Interesting Christmas Facts to Impress Your Friends and Family

Interesting Christmas Facts to Impress Your Friends and Family

For those of us who are a little out of practice when it comes to dinner table conversation or you need to redirect the topic away from a controversial fare, these Christmas facts will come to your rescue. It’s an age-old celebration with centuries of tradition and deep symbolism behind virtually every aspect of the holiday.

Christmas wasn’t always on December 25

While Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the actual date is lost to history. There’s no mention of December 25 in the Bible and many historians say Jesus was really born in the spring. Some historians posit the date was originally chosen because it coincided with the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which honored the agricultural god Saturn with celebrating and gift-giving.

Gifts have both Christian and Pagan origins

Christians may have grown up learning that we give gifts at Christmas to mimic the presents the Three Wise Men brought the baby Jesus. But like so many other traditions, that also has its roots in Saturnalia. The pagans originally gave offerings to the gods, too.

You can thank Prince Albert for your Christmas tree

Brew a cup o’ tea when trimming your tree this year to pay homage to its origins. When Prince Albert of Germany got a tree for his new wife, Queen Victoria of England, it really took off across the pond. A drawing of the couple in front of a Christmas first tree appeared in Illustrated London News in 1848. To use modern parlance, the idea went viral.

Coca-Cola played a part in Santa’s image

Before Coca-Cola decided to use his image for advertising, Santa’s looks tended more spooky than jolly. Then, in 1931, the beverage company hired an illustrator named Haddon Sundblom to depict the jolly old elf for magazine ads. Now, kids see visions of sugarplums instead of having Santa-themed nightmares.

Hanging stockings started by accident

Legend has it, we hang stockings by the chimney with care thanks to a poor man who didn’t have enough money for his three daughters’ dowries. Generous old St. Nick dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night after the girls had hung their freshly-washed stockings there to dry. That’s where the gold ended up, and the tradition stuck.

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