Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Trivia

  • The first “Book of Carols” was printed in 1521.
  • Wencelas (907-929) was the king of Bohemia and was noted for his piety, compassion and generosity. The carol about him dates from the 19th century.
  • It was the English who started the custom of kissing under the mistletoe in the early 17th century. It was customary for a man to remove a berry each time he kissed a girl under the mistletoe. When there were no more berries left, no more kisses were exchanged.
  • The Christmas classic “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was written by Clement Clark Moore in 1822 as a gift to his children.
  • Electric lights for Christmas trees were first used in 1895.
  • “It’s a Wonderful Life” appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie.
  • “Rudolph” was created by Montgomery Ward in the late 1930s for a holiday promotion.
  • “Jingle Bells was originally written for Thanksgiving.
  • If you received all the gifts in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would receive 364 gifts.
  • The first state to recognize the Christmas holiday was Alabama.
  • Christmas became a national holiday in America on June 26, 1870.
  • During the Christmas-Hanukkah season, more than 1.76 billion candy canes will be made. Candy canes began as straight white sticks of sugar candy used to decorate the Christmas trees. A choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral decided have the ends bent to depict a shepherd's crook and he would pass them out to the children to keep them quiet during the services. It wasn't until about the 20th century that candy canes acquired their red stripes.
  • During the Christmas buying season, Visa cards alone are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the United States.
  • The Christmas season begins at sundown on 24th December and lasts through sundown on 5th January. For that reason, this season is also known as the Twelve Days of Christmas.
  • The movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000) features more than 52,000 Christmas lights, about 8,200 Christmas ornaments, and nearly 2,000 candy canes.
  • The Puritans forbade the singing of Christmas carols.
  • Mrs. Claus, Santa's wife, was first introduced in 1889 in the book “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride” by the poet Katherine Lee Bates.
  • Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.

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