Here is a little Christmas history. Did you know…
In the 1600’s the Puritans made it illegal to mention St. Nicolas’ name. People were not allowed to exchange gifts, light a candle, or sing Christmas carols. From 1659 to 1681 in Boston anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings.
The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas.
The name Santa Claus evolved from the Dutch nickname Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). Santa is also known as Kris Kringle and Father Christmas.
Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
The first states to make Christmas a legal holiday were Alabama in 1836, Louisiana and Arkansas in 1838.
The first president to decorate the white house Christmas tree in the United States was Franklin Pierce.
Germany made the first artificial Christmas trees. They were made of goose feathers and dyed green.
Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895. The idea for using electric Christmas lights came from an American, Ralph E. Morris. The new lights proved safer than the traditional candles.
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer is the creation of Robert L. May , a copywriter at the Montgomery Ward department store who wrote a Christmas-themed story in 1939 to help bring holiday traffic into his store. May told the story of Rudolph, a young reindeer who was teased by the other deer because of his glowing red nose who later saves the day by leading Santa’s sleigh.
May’s friend, Johnny Marks wrote the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” in 1949. The song was recorded by Gene Autry and became his all-time best seller. Next to “White Christmas” it is the most popular song of all time.
More diamonds are purchased at Christmas time than during any other holiday or occasion during the year.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie.