Christmas Facts

Christmas Facts

Christmas, and in particular Christmas Day, is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is observed most commonly on December 25th as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. The giving of gifts at Christmas represents the gifts that the Wise Men brought to the Baby Jesus. See the fact file below for more interesting Christmas facts.

  • The word Christmas is Old English, a contraction of Christ’s Mass. It occurs on December 25th and is a Christian celebration which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • The origin of the character of Santa Claus goes back to the legendary bishop Nicholas who lived in Myra , a city in Turkey back in the 4th century. Saint Nicholas became well-known by being generous to the poor. It is said that he threw gold coins through the window of a poor family’s home so that they were able to get their daughters married. Therefore, modern day Santa Claus gives gifts.
  • Many Christians also believe that giving gifts at Christmas represents the gifts that the Wise Men brought to the Baby Jesus.
  • The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred before the birth of Christ.
  • The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was started in 1851 in New York by Mark Carr. Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895. Prior to this, candles were used to light Christmas trees.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was actually created by Montgomery Ward in the late 1930’s for a holiday promotion.
  • The song “Jingle Bells” was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.
  • If you received all of the gifts in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would receive 364 gifts.
  • The poinsettia plant was brought into the United States from Mexico by Joel Poinsett in the early 1800’s, and it has become one of the most popular Christmas plants along with mistletoe and holly.
  • In 1843, “A Christmas Carol” was written by Charles Dickens in just six weeks.
  • Christmas became a national holiday in America on June, 26, 1870.