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Christmas History (part 2)

Christmas History (part 2)

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Christmas Candy to Christmas Presents from China to Australia

As you chomp on Christmas candy this year, you might find yourself wondering what the largest Christmas present ever given was, or, just how many Christmas cards are sold during the holidays? Christmas facts enrich the day and reveal just how important and how rooted the holiday is in our culture – it's such a significant holiday that France gave the U.S. what's considered the largest Christmas present in the world: the Statue of Liberty, which was presented to the U.S. in 1886. Christmas origins, for example, tell us that the very first Christmas carol was written in 1649, and sung by its composer John de Brebeur that same year. Though Christmas history dates back hundreds of years, Christmas wasn't declared a national holiday until June of 1870.

Like green candy and red candy, Christmas music is a cherished part of the holiday season. More tasty chocolate Christmas candy pops up each year, and so do new Christmas songs, but did you know the bestselling Christmas record of all time is "White Christmas," sung by crooner Bing Crosby? Christmas origins scholars also know that one of our most treasured Christmas songs "Silent Night" was actually composed after a choir's organ broke down. One of the more astounding Christmas facts is the sheer volume of Christmas cards purchased: Americans purchase about 6 ½ billion Christmas cards each year, according to the Greeting Card Association.

Dive into holiday jelly beans as we dive in to the fun and fascinating ways that Christmas is celebrated across the globe. Santa facts and Christmas history have spread to China, for example, and although the country doesn't observe Christmas as a national holiday, it is celebrated as Western traditions have become increasingly popular. Chocolate Christmas candy is quickly nibbled during the holiday in Europe, and in Belgium, children actually have two Christmas visitors: St. Nicholas, the beloved monk, brings presents on December 6, and then on Christmas Day, Santa Claus, the red-suited, white-bearded elf, delivers additional gifts. Christmas candy is consumed in Australia, where the holiday falls during the continent's summer, so often families go camping to celebrate Christmas together outdoors.

Fun Christmas facts that you might know: The tradition of the Yule log can be traced back to Norway, where ancient Norse used to the log to help celebrate the return of the sun at winter solstice. Like Santa history, the history of many other Christmas traditions is equally interesting; for instance, the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree and decorating it likely has its roots in Germany, where decorating evergreen trees had always been a part of the German Winter Solstice tradition. Part of our American Santa history and lore is putting up stockings for Santa to fill, but Scandinavian children leave their shoes on the hearth, ready for Santa's gifts. Red candy, green candy and white candy are popular candy colors during Christmas, and these festive colors have been tied to the holiday for many years; in fact the red, white and green poinsettia, a native Mexican plant, was so symbolic of the holiday, that by early 1900, they were being raised at U.S. greenhouses and sold at stores everywhere.
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