100 Interesting Facts to Prepare You for the Christmas Season

The traditional Christmas pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine.

There is nothing more enchanting than waking up on Christmas morning, filled with excitement for a day of gifts, food, and festivities.

While most people know the basic story of Christmas, we’ve put together a list of lesser-known facts about the holiday.

Ever wonder where Christmas traditions come from, or the origins of popular Christmas characters and foods?

Or maybe you’re curious about the world’s most expensive Christmas tree?

We’ve got you covered with these 100 interesting facts to prepare you for the holiday season!

Scientists have calculated that Santa would need to travel at 4,921,200 miles per hour to deliver presents to every home in the world.

That’s equivalent to 7,919,904 km/h for those who prefer the metric system.

This calculation takes into account the fact that there are approximately 1.6 billion households in the world, but Santa only visits around 31% of them (500 million stops).

With international time zones and other factors, Santa has about 42 hours to complete his task.

To accomplish this, he would need to stop at each household for only 300 microseconds (0.0003 seconds) to drop off gifts, eat a cookie or two, and remain undetected.

Between 1647 and 1660, Christmas was banned in the UK by Cromwell after the English Civil War.

Believe it or not, some parts of the Christmas tree are edible, including the needles which are a source of Vitamin C.

The holly in a wreath represents Jesus’ crown and the red berries symbolize his blood.

In 2015, the world’s first Christmas card commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in 1843 sold for £8,469 ($10,513.84). The hand-colored card depicted a family drinking wine.

The star of Bethlehem that guided the wise men is believed to be a comet or Uranus.

Edward Johnson invented the first electric tree lights in 1882.

The first Christmas was celebrated in York, UK in 521AD.

While Christmas is often associated with gift-giving, its true meaning is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. For centuries, people believed that Christ was born in a stable as there was no room at the inn. However, Christian scholars have discovered that there was likely no inn at all and the place visited was probably a family home.

In Bethlehem during this period, houses were built with two stories, where the ground floor was used to house animals, while the upper floor was used as a residence. According to theories, due to the upper floor being full, Jesus Christ was born on the lower floor where the animals were kept. The red robin, commonly seen on Christmas cards, was originally a joke mocking postmen who wore red tunics and were known as robins. The French phrase “les bonnes nouvelles” or “the good news” is where the word Noel comes from. “Jingle Bells,” a favorite carol of many, was originally written for Thanksgiving in 1857, called “on horse open sleigh!” The traditional Christmas meal in England was not always turkey, but rather a pig’s head and mustard. Santa Claus wore a variety of colors before the red suit became his signature outfit when Coca-Cola had an advertisement campaign in the ’30s. The word Christmas comes from the Old English “Christ’s mass.” The first Christmas crackers were made in London in 1847 by Tom Smith. Boxing Day is named after the money raised for the poor in church alms-boxes. The Beatles hold the record for the most Christmas number ones, achieving this feat in 1963, 65, and 67. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer only came into existence in 1939, created by Robert L. May for the retailer Montgomery Ward. The story of Rudolph was initially rejected due to a red nose being associated with drunkenness in the 1930s. Gold chocolate coins that people receive at Christmas represent the gold St. Nicholas supposedly gave to the poor. In Czech Republican tradition, a table at Christmas must have an even number of settings, or the person without a partner will die. White Christmas, written in 1942 by Irving Berlin, became the best-selling Christmas single of all time with over 100 million copies sold worldwide. Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast in space from Gemini 6 in December 1965. Contrary to popular belief, the likelihood of a traditional English White Christmas is 1 in 10. The image of Santa Claus flying in his sleigh was created in 1819 by the same man who created the headless horseman. Boxing Day is also celebrated as St. Stephen’s Day. Rudolph’s red nose may have been caused by a parasitic respiratory infection. The first artificial Christmas tree was a German tree made of goose feathers. Lastly, in the song “12 Days of Christmas,” the gifts mentioned add up to a total of 364 gifts.

If my true love were to give me all the gifts mentioned in the song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” we would need to have a serious conversation. With each recurring day, the previous day’s gifts are given again, totaling 364 gifts, which is just too much. Furthermore, who needs 12 partridges, 22 doves, 30 hens, 36 calling birds, 40 golden rings, 42 geese, 42 swans, 40 maids, 36 ladies, 30 lords, 22 pipers, and 11 drummers? The gifts are impractical and would require a mansion to house them all. Additionally, owning maids, ladies, and lords raises ethical concerns. In the US, 3 billion Christmas cards are sold annually, and the average Christmas tree takes 15 years to grow before being sold. During the holiday season, around 28 sets of LEGO are sold per second. The first US Christmas postage stamp went on sale in 1962. Eggnog comes from the term “egg grog,” meaning an egg and rum drink. St. Nicholas was originally a harsh man symbolizing discipline, and milk and cookies derive from an Old Dutch tradition. A Yule log is a giant log burned during the 12 days of Christmas. Christmas was first recognized in the US in 1836, beginning in Alabama and ending in Oklahoma in 1970. In the 1950s, Boston church leaders attempted to ban the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” due to its supposed promotion of physical intimacy. Jimmy Boyd recorded the song at age 13 in 1952, and despite rejection, successfully convinced Boston church leaders of the song’s pure intentions. Spider’s webs are traditional Polish Christmas decorations, and Franklin Pierce was the first US president to place a Christmas tree in the White House in 1856. In 2013, the record for the fastest time to decorate a Christmas tree was set at 36.89 seconds by Sharon Juantuah in Essex, UK. Christmas hats, or paper crowns, are only worn in Britain during Christmas. In Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Santa Claus is played by her then-husband Tommy Mottola. Despite common belief, Christmas does not have a higher suicide rate than other times of the year. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states of the US. During the Nazi era, Hitler attempted to turn Christmas into a non-religious holiday celebrating himself, and Christmas trees were decorated with swastikas.

Initially, Christmas tinsel was made of lead until manufacturers were convinced by the US government to switch to plastic. There has been a longstanding debate about whether buying an artificial Christmas tree is more eco-friendly than a real one, and the answer depends on the type of tree and how it is disposed of. A 3.3-foot Christmas tree with its roots still attached has a carbon footprint of only 7.7 pounds when disposed of by burning or planting, while a plastic tree of the same size has a much larger footprint of 88 pounds of carbon dioxide. In 1901, President Roosevelt banned Christmas trees from the White House, and mistletoe is spread through bird droppings. An interesting fact is that a Boston industrialist closed his factory on Christmas Day and gave all his workers a turkey after reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In Canada, letters to Santa go to the postcode “H0H 0H0.”

The lyrics for the popular tune “Hark! The Herald Angel Sings” were originally “Hark! How the Welkin rings!” with “Welkin” meaning heaven. Christmas crackers called “Millionaires Crackers” contain a silver box with jewelry inside. Mince pies were initially oval and filled with meat, representing Jesus’ manger. The highest-grossing Christmas movie is Jim Carrey’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” In Sweden, it’s customary to watch Disney’s Christmas-themed cartoon special on TV1 every year since 1959. Canada sent a Christmas tree to Boston in 1918 to show appreciation for their help in the 1917 Halifax explosion. The debate on giving gifts at Christmas is whether it commemorates the Pagan tradition of gifting gods or the three wise men. The Christmas pickle is supposed to be the last ornament on the tree. Some zoos use donated Christmas trees to feed their animals. In Japan, a 40-year-old marketing campaign made KFC the go-to food for Christmas Eve. The world’s largest bauble was created by Birra Forst SpA in 2014. June is National Turkey Lover’s Month. Charles Dickens’ works popularized the idea of a white Christmas, as he lived during a mini-ice age where it snowed for eight consecutive Christmases. The first decorated Christmas tree was in Latvia in 1510. The first string of electric Christmas tree lights was invented by Edward H. Johnson, Thomas Edison’s friend, in 1882. The world’s most expensive Christmas hamper costs £85,605 and includes 1961 Moet, Almas Iranian Caviar, and Cognac Jules Robin 1789. The Rockefeller Christmas tree is topped with a 550-pound Swarovski Crystal star. Welsh tradition Calennig involves children going door-to-door with an ornate apple, similar to caroling. The tradition of Christmas crackers comes from an old French custom of giving paper-wrapped sugared almonds as gifts. Turkey replaced swan as the royal Christmas menu in 1851. In Scandinavia, holly is known as Christ Thorn.

It is believed that a Christmas pudding should not have more than 13 ingredients to symbolize Jesus and his disciples. Handel’s Messiah, a popular oratorio at Christmas, was first performed in Dublin in 1742. Trinkets such as Bachelor’s Button, Spinsters Thimble, and a Ring are traditionally left in Christmas pudding. Contrary to popular belief, the “X” in X-Mas does not separate the concepts of Christ and Christmas. In fact, it is an abbreviation for Christ’s name in the Greek alphabet. In the UK, the largest church bell rings an hour before midnight, while in the US, Santa Claus and Santa are the names of two places in Indiana and Idaho, respectively. Since 1991, sales of real Christmas trees have declined below those of artificial trees. Silent Night, a popular Christmas carol, originated in Austria and was played on the guitar. Coca-Cola’s red Christmas truck visits over 40 locations in the UK annually, while Christmas crackers were originally called cosaques after the Cossack Soldiers. On Christmas Day 2011, 6.8 million iOS and Android devices were activated. In 2013, 1.7 million people sent letters to Santa, the highest percentage of over 8 million letters sent worldwide. Fried fish, lettuce, and spinach are the traditional Christmas Eve meal in Armenia, while Michigan has no state song except an old song written to the Christmas song O Tannenbaum. These are just a few of the 100 festive facts that will entertain and inform you. So impress your family with these fabulous festive facts during the Christmas dinner.


1. What is the origin of the Christmas tree?

The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree during the Christmas season dates back to ancient times when people would bring greenery into their homes to celebrate the winter solstice. The modern Christmas tree, however, originated in Germany in the 16th century. Legend has it that Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant religion, was inspired by the beauty of the stars shining through the evergreen trees and brought a tree into his home and decorated it with candles to represent the stars.

2. When was the first Christmas card sent?

The first Christmas card was sent in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, a British civil servant who wanted to find a way to make it easier to send greetings to his friends and family. The card, which featured a family enjoying a Christmas feast, was designed by John Callcott Horsley and sold for one shilling each.

3. What is the most popular Christmas song of all time?

The most popular Christmas song of all time is “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin. The song was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1942 and has since been covered by countless artists. It has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and is played on the radio and in stores throughout the holiday season.

4. What is the significance of mistletoe?

Mistletoe is a plant that has been used in Christmas celebrations for centuries. According to Norse mythology, mistletoe was a symbol of peace and love, and enemies who met under it were obligated to lay down their weapons and embrace. In modern times, mistletoe is often hung in doorways, and it is customary for people to kiss under it.

5. How many candy canes are produced every year?

More than 1.76 billion candy canes are produced every year in the United States alone. The candy cane, which was originally a straight stick, is said to have been shaped into a cane by a German choirmaster in the 17th century to represent the staff of the shepherds who visited baby Jesus in the manger.

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