Christmas is a wonderful time of year where people around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. As we gear up for the celebrations that accompany this important holiday, we thought we'd explore a few of the fun facts surrounding the Christmas season. So, let's dive right in to some Christmas fun facts!
Christmas Fun Facts: Coca-Cola Brought Us Santa...Sort Of
As we explore facts about Christmas, we can't ignore Santa Claus. Soda company Coca-Cola apparently played a big role in the image we have all come to know of Santa.
Of course, the company didn't create Santa (there's a long history there worth exploring), but Coca-Cola played a role in crafting the current image of the jolly gift-giver.
According to Good Housekeeping, in 1931 the company hired an illustrator named Haddon Sundblom to create magazine ads featuring Santa, and that's one of the ways we ended up with the smiley, jolly, red-suit wearing Santa Claus we see today.
Santa has long been a Coca-Cola staple in holiday ads.
Facts About Christmas: 'Jingle Bells' Has a Strange History
As we explore facts about Christmas, we'd be remiss to overlook the history of certain songs that have come to be synonymous with the season. First and foremost: "Jingle Bells."
The song, in fact, was originally written for Thanksgiving. Yes, you read that correctly. As one of the most interesting Christmas fun facts, the song — originally titled "One Horse Open Sleigh" — was written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857.
Christmas Facts: December 25 and Christ
Christmas has long been celebrated on December 25, but the Bible doesn't actually mention the day on which Jesus was born. In fact, the scriptures don't definitively tell us the month or even the season.
There's a deep and rich history surrounding why we chose December 25 to commemorate Christ's birth. The discussion continues to unfold, though it's one of the Christmas facts some might not even be aware of. Read more here.
Christmas Fun Facts: The Holiday Movie Explosion
Christmas movies and shows have always been popular, but there's been an explosion in recent years when it comes to the prevalence of Christmas movies. Last year, Vulture wrote that "programmers are raising the Santa stakes and devoting more resources than ever to Yuletide stunts."
Simply stated: Christmas movies are wildly popular, with TV networks and streaming platforms increasingly creating Christmas content.
And Pure Flix has you covered, featuring an array of uplifting, Christmas content. We have a ton of amazing holiday movies streaming right now. Check them out.
Facts About Christmas: Massachusetts Banned the Holiday
One of the very strange Christmas facts worth noting is that the Puritans in Massachusetts at one point banned the holiday. According to History.com, "the Puritans kept their shops and schools open and churches closed on Christmas, a holiday that some disparaged as 'Foolstide.'"
You can read more about the Puritans' reasons for banning the holiday from 1659 to 1681, but the premise of this Christmas fact was based on the detail that the Bible never mentions celebrating the nativity and that the holiday was believed to have pagan roots.
Plus, Christmas usually came along with loud celebration and other antics — something that seemed central to the Puritan ban, which was eventually lifted.
This, as History.com noted, culminated in a law proclaiming that “whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way” would potentially need to pay a 5-shilling fine.
Christmas Fun Facts: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Children have come to love “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but did you know that the character and story are actually based on a department store ad? Time Magazine has more:
"Montgomery Ward was a retail giant in the middle part of the last century. In 1939, a staff copywriter named Robert L. May was assigned to create a character for a line of holiday-themed coloring books the company wanted to peddle to kids. May came up with a story about a plucky reindeer who saves Christmas. After rejecting several names (like Rollo), he decided to call his creation Rudolph. The coloring book was a huge success, Montgomery Ward sold millions of copies."
So, there you have it. One of the most beloved characters of the Christmas season was actually part of a marketing and product campaign. Fascinating!
Christmas Facts: The Roots of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Christmas tree is another hallmark of the Christmas season. Located in the heart of New York City, the annual tree tradition draws attention from all over the U.S.
The first tree was placed in Rockefeller Center in 1931. That tiny tree was the start of a huge tradition. Decades later, the Rockefeller Christmas tree is an annual tradition that millions revere, with a massive, lighted spruce adorning Rockefeller Center each year.
"From the beginning, the Tree was a gathering place and reflection of what was happening in the world around it," reads a description from Rockefeller Center's website. "Even before the first formal tree went up, workers lined up beneath a Christmas tree on the Rockefeller Plaza construction site to collect their paychecks during the height of the Great Depression."
The tree, no doubt, holds an important role in Christmas history and contemporary practice.
That wraps up our recap of Christmas fun facts. Are you looking for more holiday inspiration? You can also stream a plethora of other Christmas movies today, including romantic comedies and plenty more!