Our tree has been up for weeks, (most of) the presents are wrapped, the cards have been mailed, cookies baked, and this week the parties begin. Our oldest granddaughter’s birthday is the 23rd, so we have three full days of gatherings with family and friends.
It is a busy time of year, and I hope you are all ready for your festivities to begin. I thought I’d just share a few little facts about this time of the year….
Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.
Alabama was the first state to officially recognize Christmas in 1836, however, Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until 1870 and Oklahoma didn’t declare it as a state holiday until 1907.
Mistletoe is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.
The Aztecs called the poinsettia Cuetlaxochitl which means “flower which wilts”, and the poinsettia is not poisonous.
Some reports claim that President Franklin Pierce was the first president to have a Christmas tree in the White house in 1856, and others claim it was President Benjamin Harrison in 1889, but there is no dispute that President Theodore Roosevelt banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1901.
President Coolidge started the lighting ceremony in 1923, copying many small communities. As the grid had broadened and brought electricity to smaller towns, having tree lighting ceremonies was a popular community event.
During a meeting of the New York Historical Society in 1804, a member passed out wooden cutouts of jolly old St. Nick along with stockings filled with toys, and that image of St. Nick became the Santa Clause image we know today. However, his clothes were blue, white, and green. His famous red suit came about in an ad by Coco Cola in 1930.
Washing Irving (the author who created the Headless Horseman) is who created Santa flying in a sleigh in 1819, and Montgomery Ward created Rudolph as a marketing gimmick for a children’s holiday coloring book.