Over 50 Christmas Facts, Trivia and Jokes
And… The American Christmas TreeChristmas Trees In America
(PCM) The New York Rockefeller Tree is probably America’s Most Famous. Each year, over a million locals and visitors, plus millions more on television since 1951, come to see the official lighting, now with over 40,000 lights and miles of wire.
How did we get to the point where a million people will come to New York to see the official lighting of America’s most viewed Christmas Tree? It started about 570 years ago…
In the 1440’s the ‘Brotherhood of Blackheads’ erected what is probably the first official Christmas Tree. They were basically a single men’s club in Livonia (present day Estonia and Latvia) who “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame,” according to Balthasar Russow, a well-know chronicler of the era later wrote. Simply put, it was a party.
Within one hundred years, the Christmas Tree tradition had spread to what we now call Germany where they decorated the trees with apples, nuts, dates, pretzels, paper flowers and other festive items. The trees were considered a social event, being placed in public squares and other areas where the entire community could join in festivities. Some of the very wealthy (Protestants) included trees in their homes, in part as a snub to the Catholic tradition of keeping cribs (a basic Nativity scene) in their homes.
By the early 1800s, more homes began including their trees, starting in Germany, and in America, probably with German immigrants who came to Lancaster, Pennsylvania (who claim the first Christmas Tree in 1821) or the German settlers in Easton, PA reportedly setting up the first tree in 1816. Then again, it could have been the unnamed Hessian (German) captured soldier in 1776.
Christmas became an official Federal holiday by President Ulysses S. Grant, in an attempt to unite north and south after the Civil War, in 1870. Prior to that, it was an event celebrated in churches and very localized.
By this time, Christmas Trees were in many American Households and were very carefully lit up by small candles in the trees. Melted wax was used to keep the candles on the branches. In the early 1900s, special candle holders were used; and by 1914 small lanterns had replaced the candles, although still with a significant fire-risk.
Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison, had Christmas tree light bulbs especially made for himself. He proudly displayed his Christmas tree, which was hand-wired with 80 red, white and blue electric incandescent light bulbs, about the size of walnuts, on December 22, 1882 at his home on Fifth Avenue in New York City, making him the father of electric Christmas Tree lights.
In 1895, U.S. President Grover Cleveland sponsored the first electrically lit Christmas tree in the White House, which featured about 100 multi-colored lights. It took several decades (until about 1950) before most American homes had electricity and the lights were made inexpensive enough, enabling the wide use of electrical lights like we have today.
The official National Christmas Tree has been set on the White House Grounds since 1923, and an inside tree has been in the White House every year since the mid-1800s.
Over 50 Christmas Facts, Quotes, Trivia and Jokes
What do you call a scary reindeer? . . . A caribooo!
“You’re the ones who sent me the fruitcake for Christmas. It made me so sick! ” – Aunt Edna
Why aren’t red and green grapes in the same bag at Christmastime?
Why did the gingerbread man go to the doctor? . . . He was feeling crummy!
“Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.” – Zuzu Bailey
What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? . . . Claustrophobic!
That if the movie Home Alone took place today, the film would end with Kevin’s parents in jail.
The Holly’s berries are symbolic of Christ’s blood, and the thorny leaves represent the thorns in His crown.
Why does Santa have 3 gardens? . . . So he can ho-ho-ho!
Did you know that Santa Claus has his own army? . . . He keeps it in his sleevie.
The innkeeper in the nativity story missed out on possibly the biggest business opportunity in human history.
Why was Santa’s little helper depressed? . . . Because he had low elf esteem!
Santa is an anagram for satan. They both come from climates of extreme temperature. They both have helpers. They both are associated with the color red. Coincidence? Merry Christmas.
Why aren’t red and green grapes in the same bag at Christmastime?
How long should a reindeer’s legs be? . . . Just long enough to reach the ground
Formally called Kiritimati, Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean.
In 1939, Robert May wrote the lyrics for Rudolf as copy for a Montgomery Ward department store giveaway. Music was added in 1947.
What happened when the snowgirl fell out with the snowboy? . . . She gave him the cold shoulder!
“Wassail” comes from the Old Norse “ves heill” – to be of good health.
What’s an ig? . . . An eskimo’s home without a loo!
What do snowmen wear on their heads? . . . Ice caps!
When you buy wrapping paper, you are literally buying trash.
Nobody knows how terrible I am at wrapping presents, because I always use gift bags.
No matter how you hang a Christmas ornament, it always turns around and faces the trunk of the tree. #science
O’Henry – Real Name: William Sidney Porte
What do snowmen eat for lunch? . . . Icebergers!
Louis Prang began printing Christmas cards in 1875 in his Roxbury, Massachusettes store. The cards typically were of nativity scenes, family gatherings, natural settings and Santa.
Claustrophobia should be the fear of Santa Claus.
“You’ve got the whole thing on the tree upside-down! The electric pluggee thing should be down here at the bottom, not up at the top…”
“It’s not going in our yard, Russ…it’s going in our living room.” #moviequotes
The four ghosts in Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” were the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Yet to Come, and the ghost of Jacob Marley.
Where do snowmen go to dance? . . . Snowballs!
Whispered in your child’s ear: “Off my lap, Tubby!” #things youdontwanttohear
Santa was making his job harder just to be nice to Rudolph. The more light you shine into fog, the less visibility you have.
There will be no Christmas pageant in Washington, DC this year . . . apparently they could not find three wise men.
Myrrh is an aromatic gum resin which comes from a cut in the bark of a small desert tree known as Commifera Myrrha.
The first donation in a Salvation Army collection kettle was in San Francisco, in 1891.
What sort of ball doesn’t bounce? . . . A snowball!
Santa let all the other reindeer be mean to Rudolf until he had a use for him.
Besides Santa, the only real person to be a Pez head was Betsy Ross.
What did the salt say to the pepper? . . . Season`s Greetings.
Christmas is the only time of year where it is socially acceptable and encouraged to sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of old socks.
“From what I see now, that will cut through the murkiest storm they can dish up. What I’m trying to say is, Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” – Santa
What do you get if cross a snowman and a shark? . . . Frost bite!
“This is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back. No toys. Nothing but Peter, Kate, Buzz, Megan, Linnie, and Jeff. And my aunt and my cousins. And if he has time, my Uncle Frank. Okay?” – Kevin McCallister #moviequotes
The real St. Nicholas lived in Turkey, where he was bishop of the town of Myra, in the early 4th century.
How do you call an Eskimo cow? . . . An Eskimoo!
America’s official national Christmas tree, a giant sequoia, is located in King’s Canyon National Park in California.
“Christmas is just about my favorite time. Ever since I was a little kid, I always felt like it was my own personal holiday.” – Ernest P. Worrell #moviequotes
When the children see Santa enter a room, what is that special sound called? . . . Santapplause!
<singing>It’s beginning to cost a lot like Christmas</singing>
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'” – Linus Van Pelt
“If I live to be 100, I’ll never forget that big snow storm a couple of years ago. The weather closed in and, well you might not believe it, but the world almost missed Christmas. Oh, excuse me, call me Sam. What’s the matter? Haven’t you ever seen a talking snowman before?”
– Sam The Snowman
“Frosty’s not gone for good. You see, he was made out of Christmas snow, and Christmas snow can never disappear completely. Oh, yet sometimes it goes away for almost a year at a time, and takes the form of spring and summer rain. But you can bet your boots that
when a good, jolly December wind kisses it, it will turn into Christmas snow all over again.” – Santa
“Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.” – Ralphie #moviequotes
“Every time you hear a bell ring, it means that some angel’s just got his wings. Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence Oddbody #moviequotes
“It’s Christmas Eve. It’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year we are the people that we always hoped we would be.” – Frank Cross
“Your Honor, every one of these letters is addressed to Santa Claus. The Post Office has delivered them. Therefore the Post Office Department, a branch of the Federal Government, recognizes this man Kris Kringle to be the one and only Santa Claus.” – Fred Gailey
“Then someday, you return to Christmas Town, would you tell Santa about our homeless toys? I’m sure he will find little boys and girls who will be happy with them. A toy is never truly happy until it is loved by a child.” – King Moonraiser
“Second, there are, like, thirty Ray’s Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one’s on 11th. And if you see a sign that says “Peep Show”, that doesn’t mean that they’re letting you look at the new toys before Christmas.” – Santa #moviequotes
“All right, you go back and tell them that the New York State Supreme Court rules there’s no Santa Claus. It’s all over the papers. The kids read it and they don’t hang up their stockings. Now what happens to all the toys that are supposed to be in those stockings? Nobody buys them. The toy manufacturers are going to like that; so they have to lay off a lot of their employees, union employees. Now you got the CIO and the AF of L against ya and they’re going to adore ya for it and they’re going to say it with votes. Oh, and the department stores are going to love ya too and the Christmas card makers and the candy companies. Ho ho, Henry, you’re going to be an awful popular fella. And what about the Salvation Army? Why, they got a Santy Claus on every corner, and they’re taking a fortune. But you go ahead Henry, you do it your way. You go on back in there and tell them that you rule there is no Santy Claus. Go on. But if you do, remember this: you can count on getting just two votes, your own and that district attorney’s out there.” – Charles Halloran
Maria went to the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.
‘What denomination?’ asked the clerk.
‘Oh! Good heavens! Have we come to this?’ said Maria, ‘Well give me 50 Methodist and 50 Catholic ones please.’