Posted by in Features.

According to Finnish folklore, Father Christmas dispenses with a sleigh and hitches a lift on the back of a straw goat named Ukko.

Santa Claus was inspired by Saint Nichoas, a rich man who helped out a poor family by dropping sacks of gold down their chimney.

Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of Russia, sailors and children. He was born in 245AD and lived in Turkey.


Song Facts

Bing Crosby’s rendition of White Christmas, recorded in 1942, is the biggest selling single of all time.

The hymn Silent Night was hastily put together and first performed on a guitar when an Austrian church organ was found to be rusty.

If you were to receive all the gifts promised in the song The 12 Days of Christmas, you would get 354 presents.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer was the brainchild of a Chicago advertising executive who wrote a poem about Rudolph in a free booklet given away to children at Christmas.

Good King Wenceslas was actually a 10th Century Duke of Bohemia.

The New Year classic Auld Lang Sang actually means Old Long Ago.


Gift facts

In ancient Rome, people exchanged gifts on New Year’s Day as a means of welcoming in the year. When Christianity took hold in Europe, people exchanged gifts in imitation of the Three Wise Men who visited Jesus as a baby.

In Guatamala, adults exchange gifts on New Year’s Day, whilst children swap presents on Christmas Day itself.


Card facts

Californian Werner Erhard sent 62,824 Christmas cards in 1975.

The first Christmas card was designed by John Callcott Horsley in 1843 for his friend Sir Henry Cole. It said A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.

The first Christmas card was a depiction of a Christmas scene in three panels—in the centre panel a family raising glasses for a toast was depicted; on the left feeding the hungry and on the right clothing the naked.

English schoolboys used to send Christmas Pieces to their parents before the first card to show off their writing skills.