Fun Christmas Facts – 110 things you never knew about Christmas
Christmas is a great time for games and one of the popular games played at Christmas is Trivial Pursuit. This year we wanted to get you into the festive spirit by giving your our in-depth list of fun Christmas facts.
We have scoured the web to build an in-depth fact sheet for your Christmas facts this year. You could use this to build your own game of trivial pursuit, a quiz or just tell them to your family and friends. Either way, you’re going to be amazed or even slightly weirded out by what we have in store.
Historical Events that occurred on Christmas day
To start this list, we are going to back back in time a bit to see what has happened on Christmas day in the past. This just shows that life certainly doesn’t stop on Christmas day.
- The year 352 was the earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on December 25th
- 800 AD, Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
- In 1066, Willian the Conqueror was crowned King of England
- Then in 1223, St Francis of Assisi assembles the 1st ever Nativity scene in Greccio, Italy
- By 1776, George Washington and the Continental Army cross the Delaware River
- In 1818, the 1st known Christmas carol was sung which was “Silent Night, Holy Night” which is translated from “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” in Austrian.
- During the famous World War 1 Christmas truce in 1914, German, British and French troops laid down their weapons for a ceasefire. The troops reportedly sung carols, shared whiskey and cigarettes, and even had a game of football.
- In 1932, King George V’s chair collapses during his Christmas dinner speech
- The film “To Kill a Mockingbird” was released in 1962 and was directed by Robert Mulligan.
- In 1968, Frank Borman did a Christmas reading whilst orbiting the moon in Apollo 8.
- Charlie Chaplin sadly passed away at age 88, in 1977.
- In 1990, we had the first communication on the world wide web. This was carried out by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee.
- In 2004 on 26th December, the Indian Ocean tsunami hit 14 countries killing more than 230,000 people.
- In 2019 on December 26th, there was a Annular solar eclipse visible from South and South East Asia.
That summarises a bit of history that has all occurred during the Christmas period.
Random Fun Christmas Facts
This next selection of fun Christmas facts will probably shock you. We never knew any of these!
- Mince pies are actually illegal to eat on Christmas day. In the 17th Century Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas pudding, mince pies and any binge eating. This law has never been rescinded.
- An artificial Christmas tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years to be “greener” than a fresh tree
- US scientists found that Santa Claus would have to visit 822 home sper second, travelling 650 miles per hour in order to deliver present to every house in the world.
- In Victorian Times, Mince pies were made from beef and spices.
- Approximately 10 million Christmas turkeys are eaten in the U.K. and 22 million in the USA.
- A record 17.4 million Apple or Android devices were activated at Christmas in 2012.
- If you actually had all the gifts from the song “twelve days of Christmas” you would have 364 gifts.
- Christmas trees can grow for up to 15 years before they are sold
- You should eat one mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas to bring good luck, according to historic traditions.
- French nuns in the 12th century created the legend of St Nicholas after gifting gold and putting fruit in children’s stockings.
- Turkey only started being eaten in the UK in the 15th century after Europeans brought the tradition over. Before this we would generally eat cockerels or geese.
- On average, people spend £727 on Christmas – This includes food, decorations, presents and cards.
- For 13 years, between 1647 and 1660, Christmas was banned in the UK by Cromwell after the English Civil War.
- Turkeys aren’t just for Christmas. June is National Turkey Lover’s Month.
- Some zoos take donated Christmas trees to feed their animals. This could be a great way to donate your tree in 2020.
- The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is actually donated from Norway as a thanks for the support during World War 2.
- Sinterklaas or translated from Dutch to Saint Nicholas is what started the name Santa Claus.
- Coca-Cola is the reason Santa Claus wears red today. Before this the common festive colours were green, blue or purple.
- The average UK child receives 16 Christmas presents.
- There is reported to be more than 65 million Christmas jumpers in UK households.
- Two weeks before Christmas is the one of the two most popular times for couples to break up
- It is believed that in 1610 Germany created tinsel, which back then was created from actual silver.
- In the UK there is a written law that means you have to go to Church on Christmas day and you cannot visit on a vehicle. This law clearly isn’t currently active.
- 46% of people have lie about liking a gift
Fun Christmas Facts & Stats
- Nearly 60 million Christmas Trees are grown each year in Europe.
- Male Reindeer shed their antlers around Christmas meaning that if Santa’s Reindeer were male – They actually wouldn’t have antlers.
- In Estonia, it’s traditional to take a sauna on Christmas eve with your whole family
- Rudolph the red nosed reindeer was created from a US companies Christmas promotion in 1938
- 13% of families in the UK always attend church on Christmas Day.
- Jesus was actually probably born in a cave and not a wooden stable, say Biblical scholars.
- 1 in 3 men wait until Christmas eve to do their Christmas shopping
- The Queen’s speech was first broadcast in 1957
- Turkey isn’t just for Christmas, some people celebrate National Turkey lover’s month in June of every year.
- 1.76 billion candy canes are produced in the USA every year
- The original candy cane was made 350 years ago in Germany
- Europeans decorate around 50 million live Christmas trees and the USA about 35 million
- Rio de Janeiro has the largest floating Christmas tree in the world standing at 278 feet tall
- According to the British Dietetic Association, the average person will consume 6,000 kcals on Christmas day. This correlates to a 5lb weight gain by New Years Eve.
- The abbreviation Xmas is actually based on X being the first letter in the Greek alphabet
- Visa cards are used 6,00- times every minute during the Christmas season
- Krampus is a demonic character who looks for misbehaving children. This character is popular in many European countries.
- In 1980 the highest selling Christmas toy was the Rubik’s cube which sold for £1.99, it now sells for over £10.
- Brenda Lee recorded Rockin around the Christmas tree when she was just 13 years old.
- Over 16 billion Christmas stamps have been printed in the UK since their introduction in 1966.
- 28 sets of Lego are sold every second during the Christmas period.
- Denmark produce the most Christmas trees with an annual production of 10-12 million trees every year
- There is a town in India called Santa Claus.
- Mistletoe actually means “dung on a twig” in Anglo Saxon.
- In 2019, It was predicted that the UK would spend a shocking 33.3 billion on Christmas
- People in the UK spend on average £67 on Children at Christmas
- 1 in 10 Brits begin their Christmas shopping in July.
- According to Rakuten, 71% of American admit they probably won’t like the gift they receive.
- There are 13 Santas in Iceland, each leaving a gift for children
- 4.7 million people travel abroad for the Christmas period
We have more interesting fun Christmas facts coming. Including the highest earning songs & the best rated Christmas films.
More fun Christmas facts coming at you:
- On average 3 Christmas trees are planted for every 1 that is harvest.
- The video of Last Christmas was the last time George Michael was filmed without a beard
- In Guatemala, adults do not exchange Christmas gifts until New Year’s Day.
- Prior to Coca-Cola, White Rock Beverages sold their mineral water using a red and white Santa Claus back in 1915. Before Coca-Cola!
- According to Matalan, a study found that 82% of people owned a Christmas Jumper
- In 2018, Universal Studios Japan got the World Record for the most Christmas lights on an artificial Christmas tree with 580,806 lights.
- The fastest time to get into a Santa suit is 30.94 seconds
- The largest ever Secret Santa, featured 30,000 people, organised by Reddit in 2012
- 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies get thrown away whilst still being eatable each year in the UK.
- In the USA, when the restaurant chain Denny’s started out, they were built without locks due to being open 24 hours. This became an issue at Christmas.
- Half of Sweden’s population watches Donald Duck cartoons every Christmas eve.
- in 1847, The Christmas cracker was invented by a London sweet shop owner called Tom Smith
- 448 couples kissed under the mistletoe in 2017 to get the world record
- The heaviest Gingerbread man ever weighed in at a huge 635kg
- Carolling began as an ol’ English custom called wassalling
- The biggest snowman ever stood at 122ft tall
- The Christmas Tree is actually a very good source of vitamin C (Please don’t go eating your Christmas tree)
- Christmas pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine.
- More than 400,000 illnesses are recorded each year caused by Christmas leftovers
- Charles dickens only took 6 weeks to write A Christmas Carol
- Electric Christmas lights were only created in 1882, before then it was mainly candles and much before that the main decoration was fruit.
- Between 1640 and 1958, the Parliament of Scotland officially abolished the observance of Christmas.
- The world’s largest ever Christmas present was actually the Statue of Liberty
- The world’s largest Christmas cracker is a huge 181 feet long.This was created in Australia
- 10 million Turkeys are cooked every Christmas in the UK
Now we have got a majority of the best Christmas facts out of the way. We will now look at some of the best from the entertainment industry at Christmas.
Christmas Music Highest Earners
According to the Independent, these are Christmas songs highest earners.
- “Merry Xmas Everybody” by Slade – £1m
- “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – £400,000
- “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey – £400,000
- “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby – £328,000
- “Last Christmas” by Wham! – £300,000
- “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney – £260,000
- “Stop the Cavalry” by Jona Lewie – £120,000
- “2000 Miles” by The Pretenders – £102,000
- “Mistletoe and Wine” by Cliff Richard – £100,000
- “Stay Another Day” by East 17 – £97,000
Best Rated Christmas Films
According to an article from Rotten Tomatoes, these are the top 10 highest rated Christmas films of all time. Their huge list of 55 of the best Christmas films is based on their unique ratings system.
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
- Meet me in St. Louis (1944)
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
- The Shop around the Corner (1940)
- Holiday Inn (1942)
- Babies in Toyland (1934)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1967)
- Carol (2015)
- Remember That Night (1940)
Christmas card facts
- The most Christmas cards ever sent in one year by one person was 62,824 cards. That’s over £40,000! Do you think they have ever heard of Creased Cards?
- The most valuable Christmas card was sold at an auction in the UK in 2001 for £20,000.
- Robins on cards started as a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics and were named after them.
- The first Christmas card was created and sent in 1843.
- 45% of greetings card sent every year that are Christmas related
- £184.4 million in Christmas sales in 2018
- The commercial Christmas card was invented in 1846 by Sir Henry Cole
- 75% of Britons would prefer to receive a Christmas card rather than a message via text, social media or email
- Sir Henry’s first Christmas cards, sold for £22,500 in 2001
- 15% of Christmas cards are purchased by men in the USA
- Sir Henry only sold 1000 Christmas card that first year
- An estimated £50 million is raised for charities by selling their Christmas cards each year.
- 550 Christmas cards will be sent every second during December in the UK
That’s over 110 fun Christmas facts for you. These would be great for trivia, to include in Christmas cards or just to tell your friends and family this Christmas.