As the spirit of the holiday season has quickly transformed the dull atmosphere of shopping centers to marvelous scenes in which red ribbon, oversized ornaments and delicate snowflakes magically dangle from the ceilings, many of us could still learn some things about the celebration on December 25th. To enlighten those whose understanding does not extend beyond the common knowledge of this holiday’s background, here are twelve things you probably did not know about Christmas traditions!
Weighing as much as five reindeer, the largest stocking held 1,000 presents and extended 107 feet towards the ground, measuring 49 feet wide. To celebrate Christmas in London, the Children’s Society created this enormous and festive “jaw-dropper” in 2007.
The trunk of the gigantic Christmas tree lit in Rockefeller Center is often donated to the US Equestrian team for use as an obstacle for trained horses to practice jumping.
This year, the Christmas tree standing in New York City is a Norway spruce, chopped down from a forest in Pennsylvania. It tops off at a whopping 85-feet tall, a measurement similar to the height of a seven-story building, the height of an 18-car dog pile stacked one at a time and the length of a Boeing 737.
A 221-foot tall Christmas tree, complete with lights and ornaments, was the tallest and largest tree ever displayed. In 1950, Seattle, Washington invited the public to admire its beauty.
If Santa’s reindeer were in fact male (true to their masculine nicknames), every year at Christmastime they would shed their antlers. Without the characteristic horns that spike from atop reindeer heads, Santa could possibly confuse his reindeer with simple deer. What a catastrophe it would be if Prancer or Blitzen were replaced with less-magical, far less-airborne white-tailed deer.
Santa Claus depicts a bishop named St. Nikolas of Myra who lived roughly 2,500 years ago.
Dr. Seuss’ song “Fahoo Forays,” performed by the Who’s of Whoville in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, was written to imitate Latin. While many believed it to be cleverly rhymed gibberish, Seuss was writing the lyrics to reflect the way in which this romantic language is spoken. Several fans wrote letters to the movie’s producer asking for the song’s Latin translation.
Christmas gift purchases in America justify one-sixth of all merchandise sales in the nation.
Donald Duck dominates the television screens of at least half of families living in Sweden on Christmas Eve. This tradition has held strong throughout the country for 70 years.
The most popular Christmas song is “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” but its writer is unknown.
Perched upon a goat named “Ukko,” Santa abandons his sleigh in Finland while delivering presents from atop this animal supposedly made of straw (according to Finnish folklore).
The town of Santa Claus, Indiana, often receives the majority of children’s’ letters to Santa that are mistakenly not delivered to the North Pole.