3.) Since the mid-1960s,
National Christmas Tree Association has maintained a presence in the White House at Christmas by donating a Christmas tree
to the First Family.
4.) The former Woolworth department
store first sold manufactured Christmas tree ornaments in 1880.
5.) Plastic became the primary material
used to make tinsel after their use for decorative purposes was at one time prohibited because lead was used in the manufacturing
6.) The idea of Christmas greeting
cards started in Britain in the late 1830s when John Calcott Horsley started to produce small cards that had festive scenes
and a holiday greeting written inside. Similar cards were also being made in the United States at about the same time by R.H.
Pease, in Albany, New York, and Louis Prang, who was a German immigrant. The idea of sending the greeting cards during Christmas
gained popularity in both countries about 10 years later, when new postal delivery services started.
7.) The shortened form "Xmas"
for Christmas has been popular in Europe since the 1500s. It is believed to be derived from the Greek word 'Xristos' which
8.) According to the National Confectioners
Association, for 200 years candy canes were only made in the color of white and it wasn't until in the 1950s that a machine
was invented that could automate the production of candy canes.
9.) The day after Christmas is called
"Boxing Day" in England and it is a national holiday. Several stories exist for the origination of the name. In one version, Boxing
Day is believed to have originated from the practice of boys who would go about collecting money in clay boxes.
Another version is that the term is derived from a custom in the Middle Ages, about 800 years ago, when churches would
open their 'alms boxes' and distribute the contents to poor people on the day after Christmas. Alms boxes are boxes in which
donations of gifts and money would be placed. Yet another version is that it comes from a custom of masters giving their
servants Christmas presents in boxes on the day after Christmas.
10.) Evergreen trees had special
meaning in winter to people, particularly in Europe, before Christianity started. Ancient peoples would hang evergreen branches
over their doors and windows because evergreens were believed to ward off witches, ghosts, evil spirits and illness. For worshipers
of the sun god, evergreen plants were a reminder of all the green plants that would grow with the return of summer and the
sun god being strong again.
11.) In ancient times, many people
worshiped the sun as a god in December because they thought winter occurred yearly because the sun god had fallen into ill
health. They therefore celebrated the winter solstice because it was a sign that the son god would begin to regain strength
and return to good health.
12.) Legislators in Congress did
business on Christmas Day in 1789, which was the first one to be observed under the country's new constitution. The reason
for the Congressional session was because it had become unpopular then to observe and take part in English customs following
the American Revolution. And when Christmas celebrations were barred in Boston earlier, in 1659 to 1681, it became a
costly thing to be seen participating in any event or activity related to Christmas because anyone caught doing so had to
pay five shillings!