Christmas is a special fun-filled time of year for millions of people across the world. We are surrounded by everything Christmas – fairy lights, trees, gifts, and Santa and his reindeers of course! Have you ever stopped and wondered how it all came about? Here are some awesome Christmas facts!
Did You Know…?
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, churches all over the world hold special Christmas services. As December 25th is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. However, no one really knows the actual date of his birth. The Roman Catholic Church only chose this date after his death.
Contrary to this, the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Russia and Romania, Christmas Day is celebrated on January 7th. This is because those churches adhere to a different calendar, theirs being the Julien calendar.
Santa and Rudolph
Santa’s outfit hasn’t always been red with white fur trim. Up until the 1930s, he could be seen in blue, green, purple and tan. The change to the red costume we know and love is wrongly attributed to a Coca Cola ad campaign. The Santa we see today was cartoonist Thomas Nast’s invention for Harper’s Weekly.
Rollo the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Reginald the red-Nosed Reindeer? They don’t have the same ring, do they? Rudolph wasn’t going to be the world’s most famous reindeer’s name originally. But we’re glad really, Rudolph is perfect! Thankfully his glowing, red nose guides the way for Santa to deliver his gifts.
The biggest Christmas gift ever given was the 150 feet tall, 225 ton Statue of Liberty. It was given to America in 1886 from France.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the most popular times of year to propose. Keep your eyes peeled for a small special gift box with something sparkly inside!
We all know and love the Christmas song Jingle Bells. Did you know it was never written for Christmas but was in fact first played for Thanksgiving in the 1850s? The lyrics don’t actually contain any reference to Christmas at all! It was also the first song played in space on December 16th, 1965, by the crew of Gemini 6A.
Eggnog has possibly been around since medieval times – monks in the 13th century curdled sweet or spiced milk with ale (or wine) and drank it hot, sometimes with eggs or figs, known as posset.
Having a Christmas tree originated in Germany as early as the 16th century. German immigrants began the tradition we now enjoy to practice in Pennsylvania in the 1750s. Back then, trees were decorated with fruit and nuts.
The highest-grossing Christmas film is….yep, you guessed, Home Alone starring Macauley Culkin. The film took $285.76 million at the box office, followed by The Grinch taking $270,620,950!
The National Retail Federation estimates the average American will spend $998 this year on gifts, food, decorations, and non-holiday items. 1.6 billion people still send Christmas cards and 22% of Americans believe Christmas spending will leave them in debt.
26th December is known as Boxing Day in the UK and also it is National Candy Cane Day in the US, with people spending an estimated $2 billion every year on treats such as candy canes, marshmallows, and even ice cream!
A Christmas wreath symbolizes life and love. The circular shape represents God and eternal life, and a candle in the center symbolizes the light that Jesus brought. The evergreen foliage is for the duration of life, including nature.
In 1836, Alabama was the first state to officially observe Christmas as a holiday. The last state was Oklahoma, some 71 years later in 1907.
Every year, approximately 15,000 individuals will visit the ER because of holiday-related injuries, such as falling from ladders, dry trees catching fire and even kitchen and cooking related.
In 1659, a law was passed in Massachusetts that forbade its inhabitants to do anything at Christmas, unless it was a church visit! Any form of celebration was illegal and seen as a “dishonor of God” and people could be fined five shillings. So much for a time of cheer and merriment!
Over 20,000 Santas across the USA are trained in advance of the holiday season and they can earn from $30 – $100 an hour. The 3-day training is rigorous, learning how to ‘become’ Santa; staying jolly under pressure, performing, grooming their beards, and learning the habits of reindeer.
For Christmas 2021, the huge Christmas tree that dominates the Rockefeller Centre in New York comes from Maryland for the first time, At 79 feet tall, it will have 50,000 lights on it and will be topped with a 900lb Swarovski star, containing 3 million crystals.
Santa Claus has many names throughout the world. The jolly man we know today originates from the Dutch who settled in New York Many decades ago. Sinterklaas was part of the legend as the man who brought presents to children, celebrated back then on 6th December, a tradition that stuck around!
In Poland, you’ll find spider web tree decorations due to the belief that a spider weaved its soft silky web into a blanket for baby Jesus. Spiders are seen as a sign of prosperity at this time of year.
Another arachnid-related belief is from Ukraine, where once upon a time, a spider decorated the tree of a poor widow and her children. The extravagant webs, glowed silver and gold in the morning light, paving the way for tinsel as we know it.
There are zoos that will buy leftover Christmas pine trees, that are not dry nor chemically treated. Why? Because the elephants love to play with them, wear the branches as hats and finally strip them back to gorge on the tasty moisture-rich needles!
Hopefully, you’ve learned something fun today! If you feel like you’re struggling at Christmas, take a look at these blogs – helping you decide what to spend on kids at Christmas and how to make your Christmas budget plan and see if we can help.