With Christmas being celebrated all over the world, this joyful day does not lose its importance in India as well. With people enjoying the holiday singing their favorite Christmas carols, enjoying some festive plum cake and indulging in merriment with their friends and family, it is indeed a Merry Christmas! While most of us know the basic facts about Christmas as told by our parents when we were kids, there are many interesting facts that many of us don’t know. Well, to honor the spirit of Christmas, this article shares these unknown facts to make the tale of Christmas and Santa more interesting for all of us.

1. When we think of Christmas, the first song that we associate with the festival is Jingle Bells. Well, although this song surely brings out the Christmas spirit in most of us, originally this song had been written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857 under the title of “One Horse Open Sleigh” for the festival of Thanksgiving.  This was also the first song to be broadcast from space.

2. While Christmas is a religious and cultural celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th, there is no mention of this in the Bible and most historians believe that He was born in the spring season instead.

3. The joyful Santa Claus comes from St. Nicholas, a Christian bishop living in present-day Turkey in the 4th century AD. After inheriting a great deal of wealth, it is said that he used to give it all away to the needy and poor.  Later, he also became the protector of children. After his death, his tales of charity spread and in Dutch, his name became Sinter Klaas in short, which as you can see, is a short way from Santa Claus.

4. The notion of Santa Claus delivering presents comes from the St. Nicholas Feast Day celebration in Holland on December 6 where the children used to leave their shoes outside in the night only to find small gifts in them the next morning from St. Nicholas.

5. We know Santa Claus loves milk and cookies. That’s why we keep a plate of cookies and a glass of milk ready for him when he comes to deliver the presents. But this tradition finds its roots from the Feast Day celebration, where the Dutch kids used to leave food and drink items for St. Nicholas while he came to deliver their gifts.

6. The story of leaving out stockings for Santa to drop his presents is rather an interesting and endearing one. It is said that St. Nicholas had dropped a bag of gold through the chimney of the house of a man who was too poor to marry off his three daughters. The bag of gold had fallen into a stocking that had been kept out to dry by the fire.

7. Despite Santa having worn blue, green and even white dresses in various phases of history, his traditional red attire came from a 1930s advertisement by Coca-Cola.

8. The idea of Rudolph the Reindeer had actually been conceived by a department store as a marketing strategy in order to get kids into holiday coloring books.

9. Santa Claus comes flying in a sleigh – this image came into existence in 1819 through the imaginations of Washington Irving, the same author who had created the Headless Horseman.

10. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas, the Dutch version of Santa Claus comes from Spain instead of the North Pole. To help him, Santa comes with black faced boys and girls instead of cute looking hard-working elves and these helpers can even take away the children that are naughty and bring them to Spain.

Well, these are some of the many more unknown facts of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all the readers!

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