As 2017 comes to a close, we all fall into holiday mode with Christmas & New Year’s just around the corner. Words of wisdom, thanks and optimism for 2018 are the ongoing communications that we are sure are taking place as we speak.
As we celebrate Christmas, many of you may or may not know the facts behind this celebration apart from the religious belief and aspect of the event. So, we thought it would be good to provide you the “12 Facts of Christmas” for you to share with your friends and loved ones – wearing a paper crown while imparting this wisdom is optional.
- In AD 350 Pope Julius I proclaimed 25 December as the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ.
- Commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, the first Christmas card was invented in 1843 by British illustrator John Callcott Horsley. Hallmark introduced their first Christmas card in 1915.
- The first Christmas crackers were created by London sweet maker Tom Smith in 1847. Bonus fact: The largest cracker – 45.72m long and 3.04m in diameter – was pulled in Australia in 1991.
- Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of goose feathers dyed green. Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver. Apples were the first tree decorations. Bonus fact: According to the Guinness Book of Records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir.
- The tradition of Christmas stockings being hung by the chimney started when three girls who could not afford to marry as they had no dowry hung their stockings by the fire to dry. St Nicholas of Myra heard about the girls’ dilemma and dropped gold coins down the chimney and they fell into the stockings. Bonus fact: The largest Christmas stocking measured 32.56m long and 14.97m wide, weighed as much as five reindeer and held almost 1,000 presents.
- Saint Francis of Assisi introduced singing carols in a church in the 13th century.
- All the gifts in the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ would equal 364 gifts. The gifts actually refer to Catholic symbolism, for example “true love” means God, “a partridge in a pear tree” represents Christ, “two turtledoves” are the Old and New Testaments, “three French hens” stood for faith, hope and love, the “four calling birds” were the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
- “Xmas” has been an abbreviation for Christmas (which is itself a contraction of Christ’s Mass) since the mid-1500s. “X” in Greek is the first letter of Christ.
- Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas in 1940 and Bing Crosby’s rendition has sold more than 100 million copies. Paul McCartney earns half a million dollars every year from his Wonderful Christmastime song.
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas was originally a threat – being sung loudly and repeatedly by crowds of rowdy servants demanding alcohol from their masters… or else – “We won’t go until we get some”.
- During the Christmas of 1914 (World War I), a truce was held between Germany and the UK. They decorated their shelters, exchanged gifts across no man’s land and played a game of football. During WWII, US playing card company Bicycle manufactured cards to give to all the POWs in Germany as Christmas presents – when the cards were soaked in water, they revealed an escape route.
- Visa cards are used 5,000-6,000 times every minute during the Christmas season and 28 sets of Lego are sold every second.
Once again, as another successful and enjoyable year comes to a close, we would like to thank all of our clients and their families for their support throughout the year. On behalf of all the staff Altitude Wealth Management, we hope you have had a wonderful 2017 and we are very much looking forward to a bright 2018 for all!
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