‘Tis the time of year when family and friends come together, when we celebrate all that we have accomplished, shared and experienced over the past year and take time to look back and reminisce. It’s hard to believe 2015 is almost over and it’s that time, already! For my family, this time of year is set alight by Christmas. For other families, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Yule and Kwanzaa are the centre of the celebration. Whatever your beliefs, one thing remains clear, it is a time of love, giving and goodwill. And my family and I cherish the time every year!
As mentioned, Christmas is the holiday that my family and I so lovingly celebrate. I can recall years upon years of family gatherings, huge turkey dinners, gift exchanges, graduations to the grown up table, stories and laughter.
To keep up with the Christmas Spirit and teach you a little bit more about this particular holiday, here are 10 Christmas Fun Facts that you can share at your next gathering! Here they are, in no particular order:
1. The British and many of their commonwealth compatriots (Canada, Australia etc.) wear paper crowns while eating Christmas Dinner. They are pulled out of paper tubes called ‘Christmas Crackers’. And they’re loads of fun, my family has them every year!
2. The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany, and made of goose feathers dyed green!
3. Artificial Christmas trees have outsold real ones since 1991! I get that the clean up is far easier, but I can’t give up that pine tree smell! And I have way too much nostalgia for my childhood when my family would go out and cut down our Christmas tree! My Dad and Mom still do it today with their grandkids!
4. Bing Crosby’s world famous song, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”, was the biggest selling song of all time from it’s 1942 release up until 1997 when Elton John released his tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind”. It also appeared in various Top 100 billboard charts for 21 years before dropping out of the top 100 in 1963! His movie musical “White Christmas” also just happens to be one of my holiday favourites…
5. Christmas purchases account for 1/6th of all retail sales in America annually. No wonder we go so broke around Christmas time!
6. Coca-Cola helped shape the image of the Santa Claus we know and love! Illustrator Haddon Sundblom was the man behind this highly collected artwork, with some Santa prints even on display in The Louvre in Paris!
7. In order to travel around the world in time to deliver all of the children’s presents, Santa’s sleigh must fly at a speed of 4,796,250 miles per hour!
8. Mistletoe may be changed for you forever after this one…mistletoe comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “misteltan”, which translates to “little dung twig” because the plant grows and spreads from bird droppings. Ew. But the Ancient Greeks believed mistletoe aided in fertility and could be used to help achieve eternal life! Who knew poop could be so mystical?!
9. The Canadian province of Nova Scotia leads the world in the exporting of Christmas trees! And wild blueberries…and lobster…
10. Saint Nicholas is the man behind Father Christmas, know today as Santa Claus. St. Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in 4th Century AD. He had been left very rich upon his parent’s death, and used his riches to help the poor and downtrodden, giving secret gifts to those in need.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a 2016 full of wonderful moments and memories.