Christmas Facts

30 interesting Christmas Facts:

  1. Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
  2. The word Christmas originates from the words Christ’s Mass. In old English (first recorded in 1038) it was referred to as Cristesmæsse, which literally means ‘Christian Mass’.
  3. The letter X in Xmas is a Greek abbreviation for Christ.
  4. A common figure known throughout the world and associated with Christmas is Santa Claus. Other popular Christmas figures include Christkind, Saint Nicholas, and Father Christmas.
  5. 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.
  6. Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  7. The Montgomery Ward department store created Rudolph the Reindeers a marketing gimmick to encourage children to buy their Christmas colouring books.
  8. Anglo-Saxons referred to the holiday as ‘midwinter’ or ‘nativity’.
  9. The word Noel entered the English language in the late 1300s. It originated from the Latin word ‘natalis’ which means ‘day of birth’.
  10. Christmas decorations that are popular today include Christmas trees, Christmas lights, wreaths, garland, holly, mistletoe, and nativity scenes.
  11. The three traditional colours of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolises the blood of Christ, green symbolised life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  12. Christmas lights were invented in 1882 by Edward Johnson.
  13. The first evidence of a Christmas tree is from a pamphlet that dates back to 1570.
  14. In order for Santa to visit all the homes on Christmas Eve he would have to visit 822 homes each second.
  15. The tradition of hanging stockings comes from a Dutch custom. They would leave shoes full of food for St. Nicolas’ donkeys and St. Nicholas would then leave small gifts in return.
  16. 12th century nuns left socks full of nuts, fruit and tangerines at the doors of the poor. This is where the tradition of putting tangerines in stockings came from.
  17. The three wise men who visited Mary and Joseph when Jesus was born brought gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts. Some believe that Jesus was born in a cave and not a stable.
  18. The tradition of Christmas caroling began as an old English custom. It was originally called wassailing and was a toast to long life.
  19. Francis of Assisi began the custom of singing Christmas carols in church in the 13th century.
  20. In 1950 the world’s largest Christmas tree was placed in a Washington Mall. It was 221 feet high.
  21. Jingle Bells was originally written by James Pierpont in 1857, for Thanksgiving not Christmas. It was originally called One Horse Open Sleigh.
  22. The first Christmas was celebrated on December 25, AD 336 in Rome.
  23. The world’s biggest snowman was 113 feet tall and was built in Maine.
  24. The Christmas wreath is symbolic of Jesus. The red berries symbolise his blood and the holly represents the crown of thorns.
  25. In Germany they call Santa Kriss Kringle; in Italy they call him Le Befana; in France they call him Pere Noel.
  26. The best-selling Christmas song ever is White Christmas by Bing Crosby. It has sold more than 50 million copies around the world.
  27. Christmas is celebrated to represent the ‘spirit of giving’ which is why so many gifts are exchanged on the occasion
  28. The candy cane was invented in Germany and was made in the shape of a J and the red represents his blood.
  29. Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  30. Christmas is one of the most profitable times of year for many businesses.