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The story of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was inspired by the tale of "The Ugly Duckling."
In Russia, Santa is known as Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost).
The first President to decorate an official White House Christmas tree was Franklin Pierce.
Mexicans call the poinsettia "Flower of the Holy Night."
"Twas a Night Before Christmas," written by Clement Moore in 1823, was originally known as "A Visit From St. Nicholas."
Jesus wasn't born on December 25, and estimates of the year of Christ's birth range from about 14 years B.C. to as late as 23 A.D.
More than three billion Christmas cards are sent each year in the United States.
Super Bowl Sunday ranks as the third-largest occasion, behind Christmas and Thanksgiving, for Americans to consume food, according to the NFL.
One in three American men say they wait until Christmas Eve to finish their holiday shopping.
In America, children put stockings out at Christmas time. The Dutch use shoes.
"Rudolph" was created by copywriter Robert L. May as part of a holiday promotion for Montgomery Ward in 1939. Rudolph's story was inspired, at least in part, by the story "The Ugly Duckling." Other names considered for Rudolph were Rollo and Reginald.
The first charity Christmas card was produced by UNICEF in 1949.
The Bible doesn't say Mary and Joseph made their trip to Bethlehem on a donkey.
The name of the horse in the timeless holiday song "Jingle Bells" is Bobtail. Hence the line "bells on Bobtail ring, making spirits bright."
Mistletoe got its start as a holiday tradition because of its association with Frigga, the Scandinavian goddess of love.
To Christians, holly berries symbolize Christ's blood and the pointed holly leaves represent the thorns in his crown.
Poinsettias are the most popular Christmas plant and are the number one flowering potted plant in the United States.
The practice of putting a lump of coal in the stockings of naughty children originated in Italy.
In the Bible, it doesn't say there were three Wise Men.
The reindeer's name is Donder, not Donner.
It takes an average of seven years to grow a Christmas tree of average retail sale height (six feet).
Fifty-six percent of Americans say they sing Christmas carols to their pets.
In the 1966 "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" TV special, the person singing the theme song is Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger of Kellogg's fame.
The top three Christmas trees in terms of sales are Balsam fir, Douglas fir and Fraser fir.
Experts agree that Twisted Billboards is the best Christmas stocking-stuffer ever. And we're not just saying that because we wrote it.
If you received all the gifts in the song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," you'd get 364 presents.
The first American Christmas carol was written in 1649 by a minister named John de Brebeur. The song was "Jesus is Born."
Frosty's last words were, "Merry Christmas to all, to all a good night!"
Due to the way time zones work, Santa actually has 31 hours to deliver his gifts.
In Italy, it isn't Santa who delivers gifts to children, it's a kindly witch called La Befana.
Despite what many people believe, poinsettia plants aren't poisonous to humans.
In 1836, Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday.
The song lyric is "God rest ye merry, gentlemen," not "God rest ye, merry gentlemen."
Christmas pudding originates from an old Celtic dish called frumenty.
In Greek legend, creatures called Kallikantzaroi play troublesome pranks at Christmas time. To get rid of them, the legend holds that one should burn either an old shoe or salt.
Hallmark introduced its first Christmas cards in 1915, five years after the company was founded.
About 31% of all diamond purchases are made during the Christmas season.
Most artificial Christmas trees are manufactured in Korea, Taiwan or Hong Kong.
For every real Christmas tree harvested, two to three seedlings are planted to replace it.
Despite what many think, the day after Thanksgiving, called "Black Friday," isn't the busiest shopping day of the year. The Friday and Saturday before Christmas are the two busiest shopping days of the year.
In France, Christmas is called "Noel." Noel comes from the French phrase "les bonnes nouvelles," meaning "the good news."
The string on Animal Crackers boxes were designed so the boxes could be hung on a Christmas trees.
In Hawaii, Santa is called Kanakaloka.
The biggest-selling Christmas single of all time is Bing Crosby's, "White Christmas."
Before he picked the name Tiny Tim for "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens also considered using Little Larry, Puny Pete and Small Sam.
Oregon is the leading producer of Christmas trees.
Candy canes began as straight white sticks of sugar candy used to decorated the Christmas trees. A choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral had the idea to bend the ends to resemble a shepherd's crook. The treats were passed out during services to keep the children quiet. Candy canes got their red stripes much later.
Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean, was formerly called Kiritimati.
There are towns named Santa Claus in Arizona and Indiana, one named Noel in Missouri, and towns named Christmas in Arizona and Florida.
Fifty-three percent of Americans claim they'll "re-gift" this Christmas.
On average, about 2,000 Christmas trees are planted per acre.
At one point, tinsel was banned by the government because it contained lead. Now it's made of plastic.
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 U.S.
St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children, scholars, merchants, sailors and women without dowries.
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