1. Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas, in 1836.
2. When visiting Finland, Santa leaves his sleigh behind and rides on a goat named Ukko. Finnish folklore has it that Ukko is made of straw but is strong enough to carry Santa Claus anyway.
3. President Teddy Roosevelt, an environmentalist, banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1912.
4. In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas-tree decorations because, according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.
5. In Germany, Heiligabend, or Christmas Eve, is said to be a magical time when the pure in heart can hear animals talking.
6. Did you know that the North Pole has a zip code? Canada’s postal system assigned the zip code H0H 0H0 (referring to Santa’s traditional exclamation “Ho, ho, ho!”) to the North Pole.
7. In Syria, Christmas gifts are distributed by one of the Wise Men’s camels. The gift-giving camel is said to have been the smallest one in the Wise Men’s caravan.
8. There are 364 gifts mentioned in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
9. Did you know that Christmas trees are edible? Many parts of pines, spruces and firs can be eaten. The needles are a good source of vitamin C, and pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition.
Sources: Funology, Polaris Marketing, Random Facts