CHRISTMAS FUN FACTS
Have you ever wondered why we embrace the things we do at Christmas? We know thatChristmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. That story is familiar to us all, and embraced by millions 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?
Well, I wondered. So 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 things I found interesting:
1. Who gave the biggest Christmas present ever–and who did they give it to?
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’s other name is St. Nicholas. Why?
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. What’s the scoop on artificial Christmas trees?
The first artificial Christmas Tree wasn’t a tree at all. It was created out of goose feathers that were dyed.
4. Is Christmas called Christmas everywhere around the world?
It’s not. 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 :
5. Where did that “Xmas” get started? Is it disrespectful to use?
“Xmas” stems from Greece. The Greek “X” is a symbol for Christ. I’ll leave whether or not it’s respectful to use it to you and your judgment.
6. Who had the first Christmas Tree?
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. What is the meaning behind the Candy Cane?
The Candy Cane is one of the most familiar symbols of Christmas. It dates back to 1670 in Europe but it 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. Why do people hang stockings at Christmas?
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 because they had no dowry. But St. Nicholas, who knew of their plight, put a sack of gold in each girl’s stocking and in the morning the girls awoke to discover they had dowry’s. They could marry.
9. How many people celebrate Christmas?
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. What is the most popular Christmas song of all time?
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!
© 2014, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is Down and Dead in Dixie. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. www.vickihinze.com.