Nothing spells Christmas like the slow drift of harmattan wind. (at least for those of us in Nigeria). Or the steady buildup of events (Hello, season of concerts and weddings!). And let’s not forget, there’s the planning too. Either to travel, hang out or just get some shut-eye after a busy year. Regardless of how you spend the holidays, Christmas can be really exciting. And because I’ve been bitten by the bug, I decided to do something fun and ‘Christmasy’. So, here are a few things you probably didn’t know about Christmas.
The official use of Christmas trees can be linked to Prince Albert of Germany
The origin of Christmas trees dates back to ancient Egypt and Rome who marked their winter solstice with evergreens as a reminder of spring. However, it wasn’t until Prince Albert of Germany introduced the tree to his wife, Queen of England that Christmas trees became widely used in Europe. I bet you will always see your trees differently now.
Christmas songs top the charts for most recorded and best-selling songs of all time
The record for best-selling song of all time and most recorded Christian song in history goes to two Christmas songs. “White Christmas” is the best-selling song of all time, while the most recorded Christian song in history is “Silent Night” having over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978.
You would think that Christmas is one of the most romantic times of the year right? Christmas trees, gifts, rice and chicken sharing and endless parties are the perfect mix to get close to your other half yet, Facebook posts researchers have discovered that lots of couples break up two weeks before Christmas. In fact, this period is the second most common time of the year for couples to split. The first being during Valentine’s Day. You may want to verify your relationship status with your boo (Just kidding!).
St. Nick was more generous than jolly
In case you did not know, the idea of Santa Claus came from a 4th Century Bishop named St. Nicholas who was reputed to be so generous he gave his inheritance out to needy and rescued women from servitude. When made a saint, he became a protector of children and as his story spread, his name became Sinter Klaas in Dutch, which later morphed into Santa Claus. The event of Santa Claus delivering presents comes from Holland’s celebration of St. Nicholas’ feast day on December 6. Children would leave shoes out the night before and, in the morning, would find little gifts that St. Nicholas had left them.
“Jingle Bells’ was not a Christmas song
Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh”. It was to be played in the composer’s Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. “Jingle Bells” was also the first song to be broadcast from space. Jingle Bells” started as a Thanksgiving song although it was republished and has become one of the most popular Christmas songs. Feels like you’ve been scammed, right?
Some Africans celebrate Christmas on January 7
Coptic Christians of Egypt and Ethiopia celebrate Christmas on what is to most of the world January 7. This is because Coptic Christians use the Julian calendar which came before the Gregorian calendar (that is the one that is commonly used today). Wonder if we can have both and have our holidays stretch from December 25 – January 7 ?
Christmas tree soup
Have you been looking for a good source of Vitamin C? It turns out that you can actually eat parts of your Christmas tree and that the needles from your tree are a great source of Vitamin C.
To do this after Christmas however, dry out the needles before grinding and you can then use the dried needles as a garnish on soups. NOTE: This is only for natural grown Christmas trees not the ones you buy at Stores please