25 Things You Didn’t Know About Christmas

There is quite possibly no other annual event that affects our lives as much as Christmas. In fact, entire economies are based around the holiday. If for some reason the Grinch actually did manage to steal Christmas it would certainly cause massive disruptions in international trade and potentially lead to a domino effect of apocalyptic proportions. Okay, we might be exaggerating a bit, but seriously, we’re willing to bet there are at least a couple things you didn’t know about Christmas.

20

Christmas Banned

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By an Act of Parliament in 1644 Christmas was declared illegal in England due to the fact that it was associated with revelry and merrymaking. This obviously led to a good amount of conflict and when the Puritans left for the New World they brought their distaste for Christmas with them.

19

Christmas Banned Again

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It’s hard to imagine but for almost two decades of the 17th century Christmas was illegal in what would become the United States (as we have established, the Puritans thought it to be too merry). In fact, it wasn’t even until 1870 that Christmas became a federal holiday in America.


18

The Nativity

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As ubiquitous as it is today before 1224 there was no such thing as a nativity scene. Upon returning from Israel St. Francis of Assisi was inspired to re-create the birth of Jesus with live animals and actors. During that first display, the manger was also used as an altar for Christmas Mass. From there, the nativity caught on like wildfire.

17

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

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Every year since 1947 Oslo has sent a Christmas tree to London as an expression of gratitude for the United Kingdom’s help in World War II.


16

St. Nick

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Also known as Santa Claus, St. Nick is based on the early Church Bishop Saint Nicholas who was born around 270AD in the small Turkish village of Patara. He was know for being especially generous to the poor and his legend has since led to many different variants of St. Nick across cultures and time periods.

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