12-01-2013 Useless Christmas Factoids   Leave a comment

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Here’s Our Tree!

The end of November signals the start of all the normal Christmas insanity that most of us complain about.  Shopping, crowds, traffic jams, annoying music, and people everywhere with their hands extended looking for money.  It makes me happy not to be a religious person because if I were, I’d be really pissed off and upset.  The Christmas tradition in this country has slowly morphed into a typical American greed-fest.  I thought today I’d forward along a list of thirty factoids about the holiday from a few countries around the globe and many from the United States.  Some are crazy and others just a little bit interesting.  Enjoy them and hopefully they’ll spark some of that good old Christmas spirit from when you were a kid.  I threw that photo of our tree in just to let you know I am participating regardless of how much I complain.

  • Puritan Oliver Cromwell outlawed Christmas celebrations and carols in England from 1649-1660. The only celebrations allowed were sermons and prayers.
  • The people at Reynolds (aluminum foil) make a substantial amount of money selling foil during the Yuletide season. It has been confirmed that at least 3000 tons of foil are used to wrap turkeys annually.
  • Warning: Christmas shopping may be hazardous to your health. If you are an avid Christmas shopper statistics have concluded that you will be elbowed at least three times while shopping. Ouch!
  • Sending Christmas cards is still the in thing to do around Christmas time. Americans on average send out 28 Christmas cards to friends and family yearly, and guess what, it’s certainly not in vain either, most will receive 28 for the same period.
  • Christmas is a great time to exercise. You will walk an average of five miles between the parking lot and stores, however, don’t let this give you a false sense of security, most people still gain those pesky Christmas pounds despite this.
  • Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve. Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolizes the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.
  • In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus.
  • Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836. Oklahoma was the last state the declare Christmas a holiday.
  • The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.
  • Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.

  • All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.
  • In A.D. 350, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ.
  • According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.
  • The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth; red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.
  • According to data analyzed from Facebook posts, two weeks before Christmas is one of the two most popular times for couples to break up. However, Christmas Day is the least favorite day for breakups.
  • Contrary to popular belief, suicide rates during the Christmas holiday are low.
  • The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 106 feet and 9 inches long and 49 feet and 1 inches wide. It weighed as much as five reindeer and held almost 1,000 presents. It was made by the Children’s Society in London on December 14, 2007.
  • Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • President Teddy Roosevelt, an environmentalist, banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1912.
  • Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santa’s” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santa’s” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public.

  • Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.
  • Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.
  • In 1962, the first Christmas postage stamp was issued in the United States.
  • Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales in the U.S.
  • Because they viewed Christmas as a decadent Catholic holiday, the Puritans in America banned all Christmas celebrations from 1659-1681 with a penalty of five shillings for each offense.
  • Because of their pagan associations, both the holly (associated with the masculine principle) and the ivy (the feminine) and other green boughs in home decoration were banned by the sixth-century Christian Council of Braga.
  • There are two competing claims as to which president was the first to place a Christmas tree in the White House. Some scholars say President Franklin Pierce did in 1856; others say President Benjamin Harrison brought in the first tree in 1889. President Coolidge started the White House lighting ceremony in 1923.
  • There are approximately 21,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States.
  • The first printed reference to a Christmas tree was in 1531 in Germany.
  • Approximately 30-35 million real (living) Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S.

ENJOY THE SEASON

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