In 1999, a group of 80 young men from Adelaide, South Australia decided to grow moustaches to raise money for charity throughout the month of November, coining the term “Movember.” Their idea has since become a worldwide phenomenon. It has evolved over the years from just moustaches to full grown beards, creating what is now known as “No Shave November.”
Men around the world participate in this “masculine” tradition for many reasons, including raising awareness of men’s health issues, to help keep warm during the early transitions of winter, to prove their manliness, or possibly out of sheer laziness. For the past nine years, I too have shared in this time-honored tradition. As I write this, I am currently sitting at Day 14 of my razor strike, growing more brutish by the minute.
Even though the month of November gets a lot of the credit for overgrown facial hair, the beard’s history goes much farther back than 1990. In the Victorian era, doctors prescribed beards as a way to prevent illness. Back in those days, doctors believed that a thick beard could act as a filter that would help to trap harmful particles before entering the body through the mouth. In these crazy COVID days, if I don’t have my mask, at least I have my beard for protection. The Russian Tsar, Peter the Great didn’t like beards, so he placed a tax on them. Russian noblemen who still chose to rock beards during his reign had to pay a hefty price just to carry around a beard license. I get it! I know firsthand that my beard acts as a homing beacon, attracting the jealousy and admiration of the beardless.
It might seem impossible to come up with a more popular bearded man than Santa Claus, especially this time of year! This portly, red-suit-wearing, white-bearded, jolly fellow brings smiles to the faces of children all over the world as he arrives with his bag full of toys. I’m no Kris Kringle, and I may or may not have a red suit somewhere—but I am a jolly, bearded magazine publisher who finds happiness in bringing the people of Saline County “good tidings of great joy” from our community each year.
Saline County Lifestyles is proud to continue to be a part of your holiday season, with our 13thAnnual Christmas Edition. On behalf of everyone who contributed to this issue, let me wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Your town. Your life. Your magazine.