Nov 1, 2010

Holiday Fun Facts

by Kiku Reidhead

Sometimes, with the passage of time, the purpose or story behind a tradition is forgotten. We hang the wreaths, Christmas lights and mistletoe without giving much thought as to how the tradition came about. More often than not, our American Christmas traditions have fun stories behind them. So you can know them too, here are some interesting facts about Americans' favorite holiday.
  • The word "Christmas" came from the words "Christ" and "mass" combined. This gives Christmas the literal meaning of celebrating or worshiping Christ.

  • Germans were the first people to create artificial Christmas trees - made out of dyed goose feathers.

  • Christmas wreaths have been a longtime symbol of eternity because the circular nature of a wreath has no beginning and no end. The greens that make up a wreath represent the victory of life because of the ability of evergreens to prosper amidst the cold winter.

  • Rudolph was originally created for promotional purposes. He only later became a storybook legend and movie star.

  • There are five cities in America with holiday-related names: Santa Claus, Indiana; Santa Claus, Georgia; Noel, Missouri; Rudolph, Wisconsin; and Dasher, Georgia.

  • Caroling came from the English tradition of "wassailing" or wishing your neighbors good health and prosperity.

  • Lighting for Christmas trees was originally provided by candlelight. This was dangerous and finally switched out for electric light bulbs in 1895.

  • "Jingle Bells" is a popular Christmas song sung and caroled across the nation each year during the holidays. Interestingly, it was actually written for Thanksgiving.

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