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See also: Christmas FOOD Trivia; Christmas Food Customs; Christmas Advertising; Christmas Tree Trivia; Eggnog Riot; Holiday Recipes; Christmas Quotes; Holiday Articles

CHRISTMAS TRIVIA (not food related)

Note: These fun Christmas facts and trivia are about the secular aspects of this day, and are not in any way intended to trivialize this important Christian Holy Day.

On Christmas Day, December 25, 1830, the Best Friend of Charleston became the first regularly scheduled steam locomotive passenger train in the United States. The locomotive made its initial run on the first six miles of track of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company.

Christmas season is also Diamond season. More diamonds are purchased during Christmastime than any other time of year.

In 1690 Scotland celebrated Christmas officially for the last time until 1958.

In 1836 Alabama became the first U.S. state to recognize Christmas as a legal holiday.

In 354 A.D. Pope Liberius designated December 25 as the official date of Christmas.

In 877 A.D. English servants are given a 12 day Christmas holiday by Alfred the Great.

'Jingle Bell Rock' was originally recorded by Bobby Helms in 1957. Composed by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe, the song has since been recorded by more than 25 different artists, including The Platters, Chubby Checker, Johnny Mathis, Dion, George Strait, and Hilary Duff.

The 12 Days of Christmas Gifts from the Christmas song:  A partridge in a pear tree;  Two turtle doves;  Three French hens;  Four calling birds;  Five golden rings;  Six geese a-laying;  Seven swans a-swimming;  Eight maids a-milking;  Nine ladies dancing;  Ten lords a-leaping;  Eleven pipers piping;  Twelve drummers drumming.

The song 'White Christmas' was written by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby in the 1942 movie 'Holiday Inn.'  Crosby also sang it in the 1954 movie 'White Christmas.'  The song has sold more than 100 million copies world wide and is the best selling Christmas song of all time.

The only Christmas Song to be #1 in the U.S. on Christmas Day:  
In 1958 the #1 song on Christmas Day was 'The Chipmunk Song' by David Seville (Ross Bagdasarian) as sung by Alvin, Simon and Theodore (the 3 Chipmunks). No other Christmas song has ever been #1 in the U.S. on Christmas Day.

The celebration of Christmas was banned in Boston from 1659 to 1681. Anyone showing Christmas spirit was fined 5 shillings!  This was due to the pilgrims belief that it was a decadent celebration.

• In Australia, Father Christmas uses six white boomers (male kangaroos)
• In the Louisiana swamps he travels in a pirogue drawn by alligators and a red nosed werewolf
• In the Netherlands St. Nicholas rides on a tall white horse.
• Other modes of transportation for Santa Claus are a donkey (Switzerland), a broom (Italy), a dugout canoe, (Hawaii).

'The Children's Friend' an 8 verse poem published in 1821 was the first printed mention of flying reindeer and Santa's sleigh. The author is uncertain.

    "Old Santeclaus with much delight
    His reindeer drives this frosty night.
    O'er chimney tops, and tracks of snow,
    To bring his yearly gifts to you....."

This poem also connects Santa with northern winters and snow and was an influence in helping to shape the American view of Santa Claus. One year later in 1822, Dr. Clement Clark Moore wrote a poem for his children. It was published without his permission the following year in the December 23, 1823 issue of the 'Troy Sentinel.' This poem was most responsible for shaping the American notion of Santa Claus. It was entitled 'A Visit from St. Nicholas' and begins: ”Twas the night before Christmas...." - you know the rest.

Christmas may have been celebrated in the 'New World' long before Columbus arrived. Vikings inhabiting Newfoundland around 1,000 AD were Christians, and might very well have celebrated the Feast of the Nativity.

Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.
 

 

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