Christmas Facts for Kids
The figure of Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas, a real person who lived during the fourth century in Patara, or what is now Turkey. Saint Nicholas was born in 270 AD.
German-born American illustrator Thomas Nast (1840-1902) helped create the modern version of Santa as jolly, chubby, and dressed mainly in red. Coca-Cola further solidified his image in the mainstream media in 1931 when they used him in their advertising.
In Europe, before the 16th century, gifts were exchanged on December 6th, the feast of St. Nicholas. Later, German protestants began celebrating Christkindl on December 25, a feast day for the Christ child.
According to legend santa claus lives at the north pole with mrs. Claus and his elves.
Santa originally had 8 reindeers dasher, dancer, prancer, vixen, comet, cupid, donner and blitzen. Rudolph is considered santa's 9th reindeer.
Rudolph was added to santa's reindeer team on one christmas eve during a bad snowstorm. Santa's 8 reindeer could not see to fly through the storm. Rudolph with his glowing red nose lit the way for santa's sleigh.
Did you know that before rudolph lead the way for santa's sleigh he was made fun of by the other reindeer for being different? Rudolph was the only reindeer with the glowing nose.
Did you know that if you write a letter to santa and address it to the santa's workshop at the north pole and bring it to the post office santa's christmas magic will pick it up and get it to him.
Christmas trees are also known as the Yule-tree.
Did you ever wonder where X-Mas came from? X is a symbol for Christ in Greek, so to shorten the word Christmas people sometimes use X-Mas.
In 1836 Alabama became the first state in the US to declare Christmas a legal holiday.
Do you know why we say the Twelve Days of Christmas? It is believed that it took the 3 kings 12 days to find baby Jesus.
The song Jingle Bells was written by James Pierpont in 1857. It was originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh” and was made for Thanksgiving.
There are two islands named Christmas; Christmas Island (formerly Kiritimati) in the Pacific Ocean and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.
The tallest Christmas tree ever displayed was in Seattle Washington in 1950. The Christmas tree was 221 feet tall!
The poinsettia is a traditional Christmas flower. In Mexico (its original birthplace), the poinsettia is known as the "Flower of the Holy Night". Since the 19th century, the poinsettia has been associated with Christmas.
Different names of Father Christmas/Santa Claus?
Austria: Christkind ("Christ child")
Belgium: Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) and De Kerstman ("Father Christmas")
Canada: Santa Claus; Père Noël ("Father Christmas")
France: Père Noël ("Father Christmas")
Germany: Weihnachtsmann ("Christmas Man"); Christkind in southern Germany
Hungary: Mikulás ("Nicholas"); Jézuska or Kis Jézus ("child Jesus")
Italy: Babbo Natale ("Father Christmas"); La Befana
Poland: Swiety Mikolaj
Portugal: Pai Natal ("Father Christmas")
Russia: Ded Moroz, "Grandfather Frost
Spain: Papa Noel
United Kingdom: Father Christmas; Santa Claus
United States: Santa Claus
India: Santa Claus