|Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect. - Linus Torvalds The creator of the Linux Open Source Operating System.|
In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, it is the custom for streets to be blocked off on Christmas Eve so people can roller skate to church.
Christmas was celebrated in the Philippines 200 years before Magellan discovered the country.
The first Christmas Club, a savings account into which a fixed amount was deposited regularly to be drawn out in November or December and use for Christmas gifts, was started in 1905. Until the 1960's they paid no interest. At that time, the government intervened and made banks pay interest.
In 1954, the movie "White Christmas" (starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) was the first to be made using the deep focus process, Vista Vision.
After the success of "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens wrote a Christmas story every year for several years. None was a successful, though.
Other names Charles Dickens considered for the Tiny Tim character in "A Christmas Carol" were Puny Pete, Little Larry and Small Sam.
Initially, Charles Dickens was going to use "Bah Christmas" instead of "Bah Humbug."
A 1995 survey showed that 70% of dogs in England got Christmas gifts.
The word "wassail" comes from the Old Norse word "ves heill" meaning "to be of good health." It became a tradition to visit neighbors on Christmas Eve and drink to their health. This began the tradition of Christmas caroling.
In early England, a traditional Christmas dinner was the head of a pig, prepared with mustard.
Americans buy 38 million real Christmas trees a year. Twenty five percent are from u-cut farms.
The average American household sends and received 28 Christmas cards.
Ross Perot, American billionaire, unsuccessfully tried to airlift 28 tons of medicine and Christmas gifts to American POWs in North Vietnam.
Animal Crackers boxes were designed with a handle so the could be hung on a Christmas tree.
Candy canes did not get their stripe until the 20th century.
The "General Grant Tree," a giant sequoia in King's Canyon National Park, California, was made to be the official American national Christmas tree. It stands 300 feet tall.
In the Ukraine, finding a spider web on Christmas morning is though to bring good luck. An artificial spider and a web are often placed on the Christmas tree.
As early as 1822, Washington, D.C. required 16 extra mail carriers to deliver mail in December due to the number of Christmas cards being sent.
The first Christmas cards were introduced by Hallmark in 1915, five years after the company's founding.
The Christmas tree tradition is believed to have started in Germany as far back as the 16th century. Queen Elizabeth's husband Albert, who was German, added the Christmas tree to the decorations in Windsor Castle. The earliest known mention of a Christmas tree in the US was in the diary of a German in Pennsylvania.
Oregon is the leading producer of Christmas tree, followed by California, Washington, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina.
Franklin Pierce was the first President to decorate an official White House Christmas tree.
Many types of Christmas trees are edible - pines, spruce and firs. The needles are a good source of Vitamin C. Pine nuts are nutritious (and very expensive in the store).
Toys for Tots started in 1947.
Christmas towns in the US: Santa Claus, Arizona; Santa Claus, Indiana; Noel Missouri; Christmas, Arizona and Christmas, Florida.
Historically, Christmas was celebrated on different dates. In the 4th century, Pope Julius made it to be celebrated on December 25 to coincide with the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. His intent was to counter that celebration with a Christian one.
Visa credit cards in the US are used about 5,340 times every minute during Christmas shopping season.
Harper's Weekly, on January 3, 1863, first depicted Santa Claus with a sleigh and reindeer, delivering presents to soldiers fight the Civil War. The cartoon was by Thomas Nast and entitled, "Santa Claus in Camp."
The English parliament passes a law in 1647 to make Christmas celebrations illegal. Feasting and revelry on a holy day were considered immoral. When the Puritans lost power in 1660, the bas was lifted.
The poinsettia was first brought to the US from Mexico in 1829 by Joel Poinsett.
The first Christmas stamp was issued in Austria in 1937.
In North America, children hang Christmas stockings. In Holland, the children set out shoes.
UNICEF produced its first Christmas card in 1949. It was drawn by a girl from the former Czechoslovakia whose town was helped by UNICEF after WWII.
Theodore Roosevelt was a staunch conservationist. He banned Christmas trees in his home, even while he lived in the White House. His children smuggled them into their bedrooms.
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