The Most Shocking Christmas Trivia You Probably Didn’t Know
Everywhere you look, there always seems to be a Christmas ornament here and there right now, with the mistletoe and the stockings and the jolly old man in the red coat. But despite seeing these holiday icons every single year, do you know about their origins and how they came to be? Check out these shocking yet interesting Christmas trivia to amp up your conversation starters for your next holiday get-together.
- December 25 was never really stated as Jesus’ birthday in the Bible.
The Gospels have always had various seasonal references, but if you look closely, the Bible doesn’t really indicate the 25th of December as the day Jesus Christ was born. Some have even speculated that Jesus was born in the spring due to the shepherds tending their flocks and the lambs being born.
- Those popular striped candy canes were originally in plain white.
Made by a German choirmaster in 1670, the candy canes were supposed to encourage children to endure nativity services at the time. Because these candies were modeled after shepherd canes, they were originally in plain white, which was pretty boring, honestly! The colors were changed eventually in 1847 in America when a German immigrant used the candy to decorate his tree.
- Merrymaking is a winter response.
According to researcher Philip Shaw of Leicester University, “If you happen to live in a region in which midwinter brings striking darkness and cold and hunger, then the urge to have a celebration at the very heart of it to avoid going mad or falling into deep depression is very, very strong.” This means that because of the winter solstice, it’s actually a very natural thing to want to hang up bright lights and make merry.
- Where did Christmas stockings come from?
They say that jolly old Saint Nicholas used to place coins down poor women’s chimneys, causing the coins to land in stockings that were drying over the fireplace. It was also said that Saint Nicholas once gave away a bag of gold by throwing it down the chimney of a poor man who couldn’t afford the dowry of his daughters, and that was that! If you don’t have a bag of gold, however, you can still make other people happy this Christmas by stuffing their stockings with these gifts: http://taste.company/trends/shopping/christmas-stocking-stuffers/.
- Santa Claus has a very interesting history.
Contrary to popular belief, Coca Cola did NOT create the Santa Claus we know and love today. The Dutch have always celebrated the life of Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas, a crimson-miter-wearing philanthropist who often shared his wealth by giving presents to children around November. Then, in 1773, Washington Irving mentioned in “History of New York” that the gift-giving legend was a sailor in a green coat and liked to smoke pipes. Eventually, when author Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A Visit from St. Nicholas” or “The Night Before Christmas”, Santa Claus was transformed into the man with a jolly laughter and a big belly. Santa even has his very own zip code, because when the Canadian Post Office workers started receiving letters to Santa and started answering them, they decided to set up a special zip code for the “Santa Letter-Writing Program” with the witty code “H0H 0H0”. You can find out more about our favourite gift-giver here: http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/santa-claus.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer also has some equally shocking Christmas trivia.
Would you believe that Rudolph was created by a department store? Montgomery Ward wanted to promote its coloring books to children as a marketing gimmick, and assigned copywriter Robert L. May in 1939 with the task. Rudolph was even almost named Rollo or Reginald in the original draft! If you want to know how it all came to be, you can check out these facts here: https://www.thoughtco.com/the-true-story-of-rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-3299068.
- There is a version of Santa that kidnaps children.
Yes, Santa and Rudolph both have interesting histories, but Iceland has even more shocking Christmas trivia. With their Christmas tradition of 13 “Yuletide Lads”, some “Santas” reward those who have been nice, and punish those who have been naughty with pranks. One example is the horrific old woman named Grýla who kidnaps children for being naughty. If that doesn’t make you want to scramble for a spot in Santa’s “Nice” list, nothing will!