Christmas comes from Old English, "Cristes maesse" or "Mass of Christ."

A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

"White Christmas," released in 1954, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, was the first movie to be made in Vista Vision.

The holiday classic, "It's A Wonderful Life," was originally a box office flop.

The real Santa Claus was born in 280 A.D. as Nicholas. He commonly wore a red and white Bishop's robe.

"Xmas" is considered by some to be a disrespectful abbreviation. But the Old English word for Christmas begins with X. The Greek word for "Christ," from which the English is derived, begins with the Greek letter chi, or X. So, X is an appropriate abbreviation for Christ.

The first electric Christmas tree lights were telephone switchboard lights.

About 400,000 people get sick each year from consuming tainted Christmas leftovers.

In 1907, Oklahoma became the last U.S. state to make Christmas a legal holiday.

America's official national Christmas tree grows in California's King's Canyon National Park. The tree is a giant sequoia standing more than 300 feet high, and it's called the "General Grant Tree."

Christmas trees are edible. Many parts of pines, spruces and firs can be eaten.

According to the laws of the time, Joseph could have had Mary stoned to death for becoming pregnant.

"Hot Cockles" was a popular game at Christmas in medieval times. In the game, players took turns striking a blindfolded player, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow.


Toys for Tots held its first toy drive in 1947.

Boris Karloff was the voice of the Grinch in the animated classic, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

During the Christmas shopping season, Visa cards alone are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the US

According to a recent survey, seven out of 10 dogs in Great Britain get Christmas gifts from their owners.

"Wassail" comes from the Old Norse term, "ves heill," meaning "to be of good health." This evolved into the popular holiday tradition of visiting neighbors on Christmas Eve and drinking to their health.

The average American household will send out 28 Christmas cards each year, and will receive the same number in return.

Boxing Day, celebrated in Canada, has nothing to do with fighting. It refers to the custom of giving gift boxes to employees the day after Christmas. Originally, it was the day Christmas presents were given in England.

Jesus Christ was born in a cave, not in a stable.

The first Christmas card was made in England on December 9, 1842.

The ancient Druids believed the sparks from a burning log carried wishes for a prosperous New Year to the gods, hence the tradition of yule logs.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans buy 37.1 million real Christmas trees each year.

Charles Dickens wrote several Christmas stories after "A Christmas Carol," one each year, in fact, but none could match the success of the original.

The Julbock is a common Christmas decoration in Sweden. It's a small figurine of a goat made from straw.

In Sweden, the "tomte" is a Christmas gnome.

According to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," the Grinch was so mean because his heart was two sizes too small.

There are about 5,000 "choose and cut" Christmas tree farms in the US

St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children, scholars, merchants, sailors and women without dowries.

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