A curious name given to the hock end of a ham, the thick end being called the Virginia end. These colloquialisms are current in both the states concerned, and are thought by some to allude to a supposed rough resemblance between the contour line of these states and a ham. Ordinary people, however, will scarcely be able thus to impose upon their imagination.--John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889
On or about this day from at least Saxon times, boars and, later, domesticated pigs were slaughtered for the Yuletide festivities, a custom that continued into modern times. This date also coincides with the Roman feast of Saturnalia, a weeklong period of merriment and debauchery in which public business was suspended, gifts were exchanged, cross-dressing was common, and servants and masters reversed their roles.
Insert convention joke here. ;)