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Did you know about these intriguing holiday facts?

UPS delivers 20 billion cards and packages throughout the Holiday season.

There are approximately 21,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States.

According to the Guinness World Records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

US shoppers spend five billion dollars on Christmas gifts for pets!

Early illustrations of St. Nicholas depict him as stern, commanding, and holding a birch rod. He was more a symbol of discipline and punishment than the jolly, overweight elf children know today.

The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth; red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.

Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870, when President Ulysses S. Grant make Christmas a legal American holiday.

Kwanzaa celebrates African-American culture and is celebrated from December 26 through January 1. Kwanzaa is a Swahili word that means, "first fruits of the harvest," and the Holiday celebrates seven important principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Many of the most popular Christmas songs, such as “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” were written or co-written by Jewish composers.

According to data analyzed from Facebook posts, two weeks before Christmas is one of the two most popular times for couples to break up. However, Christmas Day is the least favorite day for breakups.

Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public. They also receive practical advice, such as not accepting money from parents while children are looking and avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch.

The custom of "naughty" children only getting coal for Christmas is an Italian tradition.

Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.

Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

The average American spends almost $800 on Holiday shopping.

Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales in the U.S.

Christmas is a contraction of “Christ’s Mass,” which is derived from the Old English Cristes mæsse (first recorded in 1038). The letter “X” in Greek is the first letter of Christ, and “Xmas” has been used as an abbreviation for Christmas since the mid 1500s.

The current aesthetic of Santa Claus in his red suit was invented by Coca Cola in a 1930's ad.

Because they viewed Christmas as a decadent Catholic holiday, the Puritans in America banned all Christmas celebrations from 1659-1681 with a penalty of five shillings for each offense. Some Puritan leaders condemned those who favored Christmas as enemies of the Christian religion.

17.5 million sufganiyot (donuts) are enjoyed in Israel during Hanukkah. Enjoying the sweet treat during the Holidays commemorates the miracle of oil.

Every Lunar New Year begins with a new animal's zodiac year. The upcoming Lunar New year will be ringing in the year of the rooster.

Jingle Bells was originally written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas.

The “true love” mentioned in the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” does not refer to a romantic couple, but the Catholic Church’s code for God. The person who receives the gifts represents someone who has accepted that code. For example, the “partridge in a pear tree” represents Christ. The “two turtledoves” represent the Old and New Testaments.

Contrary to popular belief, suicide rates during the Christmas holiday are low. The highest rates are during the spring.

The Löschner family of Germany has the largest nutcracker collection, amassing over 4,000 of the wooden toys!

The Christmas tree in Rockefeller center has over 25,000 light bulbs.

The first candy cane is said to have been created in Germany in the 1600's. Nowadays, almost two billion candy canes are produced for the Holidays.

Approximately 30-35 million real (living) Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S. That's not even counting artificial trees!

Evergreens (from the Old English word aefie meaning “always” and gowan meaning “to grow”) have been symbols of eternal life and rebirth since ancient times. The pagan use and worship of evergreen boughs and trees has evolved into the Christianized Christmas tree.

Santa Claus is based on a real person, a Turkish man named St. Nikolas of Myra who lived in the fourth century and was known for his great generosity. He is the world’s most popular non-Biblical saint, and artists have portrayed him more often than any other saint except Mary. He is the patron saint of banking, pawnbroking, pirating, butchery, sailing, thievery, orphans, royalty, and New York City.

In A.D. 350, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ.

Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.

Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.

Hanukkah is a "floating Holiday," meaning that it's celebrated on different dates every year.

It is estimated that 1 out of 3 people worldwide celebrate Christmas.

“White Christmas” by Irving Berlin is the best selling single song of all time, with over 100 million sales worldwide.

Christmas stockings allegedly evolved from three sisters who were too poor to afford a marriage dowry and were, therefore, doomed to a life of prostitution. They were saved, however, when the wealthy Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna (the precursor to Santa Claus) crept down their chimney and generously filled their stockings with gold coins

The origins of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comes from a store promotion at the department store Montgomery Ward. In 1939, an employee developed the idea of Rudolph to help sell children's books. It worked! The store sold over two million copies.

In 1962, the first Christmas postage stamp was issued in the United States.

The custom of "naughty" children only getting coal for Christmas is an Italian tradition.

Source: eNewBreak