It’s X’Mas Facts

“Even before the holiday season, the 2008 recession hurt package carriers – and dearly. The U.S. Postal Service lost $2.8 billion for the year ended Sept. 30 despite $2 billion in cost-cutting measures. Total revenue was flat at $75 billion even though postal rates increased. But the volume of mail handled dropped 4.5 percent to 202.7 billion pieces, the news report said.”

Yet there is no recession when it comes to interesting facts on Christmas. The Internet had many to offer, but I selected a few that I felt was, probably, less known.

1. A Christmas club, a savings account in which a person deposits a fixed amount of money regularly to be used at Christmas for shopping, came into being around 1905

2. Christmas trees are edible. It is said that, many parts of pines, spruces, and firs can be eaten. The needles are a good source of vitamin C. Pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition

3. The biggest selling Christmas single of all time is Bing Crosby’s White Christmas

4. Santa Claus was the world’s richest fictional character, in 2006, according to Forbe’s list of the “Forbes Fictional 15”

5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 20th century invention by the Montgomery Ward Company, operators of a chain of department stores. It was a promotional gimmick for the Christmas shoppers

6. Sixty year old James Worley with his natural white beard and big belly was mistaken for Santa Claus for years. But Disney World that he visited wanted to preserve the magic of Santa as “Santa was considered a Disney character” and so Worley was ordered to stop looking like Santa…even though it wasn’t a costume

7. Every year the US Postal Service issues US Christmas stamps. Interestingly, the theme of the stamp has often been Madonna and Child

8. Christmas Island in Indian Ocean, discovered on Christmas day in 1643, marked 50 years in 2007, since Britain detonated its first fully operational H- bomb, code-named Grapple X

9. Singing Christmas carols was banned at two major malls in Florida in 1996 as the shoppers and merchants complained that the carollers were too loud and took up too much space

10. Few modern readers realise that Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol was written during a time of decline in the old Christmas traditions

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