History

10 Fun Facts About Christmas

10 Fun Facts About Christmas
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Christmas is the favorite time of year for many people, and on Christmas Day we offer 10 fun and random facts about the holiday.

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Christmas Facts

Jingle Bells in Space

On December 16, 1965 “Jingle Bells” was the first song to be performed in space. The Christmas classic was performed by Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Scihirra. The harmonica and bells used during the performance were secretly smuggled on board before liftoff. (Source)

Listen to the performance in the video below:

Roosevelt the Grinch?

President Teddy Roosevelt banned Christmas trees from being displayed in the White House. It appears to be related to his anti-lumbering stance, more than any anti-Christmas sentiment. (Source)

White Christmas

The classic song “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin is considered the best selling single of all time, with over 100 million copies sold worldwide. The Bing Crosby version alone has sold over 50 million copies. (Source)

Green Christmas

The New York Times reported that an environmental firm in Montreal found that you would have to use an artificial Christmas tree for more than 20 years to be “greener” than buying a fresh-cut tree every year. (Source)

Peace on Earth – or at least Columbia

During the 2010 Christmas season, the Colombian government engaged in Operation Christmas, in which it decorated trees in the jungle with Christmas lights in hopes of  convincing rebels to lay down their arms. As a result, 331 FARC guerrillas demobilized and re-entered society.  (Source)

A Very Denny’s Christmas

In 1988, 1221 Denny’s restaurants closed for Christmas. This became problematic when it was revealed that many of the 24-hour restaurants had not been locked for decades, and managers had lost the keys and never bothered to replace them. At some locations, locks had never been used at all. Denny’s had to install new locks at about 700 locations. (Source)

Paul’s Modern Classic

Paul McCartney earns approximately $400,000-$600,000 a year from his 1979 song “Wonderful Christmastime,” which one music critic described as one of his worst songs. (Source 1, Source 2)

Letters to Santa

Letters addressed to Santa Claus in the United States go to Santa Claus, Indiana, where a group of volunteers known as Santa’s Elves ensures that every letter receives a reply. (Source)

Christmas Dinner

An Oakland zoo accepts donated Christmas trees and uses them for animals to “nibble, explore and sniff in their exhibits.” (Source)

Christmas for a Queen

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen is the only record to chart #1 on the UK Christmas Singles Chart twice, once in 1975 and again in 1991. (Source)

Updated December 25, 2015
Originally published December 2013

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