Christmas is almost everyone’s favorite time of year (unless you’re Scrooge!), and this wonderful holiday has centuries of history to thank for its many traditions.
I’ll go into the history of Christmas in a later post, but for now, I’ve compiled 20 fascinating Christmas trivia tidbits that you can share with your family and friends over a mince pie (or two!).
1. Christmas wasn’t always celebrated on December 25
There are many things about Christmas that we think we know for sure, such as its date — but you’d be surprised to hear that Christmas wasn’t always celebrated on December 25th. The date that we all eagerly await each year has only been a federal holiday in the USA since June 26, 1870. You can read more about the history of Christmas day on the History Channel.
Today, some Christian denominations such as the Greek Orthodox church, celebrate Christmas 13 days after the rest of the world celebrates it.
2. Christmas used to be banned in Boston
Can you believe it?! Between 1659-1681 Christmas was illegal in the city of Boston. Anyone who was caught showing the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings.
The image above shows a public notice in the local newspaper outlining what people weren’t allowed to do on Christmas Day (including dressing nicely!). People went to work and school just like on any other day.
3. Oklahoma was the last state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.
It wasn’t until 1907 that Oklahoma finally recognized Christmas as a holiday. The first state was Alabama, in 1836.
4. Charles Dickens wrote a Christmas story every year
After the success of his book A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens wrote a new Christmas story every single year. However, none of them were ever as popular as his first.
5. Guatemalans don’t exchange gifts on Christmas Day
If you live in Guatemala, you still celebrate Christmas on December 25, but you don’t actually exchange your gifts until New Years Day.
6. It takes seven years to grow a Christmas tree
The beautiful tree you have in your home every year takes an average of seven years to grow — although some can take up to 15 years.
7. Santa Claus travels very very fast
To get to all his presents to the world’s kids on Christmas Day, Santa needs to travel at 4,796,250 MPH! That’s pretty fast…
8. “White Christmas” is the best-selling Christmas record of all time
Bing Crosby’s classic album was released in 1942 and is still the best-selling Christmas record of all time — not even Mariah has beaten him!
9. The first Christmas trees were made from goose feathers
Germans created the first ever artificial Christmas trees from goose feathers back in the mid 1800’s. In fact, goose feather trees are still popular today and are a great choice if you want a unique and traditional Christmas feel in your home.
10. All letters to Santa Claus end up in Indiana
If you address a letter to Santa Claus from within the United States it will find its way to a giant mailbox in Santa Claus, Indiana!
Did you learn something new about Christmas?! 🙂