61 Fun Christmas Facts of the Day for Trivia or Work Events
Fun Christmas Facts are unique and interesting tidbits about the holiday season. For example, some folks hide a pickle in the tree, or Thomas Edison invented the first strand of Christmas lights. You can use these facts to get your team in the holiday spirit and teach the whole group more about Christmas.
This article includes:
- Christmas facts around the world
- holiday fun facts
- fun facts about Christmas trees
- random fun Christmas facts
- short, fun Christmas facts
- interesting Christmas facts
- funny Christmas facts
So, here are the best Christmas facts!
Christmas facts around the world
- Christmas stockings have been a tradition for centuries. This practice comes from Saint Nicholas, who was a bishop in Smyrna. When a group of sisters could not pay their dowry to get married, legend has it Saint Nicholas stuffed their stockings with gold coins after the girls laid them out to dry.
- The largest stocking in the world was 106 feet, 9 inches long by 49 feet, and 1 inch wide. This massive stocking could hold 1,000 gifts for children in London.
- In Poland, many locals decorate their homes with spiders and spider webs at Christmastime. This practice comes from the legend of a spider weaving a blanket for Baby Jesus to keep warm in the manger. The spider is a symbol of goodwill and wealth throughout the Christmas season in Poland.
- In Bolivia, many celebrate Misa del Gallo, or “Mass of the Rooster.” Locals will bring a rooster to midnight mass to honor the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus, according to their tradition.
- Another possible origin of Santa Claus is the Viking god, Odin. This deity rode an eight-legged, winged horse named Sleipnir and handed out presents and punishments throughout the land depending on behavior. Children would even fill their shoes with treats for Sleipnir.
- The practice of leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus came from the Netherlands, where children wanted to surprise Sinter Klaas and help fuel him on his long night.
- In many cultures, particularly those of Germanic descent, parents will hide a pickle in the Christmas tree. No one can open presents until someone finds the pickle, and the child to find it gets to open the first gift.
- In many Scandinavian countries, a prominent Christmas decoration is a giant Yule goat. According to Norse legend, two goats pulled Thor’s flying chariot, similar to Santa and his reindeer. Furthermore, apparently, an invisible yule goat makes the rounds the day before Christmas to check in on how locals are preparing for the holiday.
Holiday fun facts
- In the United States, about 20,000 men opt to become “Rent-a-Santas” around the holiday season. Generally, these Santas receive some training on how to be merry and bright along with practices to avoid, like eating smelly food or taking money in front of kids.
- Nog, as in Egg Nog, comes from the word grog. Grog is traditionally a rum-based drink with a few extra additions.
- For Santa to get to every child in one night, he would have to get between houses in .00002 seconds, making more than 800 million stops and traveling nearly 250 million miles. To go fast enough, Santa would have to travel 12.2 million miles per second. That is a pretty incredible trip.
- Rudolf is not one of Santa’s original reindeer. The red-nosed addition came about in 1939 as a means to sell Christmas toys to kids. Creators of this reindeer considered a few other names, like Rollo and Reginald. The animated movie sparked interest, and the rest is history.
- Norway is incredibly thankful to Great Britain for its aid during World War II. In fact, the Norwegians send the English a gigantic tree each year. The English display this tree in Trafalgar Square in London.
- If you pay special attention during the Will Ferrel movie Elf, you might notice a special guest appearance. Ming Ming, the toy supervisor in Santa’s workshop at the department store, is played by none other than Peter Billingsley. Though you might know him better by another name, Ralphie from A Christmas Story.
Fun facts about Christmas trees
- The average Christmas tree takes between 10 and 15 years to grow to an appropriate size. However, if left to grow, then these trees could reach 80 to 200 feet!
- Christmas trees can grow between two and three feet per year, depending on the variety and location.
- Americans have been buying Christmas trees to decorate their homes since 1850.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most giant Christmas tree ever displayed was in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington. This massive tree was a Douglas fir that stood 221 feet tall.
- Martin Luther is one of the original Protestant reformers with his nailing of the 95 theses. However, Luther is also believed to be one of the first people to decorate a Christmas Tree in the early 1500s. Legend states that Luther was so moved by the stars reflecting through the branches of a fir tree one evening that he chopped down a tree and decorated it with candles.
- One of the great mysteries of the White House is which president was the first to decorate a Christmas tree. Conflicting reports state it was either President Franklin Pierce in 1856 or President Benjamin Harrison in 1889. While no hard evidence exists, the White House Historical Association believes Harrison was the first when he placed the tree on the second floor in the Oval Room. At the time, it was a library and a place where the family hung out.
- Teddy Roosevelt was an avid environmentalist. To this day, American remember him for his love of national parks and animals. In 1901, he banned decorating Christmas trees in the White House.
- The most expensive Christmas tree in the world is in Spain, at the Kempinski Hotel Bahia. Keepers decorate this tree with an array of diamonds in different colors and other jewelry from Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Chanel. The tree is worth an incredible $15 million.
- Today, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is famous. But the first one to adorn the square in 1931 was nowhere near as spectacular. In fact, the original tree was only 20 feet tall and contained no lights or decorations. Nevertheless, some construction workers assigned to the area put it up to bring a little Christmas joy to the area. A few years later, a 50-foot tree started the tradition many know and love today.
Random fun Christmas facts
- Mid-December is one of the most common times to dump a romantic partner. However, Christmas Day is the least popular day to end a relationship.
- Jewish songwriters and singers penned many of the most popular Christmas songs today. For example, “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
- If you lived during the Medieval period, you would have used apples to decorate your Christmas tree!
- Today, Santa Claus comes from the historical Saint Nicholas, a bishop from the fourth century. While Santa today is jolly, the actual Saint Nicholas was not necessarily known that way. In fact, legend tells of Saint Nicholas punching Arius, a well-known heretic, in the face at a meeting.
- If you decide to decorate for the holiday season, then take extra precautions. Emergency rooms report nearly 15,000 injuries from decorating gone bad each November and December.
- Each year, countless children track Santa’s progress thanks to NORAD, or North American Aerospace Defense Command. This practice began in 1958 after a child accidentally called an unlisted number at the Continental Air Defense Command looking for Santa. The commander on duty saw a unique and fun opportunity and ran with it. The commander promised the young child he would track Santa and guarantee a safe journey to and from the North Pole.
- Most Americans know Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, but few know the inventor is also credited with inventing Christmas lights with his partner Edward H. Johnson. The pair designed the first string of electric lights in 1880.
- In 2001, A Christmas card sold at an auction for an incredible 20,000 pounds. But this was no ordinary card. This card was the first Christmas card ever sent. Sir Henry Cole sent the hand-colored card by John Calcott Horsley to his grandmother in 1843.
- The largest gingerbread house ever built was 160 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 10.1 feet tall. Though the house had a wooden base, it took 1,800 pounds of butter, 7,200 eggs, 3,000 pounds of sugar, 7,200 pounds of flour, and 22,000 pieces of candy to make the walls and roof.
Short fun Christmas facts
- While Americans have celebrated Christmas since the Pilgrims first came to the country, Christmas was not an official holiday until June 26, 1870.
- Red, green, and gold are each associated with Christmas. Red represents the blood of Jesus, green is for life and rebirth, and gold relates to riches.
- LEGO toys are incredibly popular during the Christmas season as gifts. In fact, 28 LEGO kits sell every second in December.
- If you have seen Christmas shortened to Xmas, then you might wonder where this spelling originated. The letter X is the first letter of Christ in Greek. Starting in the mid-1500s, people have shortened Christmas to X-mas.
- Historians cannot prove Jesus was born on December 25.
- Peoria, Illinois, boasts the oldest Christmas parade in America. This parade has been going strong since 1888.
- The first artificial Christmas trees were entirely goose feathers painted green.
- Tinsel was originally real silver.
- People spend around $2 billion annually on Christmas candy and treats in America.
Interesting Christmas facts
- The name Christmas comes from Christ’s Mass. A mass is a Eucharistic service in the Catholic Church.
- Christmas shopping accounts for one-sixth of all reported money spent at stores annually.
- Next time you steal a kiss under the mistletoe, think about how this plant got its name. Mistletoe comes from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, meaning “small dung twig.” This term refers to nature’s plan to fertilize and spread mistletoe. Birds eat the berries and poop out the seeds, sprouting new branches of mistletoe.
- In the early years of European settlers in America, Puritans and Catholics did not get along. In fact, Puritans believed Christmas to be an extravagant Catholic holiday and thus outlawed its celebration. The Puritans went so far as to fine anyone found celebrating the holiday. It was not until after 1681 locals could freely celebrate Christmas.
- Many people talk about the Twelve Days of Christmas. This period of almost two weeks is actually the time immediately following Christmas Day. Twelve days is how long it took for the three kings to travel to Jesus and gift him with their presents.
- Silent Night is the Christmas song that has the most significant number of singers to record it. Nearly 750 versions have graced the airwaves.
- Christmas markets are famous in many Germanic countries, particularly Germany itself. Nuremberg is home to the oldest Christmas market in the world. According to a special note held at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Miss Susanna Eleanora Erbsin bought a gift for Regina Susanna Harßdörfferin at the Nuremberg Christmas market in 1628.
- The Canadians gave Santa his own postal code. If you want to write to the big man, then you can use the address Santa Claus, North Pole, HOH OHO, Canada. But the best part about this address is Santa has some helpers who assist with letters and will send notes back.
- The largest Christmas gift in history was the Statue of Liberty. This 150-foot tall and 225-ton gift came from France in 1886.
Funny Christmas facts
- “White Christmas,” the famous Christmas song by Irving Berlin, is the most popular song of all time, selling more than 100 million copies.
- Santa did not always wear red. You could find Saint Nick in green, purple, or even blue for a period. Finally, however, Coca-Cola began dressing Santas in their trademark red, and the tradition stuck.
- Many people hear about plum pudding at Christmas, but few have tasted it. However, these Christmas cakes do not contain plums. Rather, bakers make these cakes with raisins, which people in medieval times called plums. It is a bit confusing.
- When astronauts onboard Gemini 6A were orbiting around Christmas, they played Jingle Bells, making this tune the first song ever played in space.
- In some traditions, Santa uses a cat to check each home first and ensure all the children are asleep!
- If you add up each of the gifts given in “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the total number comes to 364 gifts. Though that is quite a few repeats, the number is still astounding.
- The Germans invented candy canes as a treat for kids and a distraction during the long and tedious church services during the holiday season.
- During World War II, Allied forces sent Christmas gifts to prisoners of war. While the gift of playing cards seemed innocent, the prisoners soon found more to these presents. When the playing cards got wet, they peeled apart and revealed detailed maps of different escape routes throughout Germany.
- Brenda Lee was only 13 years old when she recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” in 1958. Many different artists have made covers of this holiday favorite throughout the years.
- The average Hallmark Channel Christmas movie takes only two weeks to film. This length is drastically shorter than the industry average, with some big-budget movies taking years to film.
- More babies are born in September than in any other month. This fact means that more people conceive babies around Christmas than at any other time of the year.
Christmas facts are unique and entertaining ways to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Whether you are looking for a fun fact about Christmas trees, like that Martin Luther likely decorated the first one, or funny Christmas facts, for instance, more people conceive babies at Christmas than any other time, this list is sure to get the entire team ready to celebrate the Christmas season in a fun way.
For more festive knowledge, check out Christmas Jeopardy questions and answers.
FAQ: Fun Christmas facts
Here are the answers to common questions about fun Christmas facts.
What are some fun Christmas facts?
Some fun Christmas facts are that shoppers buy 28 LEGO kits every second during the holiday season and that the most expensive Christmas tree in the world, valued at $15 million, is in Spain, and has an array of diamonds in different colors with other jewelry all over it.
What are some good holiday facts for work?
Some good holiday facts for work are that Saint Nicholas, the original Santa Claus is famous for punching Arius, a well-known heretic, in the face at a meeting. Or, Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story, is also in Elf with Will Ferrell.
How can you use fun facts about Christmas?
You can use these fun facts about Christmas to entertain friends or coworkers during the holiday season or at parties. Or, you could even use these as holiday trivia.