50 things yule never know about Christmas

50 things yule never know about Christmas...

A few facts that will impress your friends and family on Christmas Day!!

Santa in his sleigh travelling at 650 miles per second1. Speedy Santa

US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world's presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.

2. Robins

ROBINS on cards were a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics and were named after them.

3. Mince Pies

ALTHOUGH now mostly vegetarian, in Victorian times, mince pies were made with beef and spices.

4. Tangerines

THE tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and tangerines at the houses of the poor.

5. Three Wise Men?

DESPITE the tale of three wise men paying homage to baby Jesus, the Bible never gives a number. Matthew's Gospel refers to merely "wise men".

6. Wassailing

CAROLS began as an old English custom called wassailing, toasting neighbours to a long life.

7. Carols

CAROLS weren't sung in churches until they were introduced by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century.

christmas stocking over fireplace8. Stockings

HANGING stockings out comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas's donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.

9. Angels Singing?

THERE is no reference to angels singing anywhere in the Bible.

10. Christmas Trees

NEARLY 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe.

11. Noel

THE word Noel derives from the French expression "les bonnes nouvelles" or "the good news".

12. Baby Jesus

JESUS was probably born in a cave and not a wooden stable, say Biblical scholars.

13. Xmas

THE abbreviation Xmas isn't irreligious. The letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ.

14. Tallest Tree

THE world's tallest Xmas tree at 221ft high was erected in a Washington shopping mall in 1950.

White Christmas with boy pulling sled15. White Christmas

THE chances of a white Christmas are just 1 in 10 for England and Wales, and 1 in 6 for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

16. The Birth of Jesus

MANY theologians estimate that Jesus wasn't born on December 25 but sometime in September between 6BC and 30AD.

17. Jingle Bells

JAMES Pierpont's 1857 song Jingle Bells was first called One Horse Open Sleigh and was written for Thanksgiving.

18. Turkey

BEFORE turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig's head and mustard.

19. Banning Christmas

IN 1647, after the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell banned festivities. The law wasn't lifted until 1660.

20. World's Biggest Snowman

In 1999, residents of the state of Maine in America built the world's biggest ever snowman. He stood at 113ft tall.

21. A Merry Greek Christmas

THE Greeks celebrate Christmas on January 7, according to the old Julian calendar, while Xmas presents are opened on New Year's Day.

22. Eating a Christmas Tree

MANY parts of the Christmas tree can actually be eaten, with the needles being a good source of Vitamin C.

christmas wreath made of holly23. Holly

THE holly in a wreath symbolises Christ's crown of thorns while the red berries are drops of his blood.

24. Christmas Cards

THE first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843. Featuring a family drinking wine, one sold for #8,469 last year.

25. Hanging Presents

HANGING presents on trees may come from the Druids who believed the tree was the giver of all good things.

26. Christmas Crackers

THE largest Christmas cracker - 45.72m long and 3.04m in diameter - was pulled in Australia in 1991.

27. Shopping Spree

THE long shopping spree before Christmas began in America when relatives of soldiers posted overseas in the Second World War were encouraged to mail gifts early.

28. Christmas Songs

JINGLE Bells was the first song broadcast from space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.

29. Christmas Comets

ASTRONOMERS believe the Star Of Bethlehem, which guided the wisemen to Jesus, may have been a comet or the planet Uranus.

30. The Many Names of Santa

SANTA has different names around the world - Kriss Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.

31. Christ's Mass

THE word Christmas comes from the Old English "Cristes maesse" meaning "Christ's Mass".

32. Bing Cosby

THE bestselling Xmas single ever is Bing Crosby's White Christmas, shifting over 50million copies worldwide since 1942.

33. Band Aid

IN Britain, the best-selling festive single is Band Aid's 1984 track, Do They Know It's Christmas?, which sold 3.5million copies. Wham! is next in the same year with Last Christmas, selling 1.4million.

34. Artificial Trees

UPSIDE-down artificial Xmas trees are sold to allow more gifts to be piled under.

35. Oslo

SINCE 1947 Oslo has sent a Xmas tree to London to thank us for our help in the Second World War.

36. Christmas Pudding

CHRISTMAS pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine.

37. Cracker Design

LONDON sweetmaker Tom Smith created the first Christmas crackers in 1847, based on the sweet wrapper design.

38. Dutch Santa

SANTA Claus comes from a Dutch folk tale based on Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, who gave gifts on December 6.

39. Boxing Day

BOXING Day gets its name from all the money collected in church alms-boxes for the poor.

39. Mistletoe Kisses

KISSING under the mistletoe is thought to spring from Frigga, the Norse goddess of love, who was associated with the plant.

41. The Beatles

THE Beatles hold the record for most Xmas number 1 singles, topping the charts in 1963, 65 and 67.

42. Electric Trees

ELECTRIC tree lights were invented by Edward Johnson in the US in 1882.

43. Early Christmas Trees

THEY may date back to pagan traditions, but the earliest known reference to a Christmas tree is in a German pamphlet from 1570.

44. Christmas Movies

THE highest-grossing Christmas movie is 2000's How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has raked in #175m so far.

45. Santa in Iceland

THERE are 13 Santas in Iceland, each leaving a gift for children. They come down from the mountain one by one, starting on December 12 and have names like Spoon Licker, Door Sniffer and Meat Hook.

46. Rudolph the Reindeer

RUDOLPH the red-nosed reindeer was invented for a US firm's Christmas promotion in 1938.

47. Chocolate Coins

GOLD-wrapped chocolate coins commemorate St Nicholas who gave bags of gold coins to the poor.

48. The First Christmas

THE first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.

49. Christmas Bonus Law

IN Greece, Italy, Spain and Germany, workers get a Christmas bonus of one month's salary by law.

50. Czech Christmas

IN the Czech Republic they enjoy dinners of fish soup, eggs and carp. The number of people at the table must be even, or the one without a partner will die next year.


How much did you know? Have a lovely Christmas and see you on the other side.

Best wishes,

Jane, Tanya and the team at Bartley Marketing


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