In no particular order of weirdness...
1. Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph's red nose is propably due to a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.
2. The Germans made the first artificial Christmas tree made out of dyed goose feathers.
3. All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas equals 364 gifts.
4. The "true love" mentioned in the song "Twelve Days of Christmas" does not refer to a romantic couple, but the Catholic Church's code for God. The person who receives the gifts represents someone who has accepted that code. For example the "partridge in a pear tree" represents Christ while the "two turtle doves" represents the Old and New Testaments.
5. Most of Santa's reindeer have male-sounding names but, in truth, male reindeer shed their antlers around Christmas time. This means that the reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh were either female (Girl Power...literally) or were neutered males.
6. In A.D. 350, Pope Julius 1 of Rome, declared December 25th as the official celebration date for the birth of Christ.
7. According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221 foot Douglas fir tree that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.
8. The traditional three colors of Christmas are red, green, and gold; green represents everlasting life, red the blood of Christ, and gold signifies light as well as wealth and royalty.
9. The world's largest Christmas stocking measured 106 feet, 9 inches long (32.56 m) and 49 feet, 1 inch wide (14.97 m). It weighed as much as five reindeer and held 1000 presents. It was made by the Children's Society in London on December 14, 2007.
10. In the US, Christmas trees have been commercially sold since 1850.
11. A Christmas tree usually grows for 15 years before being cut down.
12. In days gone by, many European countries believed that spirits, both good and evil, were active during the Twelve Days of Christmas. These spirits eventually became Santa's elves, especially under the influence of Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas and illustrated by Thomas Nast.
13. In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common decorations for Christmas trees. According to legend, spiders wove a blanket for baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas time.
14. Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or "Mass of the Rooster" on December 24th. Some people bring roosters with them to Midnight Mass, as a gesture that symbolizes the belief that the rooster was the first to announce the birth of Jesus.
15. The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner, The crowns are stored in a tube called a "Christmas cracker."
16. Christmas wasn't declared an official holiday in the US until June 26th, 1870.
17. The first printed reference to a Christmas tree was in 1531 in Germany.
18. The first person to decorate a Christmas tree is, supposedly, Martin Luther (1483 - 1546). According to the legend, he was so moved by the beauty of the starts shining through the branches of a fir tree, he brought home an evergreen tree and decorated it with candles to share the image with his children.
19. Santa Claus is based on a real person, St. Nikolas of Myra (aka Nikolaos the Wonderworker, Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna, and Nikolaos of Bari) who lived in the fouth century. Born in Patara (modern day Turkey), he is the world's most popular non-biblical saint, and artists have portrayed him more than any other saint except Mary. He is the patron saint of banking, pawnbroking, butchery, pirating, thievery, orphans, royalty, and the City of New York!
20. The Viking god Odin is one precursor to modern Santa Claus. According to the myth, Odin rode his flying horse, Sleipnir, who had eight legs. In the winter, Odin gave out both gifts and punishment, and children would fill their boots or stockings with treats for the horse.
And I saved the best for last....
21. In Germany, Heiligabend, or Christmas Eve, is said to be a magical time when the pure of heart can hear animals talking.
I hope you enjoyed by list of festive facts about Christmas. Have a wonderful day and I invite you all back tomorrow for a look at the history of the Yule Log.