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Holiday Countdown 2021 - The lost days part 3


As usual, I had to remove older days from the main article. It's getting too large. But here they are again:



Song of the day is requested by @Laura Holton _ACE Rotterdam_“Merry Christmas Everyone” by Shakin' Stevens

A great song from 1985 - and since 2007 it is in the UK charts every year again.

What's your favourite Christmas song? Tell me and you might see it here tomorrow.


Today we talk about Time Travels.

Would you like to visit the year 1985? The bestselling album in the UK and in the US in  1985 was "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen, "Careless Whisper" by Wham! has been the best selling song in the US, in the UK it was "The Power of Love" by Jennifer Rush. In Germany they liked Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" best and the song "Live Is Life" from Opus - it was a terrible song... in my opinion but it is unbelievable that this is 36 years ago. 

Maybe you weren’t already born, maybe you’ll see yourself searching for the Rubik’s Cube solution, having crazy backcombed hair because you wanted to look like Cindy Lauper or Robert Smith (I know Thomas' wanted to look like Robert - but his hair was never long enough and he mastered the cube in usually 90 seconds).


Or do you want to travel to another year? With or without a return ticket? @Esther Strom asked in this year’s June for your favorite time travel destination. Look who wants to travel to Ancient Egypt, the 70s, check out the Roman Empire, talk to Da Vinci or just to your younger self?

What would you do? Would you like to change history at some point of time? Let us know!

I would travel to the year 1823. On December 23, for the first time, someone described a sight of Santa in a sleigh pulled by reindeers and his trick with the chimney in a poem called “The night before Christmas”. A historical moment in Santa’s life. Was it just an accident? Or did he had an agreement with the author? Did he want to become famous? Was he fed up with working as a ghost? Who knows. Maybe I can find this out.

Then 1923 - 100 years later - I would investigate why Santa signed that contract with White Rock Beverages. They ran an ad with him - he's wearing his famous red suit - An invention of White Rock? Did he need the money? And why red?


(1923 White Rock Mineral Water (and Ginger Ale) Santa-Claus Ad)

My last time travel would lead me to the year 1931 - the year Santa finally became the big one we all know today. Of course it was his contract with Coca Cola. I would like to see, if Santa really had these red nose and cheeks. Considered retrospectively, he looked a bit unhealthy these days. I want to find out the details of the contract. You know, we elves only get a small amount of pocket money. Every year again, he says, he can't give us more. Maybe a sneak peak into the contract would be a good argument for the next negotiations...


(Campaign from 1931, featuring in the Saturday Evening Post)

Do you want to know more? Here’s the Coca Cola story

Question of the day

  1. When did the London Underground began operation? Points are given for the closest answer.

  2. What is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt? (Hint: Riddle me this.)

Last days answers

Gordon Sumners is the real name of Sting - one of the most famous musicians from Great Britain.

The album Purple Rain was Number One in the billboard charts in 1985 (what a coincidence :-)  ) and it is performed by “Prince and the Revolution




Today we have two songs:

First song of the day - especially for @Erica Moss : Taylor Swift - Christmas Tree Farm

The second song is a request by @carolyn french

"At the Eastern Canada ACE Holiday event meet-up last Wednesday, Matt Reiner from KT15 presented The 12 Confluence Best Practices of Christmas: A Gift to Confluence Admins, and he sang each one to the tune The Twelve Days of Christmas, which is one of my favorite Christmas carols! So I nominate that one" and here is the link to the recording.

Do you like to wear chain of lights


or do you like to be a Christmas tree sometimes? 


(you were a great tree, @Fabienne Gerhard )

Do you check the door a thousands times before you leave the house or don’t want to read used magazines? In March 2020 @Poorvi Jhawar  asked for your quirks.

There are far too few answers there - don’t be shy! What is your quirk - we’ll love you for that! Promised!


Elves do have a lot of quirks.

First: they sing all the time.

Second: if they like a song, they sing that song all the time - again and again.

And if you don’t like this song - well, bad for you. I tried to convince them to sing some nice Christmas songs by Jamie Cullum, but they didn’t like them. Instead they sing… guess what:


Next year, I'll leave this place - definitely!

My special quirk is: I have to align everything in parallel on my desk. I hate disorder,  when the tools we use for crafting toys look like a heap of garbage on my desk or something is not not at the right place. Usually I align these things unconsciously. One day, the other elves played a trick on me: they taped down everything on my desk in a messy way - I went crazy that day.

Thomas revealed some of his quirks to me: He always, really always reads newspapers from the last page to the first page.That's not that unusual I think but there's another weird thing: he likes to eat soft boiled eggs with Nutella… ugh, that’s awful…

Questions of the day

  1. Which salad has been created first in an hotel in New York and therefore its name is the hotel name?

  2. What do the national anthems of Bosnia-Herzegovina, San Marino and Spain have in common?

Answers of last days questions

The London Underground began operation in 1863 and it looked like this:


@carolyn french and @Brant Schroeder guessed nearly the same year - I give the points to you both!

The oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt is the Sphinx:


Sphinxes are mythicized as treacherous and merciless, and will kill and eat those who cannot answer her riddle. It's good that they have been extinct.




Song of the day: Sleigh Ride by Jamie Cullum (I know, again a song by Jamie, but I really really love his music so much - I have to bear Mariah, you have to bear Jamie :wink: )

In October 2019 @Angélica Luz  wanted to know if you still play games that you used to play as a kid. Are there any games that you would love to play again that you can't find anywhere? Do you keep your old games?

Read about Jigsaw Puzzles, Uno, Dark Tower, Cars, Video Games and more. Do you play games? Which games do you like to play?


I told you the story already, I “appeared” in the 50s. And here are games I played with the other elves these days:


The old Candyland by Milton Bradley


The old Clue by Parker


The old Go to the head of the class by Milton Bradley

We elves loved them and every time we finished crafting a copy of them we had to test it of course, every single copy :-)

Santa strongly disagreed, but we were very young elves and so he was merciful with us and we had a lot of fun with the games.

I don’t play any of these games anymore. But they do still exist in modern versions. Have a look:


Candyland - today


Clue - today


Go to the head of the class - today

Do you play any of these newer versions with your kids today and maybe you played an older version in your childhood?

But nowadays, we test other games before they are wrapped in gift paper. Thomas recommended a few and we have a lot of fun with these:


Do you know any of these? I love them and if you’re looking for a challenging game (not for families and children under 12) I would higly recommend them. If you hurry, you might get one of these for the holidays!

Some gaming related Question today:

  1. Which country is the home of Lego?

  2. Six different coloured pies are sought after in which game? Hint: it’s also a trivia game.

Answers to yesterday’s questions:

The salad I asked for is the “Waldorf Salad”. It is named for the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City, where it was first created for a charity ball given in honor of the St. Mary's Hospital for Children on March 14, 1896


And the second answer is: the national anthems of Bosnia-Herzegovina, San Marino and Spain have no lyrics.




Song of the day: Can’t stop Christmas by Robbie Williams - really funny and I really really hope, Covid can’t stop your Christmas too!

This day we talk about our Childhood dreams - What did you want to be when you grew up?

Did you want to become a vet, an astronaut, a president, a pirate, a pilot, a ballerina or a soccer player?


In February 2019 @Karen O'Keefe  told us an awesome story about her childhood dreams and how they came true. Guess who wanted to be one of the professions you see above? Have a look at the great stories and tell us your own!

Elves rarely have childhood dreams. It’s clear that they have to work at Santa’s house. There’s no alternative.

This might sound sad, but elves really like this. There are just a few exceptions from the rule. One is the elf you know today as the Grinch. He decided to leave but as you know, although he’s grumpy and mean, he loves Christmas in the end. Same for me. As a young elf, I wanted to be a writer, as Karen did. In the night, I wrote my stories on pieces of paper. I put these papers into the Christmas gifts then, always hoping someone will enjoy reading it. So, if you found a handwritten story wrapped together with your gift, it was from me! And I still do, sometimes.


I’m glad that I found a new home here for my silly writing attempts. Mostly, they don’t have anything to do with the technical topics which are mainly discussed here, but I hope, you have a little bit of fun with them nevertheless.

Questions of the day

  1. In A Christmas Carol, how many ghosts visit Scrooge?

  2. Which author wrote about a boy named Charlie visiting a chocolate factory after winning a golden ticket?
    There is also a movie by Tim Burton based on this book - we watch it every year during Holiday season - I love these Oompa-Loompas, they are distantly related to us elves.

Last days answers


Lego is a Danish Company found in 1934, the name is derived from the Danish phrase leg godt which means "play well". In 1947, Lego expanded to begin producing plastic toys. In 1949 Lego began producing, among other new products, an early version of the now familiar interlocking bricks, calling them "Automatic Binding Bricks". [wikipedia]


The six different coloured pies are your awards in the game “Trivial Pursuit”



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