Need something to talk about at your Christmas party? Try some trivia about one of the most important holidays of the years that a lot of people don’t know anything about. Now they say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s why a lot of us love it! But it turns out that there are some odd facts about this holiday that make great conversation starters. So, here’s everything you need to know about Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and the Christmas spirit that you didn’t learn growing up. So, start reading cause ’tis the season to get smart too!
In 1890, a Massachusetts businessman James Edgar became the first department store Santa. Edgar came up with the concept of dressing up as Santa as a marketing tool. Eventually, kids started begging their parents to take them to Edgar’s small dry goods store in Brockton.
In 1903, General Electric created the first pre-wire, eight-socket light strings. Their patent was rejected because they were using knowledge every electrician had. But this opened the door to allow other inventors to produce and modify the Christmas lights we put on trees today.
When James “Haven” Gillespie was asked to write a Christmas song, he was overwhelmed with grief over the loss of his brother. To add insult to injury, he was also jobless and broke. But his brother’s memory and the times they spent on Christmas inspired him to write this cherished song.
The trees were used during the winter solstice to remind everyone that the plants would grow in the Spring. But the tree tradition we’re accustomed to didn’t take off until 1848, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of England popped up in a drawing in the Illustrated London News.
The first candy cane was made by a German Choirmaster in 1670. He used them to keep kids in check during nativity services. A shepherd’s cane inspired the shape. In 1847, the candy cane arrived in America when a German immigrant used them to decorate his tree in Ohio.
It started with the Dutch tradition of a bishop named Sinterklass, who went from door to door to hand out treats to kids on the night of December 5. But the name was anglicized in 1773, by a New York City newspaper. And that’s how the iconic figure became known as Santa Claus.
St. Nicholas was born around the year 270, in the town of Bishop of Myra, which is now called Turkey. He became popular for being a gift giver. He paid poor girls’ dowries and left treats and coins in children’s shoes. Since his passing, Saint Nicholas became the patron saint of children.
The modern jolly old Santa Claus in the red suit became a pop icon in 1931, when an artist named Haddon Sundblom drew him for a Coca-Cola campaign that became widely-circulated and widely popular.
Thomas Nast’s drawing was published in Harper’s Weekly in December 1871. The illustration shows Santa at his desk sorting letters from parents with good children and naughty children. The year after Nast’s illustration popped up, post offices started receiving letters from Santa.
In 274 AD, Emperor Aurelian consecrated the temple of Sol Invictus, thereby creating the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, aka the birthday of the Sun. This put the Sun before all other Gods, which eventually led to a more monotheistic religion.
According to Matthew’s Gospel, there were “Wise Men.” People assumed there were only three because they brought three gifts, myrrh, incense, and gold. But since the Bible doesn’t specify how many wise men paid Jesus a visit, the number could be substantially higher.
Who could have imagined that Christmas was once so illegal? Between the years 1659 and 1681, anyone celebrating Christmas in Boston was considered to be breaking the law. If you got caught celebrating, authorities would fine you.
It’s tucked into the tree in a spot that’s tough to see. The first child who finds the Christmas pickle in the morning gets a year of good luck and a special gift. The pickle is made of blown glass. But if you ask most Germans, they’ll probably tell you they’re unfamiliar with this legendary tradition.
According to the legend, St. Nicholas slid down the chimney of a man who was so poor, he feared his girls would never marry. So, St. Nick filled the laundered stockings drying by the fireplace with gold coins. And boom! Just like that, the girls became marriage material.
Data collected from Facebook posts suggest that one of the most popular times for couples to call it quits is two weeks before Christmas. But, the least favorite day to breakup is Christmas Day. Then again, who would enjoy opening a bunch of presents, and drinking hot cocoa with a side of heartbreak?
During “Paradise Plays,” medieval actors used apples to decorate paradise trees (which were really fir trees). This was kind of appropriate since the plays were a depiction of Adam and Eve’s creation and their ultimate downfall.
Odin rode Sleipnir, a flying horse with eight legs. Think of it as a precursor to a reindeer. Children would fill their stockings or boots with treats for Sleipnir. Then Odin would either hand out gifts or punishments.
The druids believed it could ward off evil, protect against nightmares and cure illnesses and infertility. But the concept of kissing under the mistletoe began in ancient Greece and was used in the Festival of Saturnalia and at weddings.
It stood 13.1 meters tall and was displayed in the Emirates Palace Hotel in the United Arab Emirates. The reason it was so expensive was because it was decorated with jewelry like watches, earrings, and necklaces. But the tree alone was worth about $10,000.
Alabama was the first state in the US to make Christmas legal and fun. But it wasn’t until June 26, 1870, that Christmas was declared an official holiday across the nation. However, we’re sure there were a couple of homes out there rocking around the Christmas tree way before that.