CHRISTMAS HISTORY: Festive Facts About the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By  //  December 25, 2017

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Christmas decalred official US holiday in 1870

ABOVE VIDEO: From the surprising origins of Christmas to little-known holiday symbols, these interesting Christmas facts will have you feeling merry all year long.

(FACT RETRIEVER) — Christmas is celebrated in many countries all over the world and in a wide variety of ways. 

Many of the customs and decorations we use to make the holiday special have developed in interesting ways and their origins may be hidden in history.

For example, Alabama was the first state in the union to officially recognize Christmas in 1836 but Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.

Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.

Below are more interesting facts about the most wonderful time of the year.

According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

  1. The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.
  2. Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.
  3. All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 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. The “two turtledoves” represent the Old and New Testaments.
  5. Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female or castrated.
  6. According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.
  7. The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth; red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.
  8. Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.
  9. Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public.
  10. Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.
  11. Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.
  12. Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.

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