HOLDAY FUN FACTS!!!
The idea for using electric Christmas lights came from an American named Ralph E. Morris in 1895. The new lights proved safer than the traditional candles, which often started fires by falling in the dry Christmas trees.
Candy canes began as straight white sticks of sugar candy used to decorated the Christmas trees. A choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral decided have the ends bent to depict a shepherd’s crook and he would pass them out to the children to keep them quiet during the services. It wasn’t until about the 20th century that candy canes acquired their red stripes.During the Christmas/Hanukkah season, more than 1.76 billion candy canes are made.
Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They would gather this evergreen plant that is parasitic upon other trees and used it to decorate their homes. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins. Instead, church fathers suggested the use of holly as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery.
The tradition of gifts seems to have started with the gifts that the wise men (the Magi) brought to Jesus. As recounted in the Bible’s book of Matthew, “On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”
In 1836, Alabama was the first state in the USA to declare Christmas a legal holiday.In 1856, President Franklin Pierce decorates the first White House Christmas tree.
In 1907, Oklahoma became the last USA state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.
Due to the time zones, Santa has 31 hours to deliver gifts? This means that he would have to visit 832 homes each second!
Kwanzaa is a African-American holiday celebrating history, culture, family and community. It was started in California in 1966. It was created by scholar-activist Dr. Maulana Karenga. Kwanzaa is now celebrated all over the world, but primarily in the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean.
Focusing on values, culture and history, Kwanzaa encourages people to learn more about their roots and to focus upon their values.
SPENDING: Holiday shoppers have brought retailers a mildly positive season.
Spending through Dec. 19 is tracking a little below the 1.6 percent growth forecast by ShopperTrak, a research firm that monitors sales and traffic at more than 50,000 outlets.