Fun fact Friday – Christmas Day

Only three days to go until Santa Claus will be heading on a round-the-world tour delivering presents. If you’ve not got your gifts sorted, accept that it’s not going to happen – I have. Since September the shops have been sneakily throwing wrapping paper, gift sets and glitter under our noses and it’s all a little too much to handle.

There was once a time when Christmas was less dramatic and stressful – a time when Christmas wasn’t really a ‘thing’.

  1. The official celebration date for the birth of Jesus on 25 December wasn’t decided until 350 A.D. In the Bible, there is no specific date for Jesus’s birth, so Pope Julius I decided it should be celebrated on 25 December. Some people were not happy because this coincided with the Pagan winter solstice festivals.
  2. In fact Jesus probably wasn’t even born in winter. Many theologians estimate that Jesus was born in September, between 6BC and 30AD.
  3. Astronomers have been getting in on the action too, and reveal that the Star of Bethlehem, which guided the wise men to Jesus, was probably a comet.
  4. There are many festive traditions, and the Christmas tree is the main contender. After the Great Depression in 1929 the White House didn’t put up a Christmas tree until 1961.
  5. Candy cane sweets were originally all white. The sweets were allegedly created in Germany in the 19th century by a choirmaster who was keen for the children to have something they could enjoy during the church service.
  6. German Christians are also accredited for introducing Christmas trees to the masses.
  7. Although Germans began putting trees up in their homes in the 16th century, it is believed Martin Luther King was the first person to decorate the tree with candles.
  8. The first Christmas card was sent in 1843 in the UK. Created by Sir Henry Cole, a government worker, and artist John Horsley, the card showed people helping the poor and enjoying Christmas dinner with family.
  9. Nothing beats a Christmas movie and to date nothing has beaten How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Released in 2000 it is the highest grossing Christmas film, bringing in £175 million.
  10. From movies to songs, move over Mariah – the best selling Christmas song of all time is Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.

‘Tis the season to be jolly and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Family Life

Family Life is Scotland's premier lifestyle magazine, packed with recipes, reviews, real life stories and more. Pick up the lates issue FREE in a supermarket near you.

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