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50 Things You Don’t Know About ‘X’mas                                                                                        13





          Christmas facts: 50 things                             10. Christmas Trees: Nearly 60 million Noel in France and Deushka Moroz
                                                         Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe.  (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.
             yule never know about                       11. Noel: The word Noel derives from the               31. Christ's Mass: The word Christmas
                                                         French expression "les bonnes nouvelles" or comes from the Old English "Cristes maesse"
                        Christmas
                                                         "the good news".                                meaning "Christ's Mass".
                                                                 12. Baby Jesus:  Jesus was probably            32. Bing Cosby: The bestselling Xmas
                                                         born in a cave and not a wooden stable, say single ever is Bing Crosby's White Christmas,
                                                         Biblical scholars.                              shifting over 50million copies worldwide since
                                                                 13. Xmas: The abbreviation Xmas isn't 1942.
                                                         irreligious. The letter X is a Greek abbreviation      33. Band Aid: In Britain, the best-selling
                                                         for Christ.                                     festive single is Band Aid's 1984 track, Do They
                                                                 14. Tallest Tree: The world's tallest Know It's Christmas?, which sold 3.5million
                                                         Xmas tree at 221ft high was erected in a copies.  Wham! is next in the same year with
                                                         Washington shopping mall in 1950.               Last Christmas, selling 1.4million.
                                                                 15. White Christmas: The chances of a          34. Artificial  Trees: Upside-down
                                                         white Christmas are just 1 in 10 for England and artificial Xmas trees are sold to allow more gifts
                                                         Wales, and 1 in 6 for Scotland and Northern to be piled under.
                                                         Ireland.                                               35. Oslo: Since 1947 Oslo has sent an
                                                                 16.  The Birth of Jesus:        Many    Xmas tree to London to thank us for our help in
                                                         theologians estimate that Jesus wasn't born on the Second World War.
                                                         December 25 but sometime in September                  36. Christmas Pudding: Christmas
                                                         between 6BC and 30AD.                           pudding was originally a soup made with raisins
                                                                 17. Jingle Bells: James Pierpont's 1857 and wine.
                                                         song Jingle Bells was first called One Horse           37.    Cracker      Design:    London
                                                         Open Sleigh and was written for Thanksgiving.   sweetmaker  Tom Smith created the first
                                                                 18. Turkey:  Before turkey, the Christmas crackers in 1847, based on the sweet
                                                         traditional Christmas meal in England was a wrapper design.
                                                         pig's head and mustard.                                38. Dutch Santa: Santa Claus comes
                                                                 19. Banning Christmas: In 1647, after from a Dutch folk tale based on Saint Nicholas,
                                                         the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell banned or Sinterklaas, who gave gifts on December 6.
                                                         festivities. The law wasn't lifted until 1660.         39. Boxing Day:  Boxing Day gets its
                                                                 20.  World's Biggest Snowman: In        name from all the money collected in church
                                                         1999, residents of the state of Maine in America alms-boxes for the poor.
          After queuing up to get your turkey, you arrive built the world's biggest ever snowman. He            39. Mistletoe Kisses: Kissing under the
          home only to find the cat has swallowed most of stood at 113ft tall.                           mistletoe is thought to spring from Frigga, the
          the tinsel and you completely forgot to buy any        21.  A Merry Greek Christmas: The Norse goddess of love, who was associated with
          tangerines.                                    Greeks celebrate Christmas on January 7, the plant.
                 But have you ever stopped to wonder according to the old Julian calendar, while Xmas           41. The  Beatles:  The Beatles hold the
          how these traditions started - why we kiss under presents are opened on New Year's Day.        record for most Xmas number 1 singles, topping
          the mistletoe, or give each other stockings full of    22. Eating a Christmas  Tree: Many      the charts in 1963, 65 and 67.
          goodies?                                       parts of the Christmas tree can actually be eaten,     42. Electric  Trees:  Electric tree lights
                                                         with the needles being a good source of Vitamin were invented by Edward Johnson in the US in
                 1. Speedy Santa:       US scientists C.                                                 1882.
          calculated that Santa would have to visit 822          23. Holly: The holly in a wreath               43. Early Christmas Trees: They may
          homes a second to deliver all the world's symbolises Christ's crown of thorns while the date back to pagan traditions, but the earliest
          presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 red berries are drops of his blood.               known reference to a Christmas tree is in a
          miles a second.                                        24. Christmas Cards:        The first German pamphlet from 1570.
                 2. Robins: Robins on cards were a joke commercial        Christmas     cards     were          44. Christmas Movies: The highest-
          150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole in grossing Christmas movie is 2000's How  The
          and were named after them.                     London in 1843. Featuring a family drinking Grinch Stole Christmas, which has raked in
                 3. Mince Pies: Although now mostly wine, one sold for #8,469 last year.                 #175m so far.
          vegetarian, in Victorian times, mince pies were        25. Hanging Presents:         Hanging          45. Santa in Iceland: There are 13
          made with beef and spices.                     presents on trees may come from the Druids Santas in Iceland, each leaving a gift for
                 4. Tangerines: The tradition of putting who believed the tree was the giver of all good children. They come down from the mountain
          tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century things.                                        one by one, starting on December 12 and have
          French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and     26. Christmas Crackers: The largest names like Spoon Licker, Door Sniffer and Meat
          tangerines at the houses of the poor.          Christmas cracker - 45.72m long and 3.04m in Hook.
                 5. Three Wise Men? Despite the tale of diameter - was pulled in Australia in 1991.             46. Rudolph the Reindeer: Rudolph the
          three wise men paying homage to baby Jesus,            27. Shopping Spree: The long shopping red-nosed reindeer was invented for a US firm's
          the Bible never gives a number. Matthew's spree before Christmas began in America when Christmas promotion in 1938.
          Gospel refers to merely "wise men".            relatives of soldiers posted overseas in the           47. Chocolate Coins: Gold-wrapped
                 6. Wassailing: Carols began as an old Second  World  War were encouraged to mail chocolate coins commemorate St Nicholas who
          English custom called wassailing, toasting gifts early.                                        gave bags of gold coins to the poor.
          neighbours to a long life.                             28. Christmas Songs: Jingle Bells was          48.  The First Christmas: THE first
                 7. Carols: Carols weren't sung in the first song broadcast from space when Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to
          churches until they were introduced by St Gemini 6 astronauts  Tom Stafford and  Wally have been in York in 521AD.
          Francis of Assisi in the 13th century.         Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.                  49. Christmas Bonus Law: IN Greece,
                 8. Stockings: Hanging stockings out             29. Christmas Comets: Astronomers       Italy, Spain and Germany, workers get a
          comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes believe the Star Of Bethlehem, which guided the Christmas bonus of one month's salary by law.
          packed with food for St Nicholas's donkeys. He wisemen to Jesus, may have been a comet or the         50. Czech Christmas:  In the Czech
          would leave small gifts in return.             planet Uranus.                                  Republic they enjoy dinners of fish soup, eggs
                 9. Angels  Singing?: There is no                30. The Many Names of Santa: Santa and carp. The number of people at the table must
          reference to angels singing anywhere in the has different names around the world - Kriss be even, or the one without a partner will die
          Bible.                                         Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere next year.[]
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