By Sandy Mittelsteadt
Valley Ag Voice
I thought you might enjoy reading these Christmas facts. You never know when this information may be helpful, and especially appropriate to keep the conversation flowing during those Christmas parties.
• The word “Christmas” means Christian Mass.
• Christmas means the birth of Jesus, the Messiah or Savior.
• Jesus was probably born between 7 and 2 BC.
• Jesus was possibly born during the Feast of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), which occurs in September or October.
• Jesus was born in Bethlehem, where the sacrificial sheep meant for the temple sacrifices were born. (Jesus is the Lamb of God and is the perfect sacrifice, so it is appropriate that He was also born in Bethlehem.
• Sheep were swaddled to keep them unblemished, as only unblemished sheep could be offered as sacrifices in the Temple. (As the Lamb of God, Jesus was also swaddled.)
• Every time a sacrificial lamb was born in Bethlehem, the shepherds would announce that lamb’s birth. (As Jesus was also a sacrificial lamb, his birth had to be announced. God used the angels to make this announcement.)
• It wasn’t until the 4th century that the Roman Catholic Church designated the 25th of December to be Jesus’ birth date.
• During the late 1300s, the word “Noel” was used in the English language. Noel came from the Latin word, “Natalis,” which means “day of birth.”
• Christmas wreaths originally symbolized Jesus’ crown of thorns.
• The Christmas colors of red stands for the blood of Jesus, green means for life, and gold symbolizes royalty.
• Gift-giving became a tradition during Christmas to symbolize the gifts that the three wise men gave baby Jesus.
• Nuns in the 12th century filled socks filled with fruits and nuts and placed them at the doors of the poor.
• In the early 16th century, German Christians were the first to use Christmas trees inside their homes and Martin Luther was said to be the first person to use candles to decorate the Christmas tree.
• St. Francis of Assisi started the custom of singing carols in the church during the Christmas season. This comes from the English tradition of wassailing, which is to toast for someone’s good life and health.
• Santa Claus comes from the legend of St. Nicholas, who lived in Asia Minor (which is now Turkey). Over 2,000 churches are dedicated to him in Germany and France and 400 in England.
• Washington Irving in 1819 created the image of Santa Claus riding a sleigh.
• Coca-Cola advertisements in 1931 had an image of a jolly, fat man in a red and white suit.
• Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, was used by Montgomery Department Store for Christmas coloring books.
• Bing Crosby’s White Christmas became the best-selling Christmas song of all time. It has sold 50 million copies around the world.
• In 1870, France gave the largest Christmas gift to the United States; it was the Statue of Liberty.
• Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the US in 1870.
• The first Christmas cards were created and sold by Hallmark in 1915.
• Joel Poinsett bought a flower to the US from Mexico in 1829. This flower became the traditional Christmas flower as it was known in Mexico as the “Flower of the Holy Night.”
• Christmas was illegal in England under the Puritans during Oliver Cromwell’s rule.
• Before roast turkey became a favorite at Christmas, the traditional English Christmas food was boar’s head and mustard.
Hope you had a blessed Merry Christmas!