|Beautiful Christmas Tree|
1. The name Santa Claus came from Saint Nicholas who was a bishop in the town of Myra, and was known to be very nice to children
2. The abbreviation Xmas isn't irreligious. The letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ.
3. The world's tallest Xmas tree at 221ft high was erected in a Washington shopping mall in 1950.
4. Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895.
5. The first Christmas card was designed in 1843 by J.C. Horsley.
6. US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world's presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
7. Christmas trees become popular in the UK from 1841 when Prince Albert erected a tree in Windsor Castle following a German tradition.
8. "Jingle Bells" was the first song broadcast from space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.
9. Jingle Bells" is one of the best-known and commonly sung winter songs in the world. It was written by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh" in the autumn of 1857.
10. Early in their history, Christmas lights were so expensive that they were more commonly rented than sold.
11. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was invented for a US firm's Christmas promotion in 1938.
12. In 1836, Alabama became the first state in the USA to declare Christmas a legal holiday.
13. The tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and tangerines at the houses of the poor.
15. The twelve days of Christmas are the days between Christmas Day and Epiphany (6th of January) and represent the length of time it took for the wise men from the East to visit the manger of Jesus after his birth.
16. The word Christmas comes from Cristes maesse, or "Christ's Mass." There is no set date for his birth in scripture and it wasn't celebrated on any particular day. However Christmas was first celebrated on the 25th of December in Rome in 336AD
17. The typical image we have of Santa Claus dressed in red clothes with white fur trim, is an amalgamation of cultural input over many years.
18. Santa Claus has many different names around the world including Father Christmas in the UK, Pere Noel in France, Kriss Kringle in Germany, La Befana in Italy, Julinesse in Denmark, Dedushka Moroz (meaning Grandfather Frost) in Russia.
19. Gold-wrapped chocolate coins commemorate St Nicholas who gave bags of gold coins to the poor.
20. Coca Cola was the first beverage company to use Santa for a winter promotion.