Christmas Trivia Facts
12 Things That You Never Knew About
Many Christmas customs have been adopted over the centuries from different
cultures and their end of year annual festivals. History of Christmas is full of examples of
various traditions that evolved over time and became
customary parts of our Christmas celebrations today. Here are some trivia facts about Christmas and how they
1. Christmas Candles
Christmas lights are an important part of Christmas tree decoration. But before
electricity was invented, Christmas trees were lighted with actual candles, which is believed to have started in
the 18th century. This presented a fire hazard, especially if one used evergreen pine trees, which can be flamable.
As a result containers filled with water had to be kept near the Christmas tree just in case.
|Lighted Christmas candles are one of the most
and an essential part of decorating Christmas
2. Christmas Tree Display
The custom of erecting decorated Christmas trees started in early modern Germany,
around the 15th century. The typical triangular shape of Christmas tree is symbolic of the Trinity and its top
points to haven, all of which has roots in Christianity. One of the long standing modern Christmas traditions in New York is Christmas tree on display at Rockefeller Center.
It's the construction industry workers that are responsible for the tradition of having a Christmas tree on display
at Rockefeller Center in New York City. They are credited with placing an undecorated tree at the site in the early
|The triangular shape of the Christmas tree is symbolic
of the Trinity,
with its top seemingly reaching the
3. White House Christmas Tree
One of the recent American customs is that of Christmas tree at the White House.
Since the mid-1960s, The National Christmas Tree Association has maintained a presence in the White House at
Christmas by donating a Christmas tree to the First Family.
4. Christmas Tree Ornaments Origin
Traditionally Christmas tree was decorated with edibles like apples, wallnuts or
dates. Later on different types of candies were added as decorations, while nowadays we use many different
types of decorations, mostly of unedible type. Widely available
today, manufactured Christmas tree ornaments were first sold by the former Woolworth department store in
|In the early days, Christmas trees used to be
decorated by edibles,
such as apples, wallnuts and dates. These are still used in the nativity
Originally a metallic Christmas decoration, tinsels are nowadays made from
plastic. It became the primary material used to make tinsel after their use for decorative purposes was at one time
prohibited. This was due to lead being used in the manufacturing process of metallic tinsels.
6. Christmas Greeting Cards
Although becoming less popular owing to e-cards, Christmas greeting cards have a
long history. The idea of Christmas greeting cards started in Britain in the late 1830s when John Calcott Horsley
started to produce small cards that had festive scenes and a holiday greeting written inside. Similar cards were
also being made in the United States at about the same time by R.H. Pease, in Albany, New York, and Louis Prang,
who was a German immigrant. The idea of sending the greeting cards during Christmas gained popularity in both
countries about 10 years later when new postal delivery services started.
|Although now largely replaced by modern electronics,
and greeting cards have a long history, going back to Britain in the
7. Origin of 'Xmas'
The word 'Christmas' is derived from the Middle English phrase Christemasse,
meaning Christ's mass. This phrase originated from an earlier one, first time mentioned in writing in the 11th
century. The shortened form Xmas for Christmas has been popular in Europe since the 1500s. It is believed to be
derived from the Greek word 'Xristos' which means Christ. Although Xmas is used sometime, it's generally
discouraged by accepted norms.
8. Candy Canes Origin
According to the National Confectioners Association, for 200 years candy canes
were only made in the colour of white, as a simple stick of sugar for children to enjoy. It wasn't until in the
1950s that a machine was invented that could automate the production of candy canes, which are now traditionally
white with red stripes.
|Today's red and white striped candy canes used to be
in white colour only until the
The day after Christmas is called Boxing Day in England and it is a national
holiday. Several stories exist for the origination of the name. It is believed to have originated from the practice
of boys who would be going about collecting money in clay boxes. Another thought is that the term is derived from a
custom in the Middle Ages, about 800 years ago, when churches would open their 'alms boxes' and distribute the
contents to poor people on the day after Christmas. Alms boxes are boxes in which donations of gifts and money
would be placed. Yet another belief is that it comes from a custom of masters giving their servants Christmas
presents in boxes on the day after Christmas.
Another of long standing Christmas traditions, evergreen trees had special meaning
in winter to people, particularly in Europe, before Christianity started. Ancient peoples would hang evergreen
branches over their doors and windows because evergreens were believed to ward off witches, ghosts, evil spirits
and illness. For worshipers of the sun god, evergreen plants were a reminder of all the green plants that would
grow with the return of summer and the sun god being strong again.
|The evergreen trees used for decorating at
have a special meaning in warding off evil spirits and other
In ancient times, many people worshiped the sun as a god in December because they
thought winter occurred yearly because the sun god had fallen into ill health. They therefore celebrated the winter
solstice because it was a sign that the son god would begin to regain strength and return to good
Legislators in Congress did business on Christmas Day in 1789, which was the first
one to be observed under the country's new constitution. The reason for the Congressional session was because it
had become unpopular then to observe and take part in English customs following the American Revolution. And when
Christmas celebrations were barred in Boston earlier in 1659 to 1681, it became a costly thing to be seen
participating in any event or activity related to Christmas. Anyone caught doing so had to pay five