I had such a great response to last week’s blog about the history of X-Mas that I thought I would see what else I could dig up about this season. I found this website called RandomHistory.com, and there are some neat tidbits of trivia that were new to me. Check it out and see how many things you already knew.
Out of the 50 assorted fun facts in the article I read I particularly like a couple of points about Santa Claus. Fact # 31 states:
- Santa Claus is based on a real person, St. Nikolas of Myra (also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker, Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna, and Nikolaos of Bari), who lived during the fourth century. Born in Patara (in modern-day Turkey), 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.d (Grossman, John. 2008. Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas. New York, NY: Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
Over the years, as our children grew up, we often had discussions about how Santa was able to get to all the children in the world on Christmas Eve. I found tidbit # 49 helps our argument that Santa has helpers:
- According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there are 2,106 million children under age 18 in the world. If there are on average 2.5 children per household, Santa would have to make 842 million stops on Christmas Eve, traveling 221 million miles. To reach all 842 million stops, Santa would need to 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.”g (Highfield, Roger. 1998. The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey. New Yoir, NY: Little, Brown and Company.)
Other facts I found interesting state that even though most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, like Blitzen, Cupid and Comet, because those reindeer have antlers they are likely female! Also, scientists in Norway have a theory that Rudolph’s nose is red because he has a parasitic infection in his respiratory system! Awww, poor Rudolph!
OK, two more little items that made me smile are that Mistletoe comes from the Anglo-Saxon word, ‘misteltan’ which mean ‘little dung twig’ because that plant spreads through bird droppings! Also, one of our family traditions is to buy ‘Christmas Crackers’ that we crack open at dinner on the 25th. Did you know that the British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner? The crowns are stored in a ‘Christmas Cracker’ tube!
John and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy Holiday season. Remember, if you want to reach out to us here is our contact info. John is at John@JohnWeberTeam.com or by cell at 705-727-6111. Christie is at Christie@JohnWeberTeam.com or by cell at 705-220-1152.