10 FUN CHRISTMAS FACTS
By Vicki Hinze
Have you ever wondered about some of the things we see and embrace at Christmas? We know that Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. That story is familiar to us all, and embraced by billions around the world.
But what about some of the other things—like Christmas trees and stockings and Santa? And just how many people on Earth celebrate Christmas, anyway?
Wondering, I took a look and found some fun facts. I’m including the sources so you can read more about them, if you so choose.
Here are a few “did you know” kind of things that intrigued me:
1. 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 have one too, a smaller one, in Paris.)
2. Santa Claus was a real Saint. He lived in Myra in the 300s. Myra is in what’s now Turkey. The German name for Saint Nicholas is Sankt Niklaus.
3. The first artificial Christmas Tree wasn’t a tree at all. It was created out of goose feathers that were dyed.
4. Christmas has many, many names. Do you know some of them—aside from, of course, Christmas? How about? Sheng Tan Kuai Loh (China), or Hauskaa Joulua (Finland), or Joyeux Noel (France)? In Wales, it’s Nadolig Llawen, and in Sweden, God Jul. You can read more names for Christmas at http://www.rochedalss.eq.edu.au/xmas/world1.htm .
5. That “Xmas” stems from Greece. The Greek “X” is a symbol for Christ.
6. Riga, Latvia was home to the first decorated Christmas tree. The year was 1510. About 36 million Christmas trees are produced each year on Christmas tree farms.
7. 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, where the shape is Jesus’s hook to shepherd his lambs and the color and stripes hold significance for purity and Christ’s sacrifice, became common in the mid 1900s.
8. The Christmas Stocking got its start when three unmarried girls did their laundry and hung their stockings on the chimney to dry. They couldn’t marry, they had no dowry. But St. Nicholas, who knew of their plight, put a sack of gold in each stocking and in the morning the girls awoke to discover they had dowry’s. They could marry.
9. An estimated 1 of 3 people worldwide celebrate Christmas, including 2.1 Billion Christians.  There are about 7,038,044,500 people in the world, so about 23,460,148 celebrate Christmas.
10. 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.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
© 2012, Vicki Hinze
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Vicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest releases are: Christmas Countdown (romantic suspense), Duplicity (mystery/thriller), One Way to Write a Novel (nonfiction). She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact.