There are 2.1 billion Christians in the world and it is estimated that one in three celebrate Christmas. That’s a lot of people! We love Christmas, it’s probably the most awaited holiday of the year and the time when everyone seems to try harder to be a better person and to help those around them. It’s the time when we give presents to those we love, celebrate the birth of Jesus, break out the Christmas tree toppers… and eat a lot! If you love Christmas, like we do, then read on and find out some interesting facts about Christmas you probably didn’t know. If there’s anything you think should be on our list, leave us a comment!
10. December 25th
Did you know that Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25th? The Bible doesn’t provide us with a date, but some researchers have calculated that Jesus must have been born in September. But that doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s a convention anyway, and one that has been respected for centuries.
9. Christmas Was Banned
The English banned Christmas in 1647! Oliver Cromwell considered it immoral to feast and rejoice on a holy day. Anyone found celebrating was arrested. Can you imagine living in those times? When the Puritans lost power, the ban was lifted, but that was only in 1660. Thank God for that!
8. Santa Claus
There are so many myths surrounding Santa Claus. The most common of them is that Santa Claus was invented by soft-drinks company Coca-Cola. Nothing farther from the truth! The modern image of Santa Claus was created in 1881 through an illustration by Thomas Nast with a bit of help by Clement Clarke Moore.
7. The Statue of Liberty
Have you ever wondered which is the largest Christmas present ever received by someone? Well, the answer to that question is the Statue of Liberty! The French gave it to the Americans in 1886. No, it wasn’t wrapped in Christmas paper and it wasn’t placed under a tree with a Christmas tree topper!
6. World War I Christmas Truce
On Christmas Eve, 1914 the British, French and German troops on the Western front make a truce – they put their gun aside and sang carols, exchanged gifts and talked. That says something about the human spirit and how Christmas can bring peace even in the most horrible circumstances.
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
How did Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer came about? Was he always Santa’s most beloved reindeer? No, he wasn’t! He was invented in 1939 by copywriter Robert May, who was working for a department store. Before this, Santa only had eight reindeers.
4. NASA Joke
Probably the most awesome prank pulled by anyone was the one made by two astronauts in space, while returning to Earth. The year was 1965 and they radioed to the Mission Control, frantic, saying they’ve spotted something in space, then there was silence. A few seconds later they started singing Jingle Bells – doesn’t that just melt your heart?
3. The Tree
Until the 16th century people didn’t decorate trees and bring them into their homes. It was the Germans who did it first – it is believed that Martin Luther was inspired by the stars shining through the fir trees. Good thing he did, otherwise we wouldn’t have had such a great Christmas tradition.
The most popular abbreviation for Christmas, X-mas, comes from Greek. The Greek letter X is Chi and it is also the first letter of the name Christ. Many don’t approve of this association, believing it is untrue, what do you think?
1. Sol Invictus
OK, so we’ve established that Jesus Christ wasn’t really born on December 25th, then how come we celebrate His birth then? Well, the Romans held a celebration for their official sun god, Sol Invictus on the 25th of December. The Christians adopted this date to simply replace a great pagan holiday! So Happy Sun God Day, also!
Now that you know a bit more about Christmas, go ahead, buy the tree, get a Christmas tree topper, get some presents and be kind to those around you.