25 Christmas Facts You Might Not Know

Merry Christmas! On this of most spectacular of days, we stand back and admire one of the most beautiful holidays ever. It’s a time for festivities, dancing, laughing, singing, and of-course presents. But as amazing as this most wonderful time of the year may be, what you may just find even more amazing, are these facts behind this popular holiday. Are you ready? Check out these 25 Christmas facts you might not know.

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25

Though mostly celebrated December 25th in the United States and other countries, Christmas is also celebrated on January 7 in some Eastern Orthodox countries, such as Russia.

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24

Though Christmas celebrates the Birth of Jesus, the real date of Jesus' birth is not known.

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23

What is considered “The Christmas story” is told primarily in the Gospels of Saint Luke and Saint Matthew in the New Testament.

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Even thought Christmas is considered the most popular Christian observance, Christmas is also celebrated as a secular family holiday.

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The word Christmas comes from the Old English phrase Cristes maesse (Christ's mass).

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The tradition of substituting X-mas for Christmas has its origins in the early Christian church. The first letter of Jesus Christ's name is X in the Greek language.

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19

Many of the customs and symbols that are traditionally associated with Christmas find their origins in ancient pagan festivals and winter solstice rituals.

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18

The modern Christmas tree originated in Germany in the 16th century and became popular in England by the mid-19th century.

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17

Santa Claus was a real person named St. Nicholas who lived in the 4th century AD in the province of Lycia on the southwest coast of Asia Minor.

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Cartoonist Thomas Nast is credited with creating the current image of Santa Claus based on his illustrations from Harpers Weekly in 1863.

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Expected holiday spending for November and December of 2014 is around $602 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, that’s an increase of 4.1% over 2013.

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14

The United States Post Office is anticipating 450 to 470 million packages this holiday season. That’s 12% more packages than the previous year.

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13

The songs “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” and “Holly Jolly Christmas” were written by Jewish songwriter Johnny Marks.

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12

The most expensively decorated Christmas tree was valued at $11,026,900 and was erected in the Emirates Palace (UAE) in 2010.

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11

Talking about Christmas trees, Did you know that Christmas trees were first decorated with foods such as apples, nuts and dates.

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And that electric Christmas lights were first used in 1895

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9

Giving presents was once banned by the Catholic Church. It was believed that gift giving was connected to paganism.

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8

Thurl Ravenscroft, who sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” was also the famous voice of Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.

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7

There are two islands named Christmas. Christmas Island (formerly Kiritimati) in the Pacific Ocean and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

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6

St. Francis of Assisi began the custom of singing Christmas carols in church in the 13th century.

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“Jingle Bells” was the first song performed in space.

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4

The traditional Christmas meal in England before turkey was mustard and a pig's head.

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The world's biggest snowman was 113 feet tall and was built in Maine.

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2

From 1659 to 1681, Christmas celebrations were illegal in New England.

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1

Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names. However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas, which means that the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely female.

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