Christmas 2020: 6 Christmas-y facts you probably didn’t know!

Fact No. 1: Christmas is not complete unless one sings the popular song, Jingle Bells (you are humming it while reading this, just like we did while writing this!). But, did you know that the song that conjures up all things Christmas-y was actually written for Thanksgiving and not Christmas? Penned in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title One Horse Open Sleigh, the song was supposed to be played at Pierpont’s school on Thanksgiving in commemoration of the Medford sleigh races.

Fact No. 2: Jingle Bells was also, the first song to be broadcast from space by astronauts Walter Schirra Jr. and Thomas P. Stafford on December 16, 1965.

Fact No. 3: Contrary to popular belief, Christmas isn’t actually Christ’s birthday, and there is no mention of December 25 in the Bible. Many historians have argued that Jesus Christ was actually born in spring. Some historians believe that the date was chosen because it coincided with the pagan festival of Saturnalia — which is celebrated to honour the agricultural god Saturn.

Fact No. 4: The first Christmas celebrated on American land was in 1539 in Tallahassee, FL. The day as marked with religious mass — there weren’t any gift giving, tree decorations, etc.

Fact No. 5: Hollywood actor Jim Carrey’s movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is the highest-grossing movie on Christmas since 1980. It released in November 2000 and raked in $260,044,825.

Fact No. 6: Celebrating Christmas was actually illegal. In 1647, the Puritan-led English Parliament banned Christmas celebration. The day was replaced with a day of fasting as it was considered to be festival with no biblical justification, a waste of time and allowed for indulgence in immoral behaviour.

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Free Press Journal