December was the tenth month of the Roman Calendar. Its name is derived from the Latin decem, ten.
The Anglo-Saxons called it Wintemonath, in Gaelic it is An mios marbh – the dead month. In Welsh – Rhagfyr – the month of preparation, and Giuli – the month of Yule.
Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fires and Christmas treat.
Dark December has now come, and brought with him the shortest day and longest night; he turns the mist-like rain into ice with the breath of his nostrils; and with cold that pierces to the very bones, drives the shivering and houseless beggar to seek shelter in the deserted shed . . . Even the houses, with their frosted windows, have now a wintry look; and the iron knocker of the door, covered with hoary rime, seems to cut the fingers like a knife when it is touched.
A windy Christmas Day, a good crop of fruit.
If the ice will bear a man before Christmas it will not bear a mouse afterwards.
Clear moon – frost soon.
December cold with snow, good for rye.
Love’s star shines brighter from year to year.
A green Christmas means a fat churchyard.
If Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, the next summer will be a hot one. If it falls on a Thursday, the following year will have much wind – and a dry wind that will be.
If the sun shines on the branches on Christmas Day, the fruit trees will bear well.
If Christmas Day be bright and clear
There’ll be two winters in that year.
Hours of sun on Christmas Day,
So many frosts in the month of May.