Tuesday, December 17, 2013

15 Things You Probably Don't Know About Christmas

I love trivia! Obscure facts make me feel smart and provide great conversation starters which are crucial when dealing with some family members at this time of the year. This trivia would also fuel some pleasant discussion at your local Chinese restaurant. So, I present to you, dear reader, 15 Things You Probably Don't Know About Christmas:
  1. Wreaths of holly are universal symbols. The ancient druids and pagans believed holly was magical because it stayed green all year long; in honor of that, they wore sprigs and berries. When Christianity expanded, its leaders declared that the sharp leaves and round shape of the the plant represented Christ's crown of thorns and the red berries represented his blood. So really, holly is a holiday tradition that has been around longer than celebration of Christmas.

  2. In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule (aka the winter solstice) from December 21st through January. To commemorate the return of the sun, fathers and sons would return home with massive logs which they would set on fire and then everyone would party until the log burned out. Because some logs were so large, a feast could last as long as 12 days!

  3. 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms with the other 2% cut from the wild. 

  4. If you have a real Christmas tree, it's largely edible. In fact, the bark is a good source of Vitamin C. I wouldn't snack on a fake tree, however.

  5. December 25th wasn't celebrated as Jesus' birthday until the year AD 440.

  6. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was banned in Boston and anyone exhibiting any sort of “Christmas spirit” was fined five shillings. Talk about a bah-humbug!

  7. Despite what you might have heard in the TV special “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” the custom of hanging stockings originated with the Dutch who left shoes packed with food for St. Nicholas's donkeys; he would then leave small gifts in return.

  8. The abbreviation “Xmas” comes from the Greek letter “X” which is an abbreviation for Christ.

  9. The song “Jingle Bells” was written in 1857 by James Pierpont. It was originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh” and was composed for Thanksgiving, not Christmas.

  10. In the early years of Christianity, the birth of Jesus wasn't celebrated at all; Easter was the main holiday.

  11. Bolivians celebrate the “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve with some participants bringing roosters to the midnight mass; this symbolizes the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.

  12. Christmas crackers, which have been gaining popularity in America, were invented by a candy-maker named Thomas Smith of in England. They were based on French bon-bons which were almonds wrapped in pretty paper. Smith's idea of wrapping candy and toys into small packages didn't become popular until he added a snapper which made a “crack” when the packaging was pulled.

  13. After the American Revolution was over, English customs, understandably enough, fell out of favor. This included the “English” custom of celebrating Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until 1870.

  14. Teddy Roosevelt, who was not only an outdoorsman , but a conservationist, banned putting up a Christmas tree in the White House during his term. He found the practice so infuriating that his son, Archie, chose to sneak his own Christmas tree into the house in 1902 and hid it in a closet.

  15. It's been hypothesized by Norwegian scientists, who apparently had some time on their hands, that Rudolph's crimson nose may be the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.

Note: Sources for this blog post included: www.mirror.co.uk, http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk, www.whychristmas.com, www.history.com, and http://facts.randomhistory.com.

Please check in with me in a day or so. As always, THANK YOU FOR READING!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! Feel free to email me at isithotinheremmm@gmail.com.