20 Amazing And Interesting Facts About Christmas
Is it that time of the year again already?! At Beauty and Tips we LOVE Christmas, and to celebrate that one time of the year when the big guy in the red suit showers us all with a sackful of gifts, we’ve put together a bumper festive article crammed with 20 amazing and interesting facts about Christmas.
It’s that time of the year when families will do anything to be together. It’s that time of the year when snow falls, food and drink flows and we exchange gifts, get merry and take some much-needed time off work. (and, yes, it’s also that time of the year when we get a bit fat :)) Christmas is just pure win. It’s frosty, it’s cosy and you’ve just built a rubbish snowman, but who cares?! It’s Christmas! If you’re bored at work and need to get into the Christmas spirit, stick on some festive tunes, wear your Santa hat and let’s take a look at 20 amazing facts about Christmas! Exited?!
Christmas Wasn’t Always Celebrated On December 25th
Despite what a lot of people believe, Jesus Christ wasn’t actually born on December 25th. IKR! This also means that the three wise men didn’t follow a star on Christmas Eve. Hmm! In fact, December 25th isn’t mentioned in the Bible at all, and neither is Christmas. Instead, historians reckon Jesus was born in the spring and that December 25th was previously a pagan festival. Since Christianity was emerging as a newly dominant, national religion in Rome, it made sense for them to use the same date so that people wouldn’t be too confused. It’s kinda odd that we celebrate our Saviour’s birthday on a date that isn’t even His birthday, but who cares? It’s Christmas!
The First Ever Christmas Card Is Now Worth A Lot Of Money
Each year, millions of people send Christmas cards to their family, friends and colleagues. Christmas cards don’t usually cost a lot of money. We might spend an extra few $$$ on a special card for a special someone, but most of the time we don’t spend more than $2 on a Hallmark card. However, if you wanted to send someone the FIRST EVER Christmas card in history, you’d have had to pay more than the £8,469 it was auctioned for back in 2014. This, the world’s first ever Christmas card, was originally printed in 1843 after a family living in London commissioned it.
So Many Couples Break Up Just Before Christmas
Christmas is a time for romance, love and peace on earth. So how come so many couples break up just before Christmas? According to Facebook, more couples break up 2 weeks before Christmas than any other time of the year. Okay, who’s the heartbreakers?
The Christmas Tree Has Been Gracing Homes For Less Than 200 Years
Imagine a Christmas without a tree?! It seems impossible nowadays. But if you’d have lived before 1848, your home would have had no tree. In fact, you wouldn’t have known what a Christmas tree was! This was the stark reality that faced citizens in those dark, dark times (don’t forget that this was also a time before Santa!), but fortunately Prince Albert of Germany had the foresight to add a Christmas tree to his house. The idea behind the Christmas tree once again has its roots in paganism. Branches during the winter solstice played a symbolic role, reminding people that spring is on its way. Prince Albert, ever the flamboyant royal, decided to go one step further; instead of bringing a branch into his home, he brought in a whole tree. Himself and his wife – Queen Victoria of England – were then sketched in front of their new tree and the idea took off. All of a sudden, everyone wanted a tree!
A Man Named Tom Smith Invented The Christmas Cracker
Christmas crackers are a fun festive tradition. One of you grabs one end, someone else grabs the other, you both pull, the thing goes pop, someone covers their ears and someone wins a prize. There’s usually a silly joke involved, as well as a Christmas hat, too. But who invented the Christmas cracker and why? London sweet shop proprietor Tom Smith came up with the idea of a Christmas cracker in 1847 after he came across paper-wrapped French bonbons that contained different “twists”, such as jokes or love mottos. He decided to add his own twist – a bang and a trinket. Initially, the product was named “Bangs of Expectation,” and they soon started to sell like hotcakes.
Santa Never Used To Wear Red
Red never used to Santa’s thing (rumour has it that he thought it made him look fat). He had a colourful wardrobe rich in green, white and blue suits but red wasn’t for him. However, all that changed when Coca Cola stepped in and changed history. Call it the best marketing tactic of the century, call it what you want, but when Coca Cola ads in the 1930s featured Santa Claus in his by-now familiar red suit, it changed the course of history. All of a sudden, Santa became synonymous with his sack, his huge beard – and his red suit. Coca Cola have gone from strength to strength since then, while Santa clearly doesn’t want to go back to green. So, it’s win-win isn’t it?
It Isn’t Irreligious To Say “Xmas”
Many people say happy Xmas instead of happy Christmas. Christian’s are a little unsure of using this abbreviation, but guess what? It’s not irreligious at all. In fact, X is the Greek abbreviation of Christ.
And Here Is How Fast Santa Would Have To Move On Christmas Eve
Christmas is a time of year when children (and even some adults) suspend logic. To believe in Santa Claus is to believe in something that transcends everything we know about physical reality. After all, how else is Santa supposed to visit every single home on Christmas Eve?! According to scientists, if Santa was to deliver presents to every child in all the world, he’d have to visit a 822 homes each second, which would require him to travel at a speed of 650 miles per second. Do-able.
Holly And Ivy Have Been Associated With Christmas For Centuries
Holly and ivy certainly pre-date the likes of Santa Claus and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. Although the Christmas festival is very different now from what it used to be, people have been decorating their homes with holly and ivy since at least the 9th century. The two are meant to represent everlasting life and are important parts of Christian iconography.
Noel Means “Good News”
The Christmas carol The First Noel is one of the most beautiful carols there is. It’s certainly a favourite of Beauty and Tips. In case you’ve sang the song many times in the past without really knowing what it means, Noël is French and it translates as “the good news.” And, yes, the birth of Jesus is the amazingly good news, because He brings eternal salvation to everyone who believes and He offers it as a free gift by grace.
A Real Person Inspired The Santa Claus Legend
Okay, so we all know that Santa Claus is a myth (do we? – ed). But the idea of Santa Claus didn’t just come from no where. Rather, there was an actual real man who inspired the legend. His name was St. Nicholas, and he was a Christian bishop who lived in the fourth century AD. He is the patron saint of pawnbrokers, thieves, prisoners and unmarried women. To all intents and purposes, he was a modest, nondescript character who never intended to inspire Santa Claus. However, because he was so generous and giving, and because history eventually changed his name to Sinter Klaas, he somehow found himself evolving into the man behind Santa Claus!
Jingle Bells Never Used To Be A Christmas Song
Jingle bells is the song we all associate with Christmas, so it seems crazy to think that it wasn’t always an Christmas song! However, it used to be a thanksgiving song. It was first performed by an organist in Georgia, America, at a thanksgiving concert. Back then, it wasn’t even named Jingle Bells, and it wasn’t until 1857 when it become the poplar ditty we know it as today. Ever since, its fame has grown and it’s now one of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time.
Were There Really Three Wise Men?
Our parents told us there were three wise men. Our teachers told us there were three wise men. Movies tell us there were three wise men. Our best friend tells us to eat more avocado. POINT IS, the Bible never gives a number. Instead, Matthew writes that there were “wise men” who followed a star. Does this mean there could have been 20?!
But What Star Did They Follow?
Okay so there might not have been three of them. But what we DO know is that there were wise men and that they followed a star. But which one? Astronomers have weighed into the debate on this one and reckon the wise men either followed the planet Uranus or some random comet. Still, as long as it led them to baby Jesus, who cares?
Do Angels Really Sing?
Another legend that has been passed down throughout history is that, not only do angels sing at Christmas time, they also sing amazingly. It’s where the phrase “voice of an angel” comes from. Thing is, the Bible really does mention that angels sing and worship God.
And Was Jesus Born In A Stable?
Okay, the stable IS mentioned in the Bible and most Christian’s believe that Jesus Christ was indeed born in a stable. However, there are learned scholars that would beg to disagree. According to some theologians, Jesus wasn’t born in a stable at all. Instead, he was born in the more rural and harsher settings of a cave. Oh.
Jesus Probably Wasn’t Born In AD1 Either
We’ve already mentioned that December 25th isn’t actually Jesus Christ’s birthday, but how about the exact year of his birth? No one knows for sure. However, most theologians reckon He was born in September between 6AD and 30AD.
Here Is Where Stockings Came From
Stockings are cute. When we want to buy someone a smaller gift alongside their big ones, we call it a “stocking filler.” Usually, stockings are filled with candy and chocolate and the occasion bottle of beer (ho ho). But where did the stocking come from? And why?! Well, St. Nicholas was behind this, too. In Holland, the Dutch celebrate St. Nicholas’ feast day on December 6th, and to commemorate it, children leave shoes out overnight. In the morning, they return to the shoes to find gifts inside. Awesome! This idea came from the time when a poor man couldn’t afford to keep his daughters. St Nicholas took pity on him and dropped a bag of gold down his chimney. However, the man had left a stocking to dry by the fire and the gold fell in it! Isn’t it amazing?!
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer…Or Reginald?
We think Rudolph is a pretty cool name for a reindeer … but what about Reginald?! Hmm, not so much! However, when a copywriter was first coming up with the idea of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer for a marketing campaign back in 1939, he was so stuck for names that he originally considered Reginald. Moreover, he didn’t like the idea of a red nose as back then a red nose was a sign of drunkenness. Somewhere along the line, though, both Rudolph and his red nose got the go-ahead and the rest is history. And, yes, this also means there was never a real reindeer named Rudolph. Sad face.
We Send A Lot Of Christmas Cards
Brace yourself. While you yourself send out a million Christmas cards each year to your family and friends, it’s nothing compared to the 3 BILLION cards that are sent out each year in America alone. Bet Hallmark makes a killing.
In the middle of all the tasty food and celebrations, great time with family and friends, let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas, which is celebrating the birth of the Saviour – Jesus Christ, who proved His love for us by giving up His life, so that our souls can live eternally in His love and grace!
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (Bible, John 3:16)
Merry Christmas Everyone! And best wishes!