While you are busily checking things off your Christmas to-do list, we thought you might enjoy knowing a little bit more about some of the more popular traditions and folklore that make Christmas fun and so enjoyable. Here’s our list of little known Christmas factoids--some of which may actually surprise you! Happy Shopping--and by the way, there’s still time to get that special Christmas costume sent straight to your doorstep--don’t wait another minute, because procrastinators often end up on Santa’s naughty list!
- Santa’s Reindeer are Probably Female. Male reindeer shed their antlers during late November to early December. Since Santa’s reindeer are generally depicted with antlers, one could easily assume then that his reindeer are all female, including beloved Rudolph. You chick’s rock!
- Old What’s His Name? Santa has many aliases and depending on just where you are in the world, Santa may be known by a different name. In France, Santa is known as Père Noël. In Holland, you might find the old dude known as St. Nicholas or Sinter Klaas. Father Christmas is what you would call Santa Claus in England.
- Oh Christmas Tree! The whole idea of the Christmas tree actually comes from an ancient medieval tree that was used as part of a play during the Advent season. The Paradise Tree, as it was then known, was used while reenacting the story of Adam and Eve. An evergreen tree was decorated gaily with apples, symbolizing Eve’s temptation.
- Feliz Navidad! Poinsettias account for 88% of all plant life purchases made during the Christmas season. This traditional Christmas foliage originated in Mexico; and was brought to the United States for the first time by Joel Poinsett in 1829.
- Santa Loves Books! Rumor has it that Santa Claus’ favorite reads include, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss, “The Polar Express”, by Chris Van Allsburg, and “The Gift of The Magi” by O’ Henry.
- Let it SNOW! Santa loves to visit all children, but he definitely dresses for the snowiest climates on earth. What cities are notoriously snow-packed? Valdez, Alaska; Blue Canyon, California; Mount Washington, New Hampshire and Marquette, Michigan-- all of these places average above two feet of snow each December!
- X Marks the Spot. Some people don’t like to use the abbreviation X-MAS as a substitute for the word Christmas, thinking that it might be a bit of a sacrilegious abbreviation. The truth is that the first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi, which is the same as the Roman alphabet letter X.
- What Happened to the North Pole? It is rumored that Santa Claus may actually be living in Rovaniemi, Finland! You can actually visit Santa Claus there and see him in his workshop along with his loyal crew of elves, who are busily at work making lots of Christmas toys.
- The Holly and The Ivy: Wreaths are a big part of ancient custom dating far back into history. The Druids believed that Holly was a magical plant. Wreaths were formed out of this evergreen in a circular shape in order to symbolize eternal life. This shape took on deeper significance to Christians when Jesus Christ was crowned with a wreath of thorns.
- Christmas Smooches! Everyone loves the tradition of mistletoe! The ancient Celts thought that mistletoe was a magical plant that had special powers, including increased fertility and other healing abilities. Folks from long ago put mistletoe throughout their homes in hopes that the mystical properties of mistletoe would keep evil spirits at bay and bring health and well being to all that lived within their residence.
- Bring on the Sweet Treats! The most popular seasonal Christmas treats include: Candy Canes, Gingerbread, Pumpkin Pie, Homemade Fudge, Frosted Sugar cookies and Toffee. We’re pretty sure you can add a few of your own special goodies to this list, too!
The final countdown to Christmas has begun, but there still is time to get those last minute costumes, accessories and decorations to make your celebration extra special with lots of added Christmas sparkle and festive spirit. But you had better hurry--like the first Christmas snowfall; these special seasonal items will soon just melt away!