Fun Facts about all things Christmas
- One of the most popular Christmas songs is "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer" which was composed by Robert May back in 1939. May also considered using the names Reginald and Rollo. It was tied into an advertizing campaign by Montgomery Ward department stores. Rudolph was never mentioned in Twas the Night Before Christmas.
- The first commercial Christmas cards went on sale in London in 1843. In America, the first Christmas cards were printed in 1875. Billions and billions have been sent since then. Even with the advent of email between one and two billion are sent each year.
- In America the first commercial artificial tree (we still prefer the term "fake tree") was created in the 1930's by the Addis Brush Company. Artificial trees had a humble (and appropriate) beginning as they were manufactured by the machines the company used to make toilet brushes.
- Did you know that we have an official national Christmas tree? It is located in Kings Canyon National Park in California. The tree is a 300 foot giant Sequoia which, in 1923, became our official Christmas tree. Now you know where to go on your next vacation.
- Christmas carols are thought to date back to at least the 13th century. Legend has it that St. Francis of Assisi first introduced them at a Christmas midnight mass. It's probably their specific association with Christmas that distinguishes a carol from a hymn. The term noel also refers to a carol.
- Gift giving over the winter months was an established custom practiced by the Romans even before the time of Christ. Thus, it was natural that when early Christians first began to celebrate Christ's birthday (a couple of hundred years after his death) that gift giving was a part of it; especially because of the biblical stories about the Magi bearing gifts.
- From 2005 through 2014, America's Christmas tree growers have donated over 150,000 Christmas trees to U.S. service personal through the Trees for Troops program sponsored by the Christmas Spirit Foundation. This year (2015), roughly another 18,000 will be donated. They have gone to over 60 U.S. and 7 overseas military bases. Learn more at www.treesfortroops.org