Christmas is perhaps the most widely celebrated holiday in recent years, celebrated not only among Christians but also by people of various religion around the world as a season of joy and gift giving. Here are some fun facts about Christmas that you can talk about during the holiday.
- Christmas is a contraction of “Christ’s Mass,” which is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which in turn comes from the Old English Cristesmæsse, a phrase first recorded way back in 1038.
- The “X” in “Xmas” doesn’t take “Christ” out of “Christmas. Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas, however, some people think that this spelling is not right, because it takes the “Christ” out of Christmas. Don’t worry, no one is taking the “Christ” anywhere. In the Greek alphabet, the letter X (“chi”) is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ or Christos.
- If you gave all the gifts listed in the Twelve Days of Christmas, it would equal 364 gifts.
- “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was originally a threat.The ever-popular song was originally sung, loudly and repeatedly, by crowds of rowdy, lower-class servants demanding booze from their masters… or else. (I.e. “We won’tgo until we get some!”)
- The look of Santa Claus we have today was created at an 1804 meeting of the New York Historical Society, where member John Pintard handed out wooden cut-outs of jolly old St. Nick in front of stockings filled with toys.
- Though Santa Claus has worn blue and white and green in the past, his traditional red suit came from a 1930s ad by Coca Cola. Coca-Cola was also the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
- “Silent Night” is the most-recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978.
- Modern day Santa Claus has to travel at more than the speed of light to deliver gifts to all the kids in the world and he would have 31 hours (considering all the times zones) on the Christmas day to get his favourite job done.
- Christmas supposedly marks the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25. But there is no mention of Dec. 25 in the Bible and most historians actually believe he was born in the spring.
- The word “Carol” actually means dance or song of praise and joy, and they used to be sung during all four seasons, but the tradition of only singing them at Christmas is the only one to survive.
- Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they’re sold.
- “Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh”. It was supposed to be played in the composer’s Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. “Jingle Bells” was also the first song to be broadcast from space.