event led to a bump in straw sales each Christmas as every school in the Western world attempted to recreated the general look of a stable for their annual nativity play.

However, it was by far the only thing to take place on December 24th… These events also took place:

1777— James Cook discovers Christmas Island, in an incredible coincidence.

1865— The Ku Klux Klan forms, with a more disturbing vision of a white Christmas.

1914— The Christmas Truce of WWI begins.

1968— Apollo 8 orbits the Moon, the crew becoming the first humans to do so.

'Hey, guys... Is that Felix Baumgartner?!'
‘Hey, guys… Is that Felix Baumgartner?!’

These people were born on Christmas Eve, most of them in sterile hospitals as opposed to stables:

1905— Howard Hughes, film producer, inventor, aviator, eventual eccentric recluse.

1922— Ava Gardner, American actress who was once involved with Howard Hughes.

1944— Barry Chuckle, the shorter Chuckle Brother. The one with the moustache.

1945— Lemmy, the apparently invincible Motorhead frontman.

1960— Carol Vorderman, winner ‘Rear of the Year’ 2011.

1969— Ed Milliband, best known for his work with Gromit.