What You Don't Know About Christmas (Part 1)

1. Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.

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2. The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.

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3. Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.

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4. All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

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5. The “true love” mentioned in the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” does not refer to a romantic couple, but the Catholic Church’s code for God. The person who receives the gifts represents someone who has accepted that code. For example, the “partridge in a pear tree” represents Christ. The “two turtledoves” represent the Old and New Testaments.

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6. Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzer, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female or castrati.

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7. According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

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8. 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.

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9. According to data analyzed from Facebook posts, two weeks before Christmas is one of the two most popular times for couples to break up. However, Christmas Day is the least favorite day for breakups.

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10. The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 106 feet and 9 inches (32.56 m) long and 49 feet and 1 inch (14.97 m) wide. It weighed as much as five reindeer and held almost 1,000 presents. It was made by the Children’s Society in London on December 14, 2007.

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11. Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.

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12. Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

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13. Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public. They also receive practical advice, such as not accepting money from parents while children are looking and avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch.

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14. The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner. The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker.”

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15. 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.

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What You Don't Know About Christmas (Part 2)