A cozy feeling in winter, merry people, and something magical in the air. Clear indicators that Christmas is here! This is a time to gather with family and friends, share gifts, have good food, and celebrate happily. The Christmas spirit is known to be one of joy, love, and goodwill all around. Many of the customs, decorations, and images associated with this holiday have developed in interesting and unique ways. Let’s have a look at some fun facts about this endearing holiday!
1. The image of Santa Claus flying his sleigh began in 1819 and was created by Washington Irving, the same author who dreamt up the Headless Horseman
2. America’s first batch of eggnog was made in the Jamestown settlement in 1607. Its name comes from the word “grog”, meaning any drink made with rum. Non-alcoholic eggnog is popular as well.
3. The first artificial Christmas Tree wasn’t a tree at all. It was created out of goose feathers that were dyed green. The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany in the 19th century, due to a major continuous deforestation. The feather trees became increasingly popular during the early 20th century and finally made their way to the US.
4. The “X” in “Xmas” doesn’t take “Christ” out of “Christmas. Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas, however, some people think that this spelling is not right, because it takes the “Christ” out of Christmas. Don’t worry, no one is taking the “Christ” anywhere. In the Greek alphabet, the letter X (“chi”) is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ or Christos.
5. All letters addressed to Santa in the United States go to Santa Claus, Indiana
6. After the holiday is over, some zoos accept donated Christmas trees as food for their animals.
7. Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
8. The tradition of hanging stockings comes from a Dutch legend. A poor man had three daughters for whom he could not afford to provide a dowry. St. Nicholas dropped a bag of gold down his chimney and gold coins fell out and into the stockings drying by the fireplace. The daughters now had dowries and could be married, avoiding a life on the streets.
9. If you gave all the gifts listed in the Twelve Days of Christmas, it would equal 364 gifts.
10. “Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh”. It was supposed to be played in the composer’s Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. “Jingle Bells” was also the first song to be broadcast from space.
11. Two weeks before Christmas is the one of the two most popular times for couples to break up. According to data analyzed from Facebook posts and statuses, couples are more likely to end their relationship two weeks before Christmas and two weeks after Valentine’s day, during the spring break. Christmas Day, however, is the least favorite day for breakups.
12. Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
13. In 1918 and for the past 40 years, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia has sent the city of Boston a giant Christmas tree as a thank you for their support after the 1917 Halifax explosion
14. Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
15. Even though most of Santa’s reindeer have male sounding names, (Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen), male reindeer shed their antlers in winter. So the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are more than likely female.