We, at SAHM, love trivia, and with Christmas just around the corner, Christmas trivia comes to mind.
There are so many weird and wonderful facts about Christmas out there, and these are some we think are the best!
1. NORAD’s Santa Tracker was created by a typo
I remember every year on Christmas eve watching the nightly news, and they would have updates on Santa’s position thanks to the NORAD Santa Tracker. Well did you know that this tradition started in 1955 quite by mistake? The American Store Sears advertised a phone number in the newspaper for children to call Santa to let him know what they wanted for Christmas.
Unfortunately, they got the number wrong, and the calls ended up directed to Colonel Shoup from the Colorado Springs Continental Air Force Command.
The Air Force command was inundated with phone calls from children, and rather than telling them they had the wrong number, Colonel Shoup ordered his staff to tell the children Santa’s current location and NORAD was born.
The NORAD Santa Tracker website is active from the 1st December every year.
2. Santa’s Formal Address
If you wanted to write a letter to Santa, all you would need to write is:
Santa, North Pole
However, there are lots more formal addresses out there that will still get to the jolly man in red. He is rumoured to live at 1 Reindeer Lane, North Pole. Of course Santa, is very tech savvy these days, and you can email him.
3. Christmas Trees
The tradition of Christmas Trees started in Roman times to remind people in the snowy winters that the warm weather will return. The trees signified hope, but they were not decorated like the trees of today.
The more modern Christmas tree tradition has so many different origins, that it seems to be more about what your beliefs are to where it started from. Some say it started in pre-dated BC and others say that Martin Luther in 1500 created the decorated tree which has evolved into what we have today. In this day and age, we all seem to agree that decorating the Christmas tree is meaningful, exciting and is the one thing that signals the start of Christmas for most families.
4. Christmas Stockings
This tradition was started by three girls who could not afford a dowry to get married. So, they were doomed to live life as penniless maids. One night, they hung their stockings by the fire to dry. In the morning, they woke to find each stocking had gold coins in them, and they now had a dowry to marry. A kindly man called St. Nicholas of Myra used to go around and help he poor and underprivileged. He heard about the girls and the dilemma they were in. So one night, he went past and dropped the coins down the chimney and they fell into the stockings – a tradition was started.
This has two quite interesting starts. One is from Norse myth, which comes from the death and resurrection of Baldur. Baldur’s mother was a goddess, and when he was born, she made all plants and animals swear that they could not harm him. She forgot about the plant mistletoe – one of the other gods used this and killed Baldur with a mistletoe spear. When your mother is a goddess, there is an excellent chance of being resurrected. When Baldur came back, his mother made mistletoe a plant of love rather than death. So, people would celebrate by kissing under the mistletoe.
The other one is a young couple in love used to sneak into a forest to meet under a tree that had mistletoe. As the families did not agree with the union, the man said to his love that they would elope. He would leave a sprig of mistletoe on her windowsill on the night that they were to leave. That night, she climbed out her window and they met under the tree with mistletoe. They kissed and disappeared into the night.
I love a romantic ending!