This is my (mostly) weekly column in which I write about whatever’s on my mind — which may have nothing to do with Apple. Today’s column doesn’t, so feel free to skip it unless you just want to read 10 fun facts about Christmas.
Christmas is my favorite holiday (though winter is my least favorite season; hey, I’m a summer guy) so in that spirit here are 10 fun facts you may not know:
° Christmas is an annual Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. However, we don’t actually know when the Savior was born. There’s no mention of December 25 in the Bible and many historians say Jesus was really born in the spring. Some historians posit the date was originally chosen because it coincided with the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which honored the agricultural god Saturn with celebrating and gift-giving.
° The Christmas wreath is representative of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. Eventually, the colors of Christmas – red, green, and gold were added. Red is said to represent the blood of Jesus, green is supposed to symbolize life, and gold stands for royalty and light. And the evergreen foliage used to make Christmas wreaths symbolizes the continuity of life and nature even in the darkest days of winters.
° Ever wonder why the holidays of Christmas are referred to as the “12 days of Christmas”? Legend has it that the three kings took twelve days to travel to the birthplace of baby Jesus, hence the holidays of Christmas are known as 12 days of Christmas.
° The image of Santa Claus flying his sleigh began in 1819 and was created by Washington Irving, the same author who dreamt up the Headless Horseman.
° Alabama was the first state in the US to recognize Christmas as a holiday in the year 1836.
° The traditional Christmas meal in England before turkey became the obvious choice of food for the holidays was a pig’s head covered with mustard. Yum!
° Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first appeared in 1939 when the Montgomery Ward department store asked one of its copywriters to create a Christmas story for kids that the store could distribute as a promotion.
° James Lord Pierpont “One Horse Open Sleigh” for his church’s Thanksgiving concert in the mid-19th Century. Then in 1857, the song was re-released as “Jingle Bells” and has become a Christmas season favorite.
° “Silent Night” is the most-recorded Christmas song in history. It’s had more than 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978.
° The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 14,700 people visit hospital emergency rooms each November and December from holiday-related decorating accidents.
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