Happy Christmas to you all and best wishes for the new year 2020. It's been a busy year for me and I'm ready for the Christmas break, I'm sure you are too. Enjoy!
1. Thank Prince Albert for your tree! Prince Albert introduced the tree to his new wife, England's Queen Victoria, then the tradition took off. The couple were sketched in front of a Christmas tree in 1848 and royal fever did its work.
2. Coca Cola came up with the red Santa suit! Well, Santa wore a variety of colourful suits through the years — including red, blue, white, and green — but legend has it that the popular image of his red coat came from a 1930's ad by Coca Cola
3. Stockings have a funny root! According to legend, hanging stockings came from the take of a poor man who couldn't afford his three daughters dowries: St. Nick dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night so that the eldest could wed — but it fell into a stocking that was drying by the fire!
4. Rudolph was almost named Reginald! Robert May first invented the oddball reindeer in 1939 for holiday colouring books. May considered naming the beloved misfit Reginald and his nose wasn't originally going to be red: A red nose was viewed as a sign of sign of chronic alcoholism, and Montgomery Ward didn't want him to seem like a drunkard. Good thing they changed it. "Reginald, the blue-nosed reindeer" doesn't have quite the same ring … or charm.
5. Jingle Bells from space! It's the first song broadcast from space. On December 16, 1965, the Gemini 6 crew serenaded Mission Control after they reported seeing a "red-suited" astronaut.
6. Christmas sends at least 15,000 people each year to A&E! From hanging lights on ladders to taking the roast out of the oven, making merry can prove hazardous. To top it off, dried Christmas trees spark hundreds of fires, an average of 17 deaths, and millions in property damage annually.
7. Washington Irving created Santa's sweet ride! Best known for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow's headless horseman, the author also came up with the idea of Santa's flying sleigh. In The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, an 1819 series of short stories, Irving recounted a dream where St. Nicholas flew across the sky in a wagon. According to legend, his stories were so popular that they sparked Christmas fever in the United States and even in England, so much so that Charles Dickens reportedly was inspired by Irving when making his own holiday classic, A Christmas Carol.
8. The Grinch stole the box office! It's hard to decide which holiday classic to watch first — or which one will be most popular with the whole family. But when it comes to the box office, the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time is How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey.
9. Xmas doesn't remove Christ from Christmas! It's quite the opposite, in fact. The word "Christianity" was spelled "Xianity" as far back as 1100. X, or Chi, in Greek is the first letter of "Christ" and served as a symbolic stand-in. In 1551, the holiday was "Xtemmas" but eventually shortened to "Xmas."
10. Mistletoe was believed to be an aphrodisiac! Stealing kisses used to be just the beginning. The holiday flora is an ancient symbol of fertility and virility — and the Druids believed it was an actual aphrodisiac. (So thank them at the next awkward holiday function.) And the name even has a funny meaning: The mistle thrush bird eats the berries, digests seeds, and the droppings eventually grow into new plants. So, the Germanic word for mistletoe literally means "dung on a twig."