Want to astound your family and friends with your knowledge of all things related to Christmas? Well, here you go!
- The French gave the biggest Christmas present ever in 1886. It was the Statue of Liberty, and they gave it to the United States of America. (The French also have one in Paris.)
- Santa Claus was a real saint. He lived in Myra in the 300s. Myra is in modern-day Turkey. The German name for Saint Nicholas is Sankt Niklaus.
- The first artificial Christmas tree wasn’t a tree at all. It was created out of dyed goose feathers.
- Christmas has many, many names. Some of them are Sheng Tan Kuai Loh (China), Hauskaa Joulua (Finland), and Joyeux Noel (France). In Wales, it’s Nadolig Llawen, and in Sweden, God Jul. There are other names for Christmas, too.
- The term “Xmas” comes from Greece. The Greek “X” is a symbol for Christ.
- Riga, Latvia was home to the first decorated Christmas tree. The year was 1510. Today, Christmas tree farms produce about 36 million trees each year.
- The candy cane is one of the most familiar symbols of Christmas. It dates back to 1670 in Europe but didn’t appear in the U.S. until the 1800s. The treat we see today became common in the mid 1900s. The shape represents Jesus’s hook to shepherd his lambs, and the color and stripes represent purity and Christ’s sacrifice.
- The Christmas stocking got its start when three girls did their laundry and hung their stockings on the chimney to dry. They had no dowry, so they couldn’t marry. But St. Nicholas, who knew of their plight, put a sack of gold in each stocking. In the morning, the girls awoke to discover they had dowries. They could get married.
- An estimated 1 in 3 people worldwide celebrate Christmas, including 2.1 billion Christians. There are over 7,800,000,000 people in the world today.
- The most popular Christmas Song ever is We Wish You a Merry Christmas. The song can be traced back to England, but its author and composer remains unknown.
Sources: OddityJournal.com, PickYourOwnChristmasTree.org, CandyCaneFacts.com, TheHistoryOfChristmas.com, Socialindc.com, wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_in_the_world_celebrate_Christmas, wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_most_popular_Christmas_song