1. The French gave the biggest Christmas present ever in 1886. It was the Statue of Liberty. (The French have one too, a smaller one, in Paris.)
2. 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. The first artificial Christmas tree wasn’t a tree at all. It was created out of goose feathers that were dyed.
4. Christmas has many names other than Christmas. Do you know some of them? 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.
5. That “Xmas” stems from Greece. The Greek “X” is a symbol for Christ.
6. 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. The Candy Cane is one of the most familiar symbols of Christmas. It dates back to 1670 in Europe but 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. 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, they had no dowry. But St. Nicholas, who knew of their plight, put a sack of gold in each stocking and in the morning the girls awoke to discover they had dowries. They could marry.
9. 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. 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.
11. The word Christmas originates from the words Christ's Mass. In old English (first recorded in 1038) it was referred to as Cristesmæsse, which literally means 'Christian Mass'.
12. Anglo-Saxons referred to the holiday as 'midwinter' or 'nativity'.
13. The word Noel entered the English language in the late 1300s. It originated from the Latin word 'natalis' which means 'day of birth'.
14. Christmas lights were invented in 1882 by Edward Johnson.
15. The first evidence of a Christmas tree is from a pamphlet that dates back to 1570.
16. For Santa to visit all the homes on Christmas Eve he would have to visit 822 homes each second.
17. St. Francis of Assisi began the custom of singing Christmas carols in church in the 13th century.
18. The tradition of Christmas caroling began as an old English custom. It was originally called wassailing and was a toast to long life.
19. Jingle Bells was originally written by James Pierpont in 1857, for Thanksgiving not Christmas. It was originally called One Horse Open Sleigh.
20. The world's biggest snowman was 113 feet tall and was built in Maine.
21. The Christmas wreath is symbolic of Jesus. The red berries symbolize his blood and the holly represents the crown of thorns.
22. In Germany they call Santa Kriss Kringle; in Italy they call him Le Befana; in France they call him Pere Noel.
23. The best-selling Christmas song ever is White Christmas by Bing Crosby. It has sold more than 50 million copies around the world.