As you probably already know, I am a lover of lists. Naturally, one of my favorite websites is list25.com. This morning, I found this interesting list of 25 Things you didn’t know about Christmas. You can check out the full list here, but I listed my favorites below:
1. Mistletoe Literally meaning “dung twig”, mistletoe is named after the fact that it tends to spring out of bird droppings on trees after the seeds have passed through the bird’s digestive tract. Not only this, but it can also be very parasitic, often requiring a host tree in order to sustain itself. So, next time you kiss your significant other beneath the mistletoe, remember, you’re standing beneath a parasitic poop twig.
2. Retail Madness Everyone knows that America has the world’s leading consumer culture but even so, this little piece of Christmas trivia is borderline unbelievable. According to the statisticians, Christmas purchases account for a mind-blowing 1/6 of all annual retail sales in the United States
3. Breakup Season According to Facebook, around two weeks before Christmas is one of the most popular times of the year for couples to break up. Christmas itself, however, is one of the least likely days for a breakup. Evidently it’s a lot easier to open presents than it is to buy them.
4. The 12 Days of Christmas Next time you get a chance to listen to the 12 Days of Christmas try to count all of gifts that are exchanged. If you do it right you’ll notice that there are 364 in total, one for each day of the year. Were you to put all of these gifts under the tree it would cost you $18,348.87 according to PNC Financial Services.
5. World War II It seems like every year the holiday season gets extended and today some stores even start getting ready for Christmas before Halloween. Although much of this can be attributed to commercialization, it was during World War II that the season really got elongated when families had to send gifts to the troops early in order for them to arrive on time.
6. Rent-A-Santa Every year in the United States about 20,000 Rent-a-Santas are hired. Evidently, however, it isn’t the easiest job in the world. These Santas undergo training on how to cope with pressure from the public, how to deal with rowdy children, and even what not to eat to avoid having bad breath.
7. Rent-A-Con So, if there are 20,000 Rent-a-Santas running around putting children on their lap and handing out candy, one naturally has to wonder, how many of these guys have criminal records? According to pre-imply.com the number is 7%.
8. Speedy Santa According to UNICEF, there are 2,106 million children under the age of 18 in the world. If you do the math it works out to about 842 million stops that Santa would have to make on Christmas Eve, meaning he would have to travel about 221 million miles total. In order to reach every stop that night he would need to go from house to house in less than 1/5,000 of a second, requiring an acceleration of 12.19 million miles per second every time.
9. The Santa Cause Every year North Pole, Alaska gets hundreds of thousands of letters from children all over the world. Volunteers from the small town of 1,600 make an effort to reply to every letter that has a return address.
10. The Statue of Liberty In 1886 the United States became the recipient of the largest Christmas present in history when France presented it with the Statue of Liberty – 225 tons and 46.5 meters high.
Christmas is only 3 days away! 10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3...