Christmas is celebrated in many countries all over the world and in a wide variety of ways. Many of the customs and decorations we use to make the holiday special have developed in interesting ways and their origins may be hidden in history.
- 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.
- Some leave food out for Santa Claus’ reindeer as Norse children did, leaving hay and treats for Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir hoping they would stop by during their hunting adventures. Dutch children adopted this same tradition, leaving food in their wooden shoes for St. Nicholas’ horse.
- The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is donated to the people of London every year by the people of Oslo, Norway in thanks for their assistance during World War II.
- The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
- The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
- “White Christmas”, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Winter Wonderland”, “The Christmas Song” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” plus the melody for “O Holy Night” were all written or co-written by Jews.
- Nova Scotia is the world’s leading exporter of Christmas trees.
- Almost 28 sets of LEGO are sold every second during the Christmas season.
- Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December, which marks the birth of Jesus Christ (P.B.U.H). However, the exact date and month of Jesus’ birth are unknown.
- ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
- Christmas might be a public holiday; however, it is not a biblical holy day. The Bible does not say anywhere to keep Christmas as a holy day.
- A law in Britain to this day forbids you from not visiting church on Christmas day. And you cannot visit the church on a vehicle. However, this law is just sitting on a piece of paper and is not followed actually.
- The Statue of Liberty was gifted to the US by the French on Christmas day in 1886. It weighs 225 tons and thus you could consider it as the biggest Christmas gift in the world.
- The first Christmas was celebrated on December 25, AD 336 in Rome.
- Other names of Christmas from the old times include – ‘Midwinter’, ‘Nativity’ and ‘Yule’. The other name of ‘Christmas Tree’ is Yule-tree.
- The ‘X’ in X-Mas, as we all use today, comes from the Greek meaning of ‘X’ i.e. Christ.
- Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition.
- The Friday and Saturday before Christmas are the busiest shopping days and not the Black Friday.
- The largest floating Christmas tree in the world — 278 feet tall — is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Christmas trees were banned–due to environmental concerns–in the White House in 1901–by the then President Teddy Roosevelt.
- The most expensively dressed Christmas tree–valued at $11,026,900–was seen in the United Arab Emirates last year.
- Santa has a real postal zip code – H0H 0H0. Every year millions of letters are addressed to Santa from kids all over the world. The postal workers at the Canadian Post Office also started answering some of these letters.
- In the U.K. only, 2.4 billion Pounds is spent on uneaten, discarded food and unwanted gifts as per a survey by The Money Advice Service. This is a huge amount, which if put to other useful purposes, can break or make the future of those people who are underprivileged.
- Christmas is celebrated to represent the ‘spirit of giving’ which is why so many gifts are exchanged on the occasion. It is also important to remember and help people that are less fortunate than us.
I wish this holiday season you would receive love, peace and joy for the whole year, Merry Christmas!