Nothing else quite compares to the month of December. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve, your holiday celebrations most likely involve parties, gift-giving, and gathering together with family and friends to enjoy elaborate feasts and create special moments. Here are some interesting facts about each one – some might even surprise you!

And from all of us at Family Horizons, we wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.

  • The first artificial Christmas tree was made by the Germans out of dyed goose feathers.
  • Considering all the different time zones, Santa has 31 hours to deliver gifts, and visit 823 homes per second.
  • Why is Rudolph’s nose so red? Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that it’s probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.
  • Each year in the U.S., more than 3 billion Christmas cards are mailed.
  • Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • Mistletoe (Viscum album) is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig,” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.
  • With over 100 million sales worldwide, it is estimated that the single “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin is the best-selling single of all time.
  • In the U.S., Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales.
  • During the Christmas season, nearly 28 sets of LEGOs are sold every second.
  • Hanukkah also goes by the names of the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication. 
  • The last night of Hanukkah in Germany was once celebrated with great bonfires that were lit from leftover oil and wicks, and people danced and sang around the fire until the wee hours of the morning.
  • Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration from December 26th-Janurary 1st, and is not a religious holiday.
  • Kwanzaa was started in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga to celebrate and honor African culture and to also inspire African-Americans. It is mainly celebrated in the U.S.
  • The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green. Black represents the color of the people, green represents the fertile land of Africa, and red represents blood that was shed in the struggle for freedom.
  • The first U.S. postage stamp to commemorate Kwanzaa was issued in 1997. There have been 5 designs released since then, the most recent being in 2016.
  • Time Square’s New Year’s Eve Ball was first dropped in 1907 after there was a ban on fireworks. 
  • In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.
  • According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than any other holiday, 
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated the second full moon after the winter solstice.
  • Apples and honey are traditionally eaten during the Jewish New Year called Rosh Hashanah.
  • The top 10 resolutions are usually to lose weight, eat more healthily, exercise more, stop smoking, stick to a budget, save money, get more organized, be more patient, find a better job and to just be a better person over all.