Christmas is one of the most popular holidays around the world. In the US alone, the average American spends $1,000 on holiday gifts and goodies, which means that more than $729.3 billion is spent on gifts every year. It’s not only the day to give, but also to rejoice, as well as spend time with friends and family members. While we know a great deal about Christmas from our parents and grandparents, there are many facts about Christmas that are lesser-known. Here, we are listing 10 such interesting facts you probably didn’t know before.
1. Two weeks before Christmas is one of the most popular times for couples to break up.
A study conducted by researchers at Oxford found that two weeks before Christmas is the peak time for couples to breakup. The study was based on status updates on various social media platforms where people went from being in a relationship to being single. (source)
2. According to the UNICEF, Santa would have to make 842 million stops on Christmas Eve, traveling 221 million miles, to deliver presents to everyone.
If there are on average 2.5 children per household, Santa would have to make 842 million stops on Christmas Eve and travel between houses in 2/10,000 second, which means he would need to accelerate 12.19 million miles (20.5 billion meters) per second on each stop. The force of this acceleration would reduce Santa to “chunky salsa”. (source)
3. Hanging stockings started by accident.
According to an old legend, we hang our stockings by the chimney because of a poor man who did not have the money for his three daughters to get married. Generous old St. Nick dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night, where the girls had hung their stockings to dry by the fire; which is allegedly how the tradition began. (source)
4. All letters addressed to Santa in the United States go to the same post office.
Since the early 1900’s, all letters addressed to Santa Claus end up at a small post office in Santa Claus, Indiana. Every letter with a return address will receive a reply, handwritten by the postmaster or one of his many “elf” volunteers. In Canada, Santa has his own zip code as part of “Santa Letter-Writing Program” literacy initiative. The zip code? HOH OHO. (source)
5. We ship a ridiculous amount of packages around the holidays.
Last year, USPS alone shipped an estimated 850 million packages as well as 15 billion pieces of mail in between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This includes gifts for faraway loved ones, heartfelt cards, and letters to Santa. (source)
6. The average American spends nearly $1,000 on gifts during the holiday season.
According to a study by the National Retail Federation, consumers say they’ll spend nearly $1,000 for the holidays on average. In 2018, total retail sales in November and December hit $729.3 billion; a four percent increase from the previous year. (source)
7. Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.
And Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.
8. Scientists might have an idea as to why Rudolph’s nose is red.
Why was Rudolph’s nose red, so shiny red that he could guide Santa’s sleigh through the darkness? According to Norwegian scientists, Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of an infection of his respiratory system. (source)
9. Each year there are approximately 20,000 “Santas” across the United States that 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 or gifts from parents while the young ones are looking and avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch.
10. There are more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States.
There are approximately 350 million Christmas trees growing on U.S. farms and approximately 100,000 people are employed full or part-time in the Christmas tree industry. Also, it takes 7 – 10 years for a tree to grow from a seedling to an approximate size of 8′.