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Christmas is a shortened form of “Christ's mass.” Christ comes from the greek “Khrīstos,” a translation from the Hebrew “Messiah,” meaning “anointed.” Mass comes from the Latin “missa,” the celebration of the Eucharist. 1)

Pagan origins

Many Christmas traditions come from an ancient Roman festival, called Saturnalia. Held in mid-December, it was a festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. When the Roman Empire conquered most of Europe from the 2nd century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., many traditions, including the date, giving gifts, lighting candles, feasting, and merrymaking were adopted. 2)


Sinterklaas (the Dutch version of Santa Claus) comes to the Netherlands from Spain, not the North Pole.3)

Jingle Bells

“Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh.” 4)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Montgomery Ward Department Store created Rudolph the Reindeer as a marketing ploy to encourage children to buy their Christmas coloring books. The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In those days, a red nose was seen as a sign of alcoholism, and Montgomery Ward didn't want him to look like a drunk. 5)

Flying Santa Claus

The image of Santa Claus flying a sleigh was created in 1819 by Washington Irving, the same author who invented the Headless Horseman. 6)


Mistletoe comes from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little twig of dung,” because the plant spreads by bird droppings. 7)

Christmas in Japan

Christmas has different meanings around the world. Christmas Eve in Japan is a good day for fried chicken and strawberry shortcakes. 8)

Santa wasn't always red

Santa Claus was not always dressed in red. Before the 1930s, there were many different variations of Santa Claus, in different colors. Some claim that Coca-Cola created the modern image of Santa, but this is not strictly true. The original red Santa became popular in the US and Canada in the 19th century due to the influence of caricaturists. 9)


1066 King William I of England was crowned on Christmas Day. 10)

Abolished in Scotland

1640, Scotland abolished the celebration of Christmas until 1958, when it became a legal holiday. 11)

General Grant

America's official national Christmas tree is located in King's Canyon National Park in California. The Christmas tree is more than 300 feet high. 12)

Operation Christmas

In 2010, during the Christmas season, the Colombian government decorated the jungle with lights.13)

Christmas Truce

In 1914, during World War I, a famous Christmas truce took place in the trenches between the British and Germans. They exchanged gifts across neutral no man's land or played soccer together. 14)

First Christmas tree in the White House

Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) is believed to have been the first president to place a Christmas tree in the White House. 15)

Christmas tree recycling

Want to know a useful way to recycle your Christmas tree? Some zoos collect Christmas trees and use them as food for animals. 16)

christmas.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/21 07:21 by aga