Interesting facts about Christmas Traditions

Interesting Facts about Christmas

There are so many facts about Christmas I wanted to share with you. I know I learned something about Christmas and why we do what we do for the holidays. Because I am the first Generation Canadian and a daughter of Portuguese Immigrants I often wonder why we celebrate certain traditions both Canadian and Portuguese. Of course you can only imagine the Portuguese didn’t celebrate Santa in my parent’s time it was the arrival of baby Jesus. Neighbours and family visited each other and ask if the baby had arrived and when the answer was yes they all had a glass of wine. Of course Wine hello, I did say Portuguese. They didn’t have trees or stockings but lots of faith and love. It wasn’t about receiving but about being with loved ones and celebrating a very special birth of a savoir to remember. So when my children came to me and asked why we do what we do for the holidays I googled and found out some very interesting things.  I had no idea about. They may not believe in Santa but we certainly believe in the spirit of Christmas.

So here are the interesting facts:

1.The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers. “So neat I thought it was a fairly new invention.”

2. Evergreens (from the Old English word aefie meaning “always” and gowan meaning “to grow”) have been symbols of eternal life and rebirth since ancient times. The pagan use and worship of evergreen boughs and trees has evolved into the Christianized Christmas tree.

3. All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts. Its about giving not receiving. But I found it interesting that this song is not about a lover gifts but a religious song. Example the partridge in a pear tree was baby Jesus.

4. In A.D. 350, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ. Some believe his birthday to be in July. Hence Christmas in July.

5. The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth; red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.

6. The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner. The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker. “Ha I thought these were to just scare my dad with the pop. Happens every year.“

7. In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas. “Hummm! I should be very Prosperous this Christmas because the spiders in my house have been busy. Maybe I should stop cleaning up after them! “

8. Mistletoe (Viscum album) is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.“ Kiss me under the Dung twig doesn’t have a good ring to it. “

9. Ancient peoples, such as the Druids, considered mistletoe sacred because it remains green and bears fruit during the winter when all other plants appear to die. Druids would cut the plant with golden sickles and never let it touch the ground. They thought it had the power to cure infertility and nervous diseases and to ward off evil. “That explains why we hang it up.”

10.The poinsettia is native to Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs, who called the plant Cuetlaxochitl (“flower which wilts”). For the Aztecs, the plant’s brilliant red color symbolized purity, and they often used it medicinally to reduce fever. Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is not poisonous, but holly berries are. “I always thought it was poisonous too!”

11. Santa Claus is based on a real person, St. Nikolas of Myra (also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker, Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna, and Nikolaos of Bari), who lived during the fourth century. Born in Patara (in modern-day Turkey), he is the world’s most popular non-Biblical saint, and artists have portrayed him more often than any other saint except Mary. He is the patron saint of banking, pawnbroking, pirating, butchery, sailing, thievery, orphans, royalty, and New York City. “Not sure why the last one was more interesting to me then the thievery and pirating.”

12. Early illustrations of St. Nicholas depict him as stern, commanding, and holding a birch rod. He was more a symbol of discipline and punishment than the jolly, overweight elf children know today. “Could this be why we decorate with birch branches? Maybe!”

13.Christmas stockings allegedly evolved from three sisters who were too poor to afford a marriage dowry and were, therefore, doomed to a life of prostitution. They were saved, however, when the wealthy Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna (the precursor to Santa Claus) crept down their chimney and generously filled their stockings with gold coins. “ any volunteers, I’ll leave the key in the door. Could use some coin lol”

14.According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there are 2,106 million children under age 18 in the world. If there are on average 2.5 children per household, Santa would have to make 842 million stops on Christmas Eve, traveling 221 million miles. To reach all 842 million stops, Santa would need to travel between houses in 2/10,000 second, which means he would need to accelerate 12.19 million miles (20.5 billion meters) per second on each stop. The force of this acceleration would reduce Santa to “chunky salsa. “ sorry but the next you eat salsa you’ll think of Santa”

Well I still believe in the magic at Christmas that shows itself to me every year and all the year through.

I hope you learned something neat that you didn’t know before and I hope that you have a very Happy Blessed Christmas with your friends and Families and that 2015 brings you much happiness, health and Peace those are gifts money just can’t buy! Make sure to leave the spiders lol! 

Merry CHRISTmasTo All

And All the Best for 2015!

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