Hello my name is Brenda McGraw coming to you with Ask God Today. I wanted to bring you some Christmas facts from the past.
18 Christmas Facts
Video by Brenda McGraw today:
- On December 6, 1964, Rudolph the Red–Nosed Reindeer, a stop motion animation television special by Rankin/Bass, was telecast on NBC. The film was based on a 1948 song by Johnny Marks, and a 1939 poem by Robert L. May. The program has aired every year since 1964, making it the longest-running Christmas television special.
- Christmas clubs were savings programs first offered by banks in 1909. The concept was simple: bank customers deposited a set amount of money each week into a special savings account, and received the money at a later date for Christmas shopping.
- The years immediately following WWII saw the release of two of the most popular Christmas films in US history: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and Miracle on 34th Street(1947).
- “The Little Drummer Boy“, based on an ancient Czech folksong, was written by Katherine K. Davis in 1957. The song tells the apocryphal story of a poor young boy who, unable to afford a gift for the infant Jesus, plays his drum with Mary‘s approval. The baby smiles at the boy in gratitude.
- Gifts for teens in the post-War years included face powder, radios, telephones, and cars. In the early 1950s, Angel Face powder was advertised as “the perfect girl-to-girl” Christmas gift.
- Another gift in demand was the streamlined, oval-shaped Princess telephone introduced in the early 1960s. The phone came in a variety of colors, including pink, turquoise, and cream. When one of Mattel‘s Barbie doll outfits included a Princess phone as an accessory, a fashion trend was born.
- Slinky was introduced to the Christmas market in November 1945 and remains in production today. The coil-shaped toy topples down stairs end-over-end.
- By 1963, many Baby Boomers had reached driver’s license age and, for the first time, middle-class families splurged on cars for their offspring.
- 1955 saw the culinary debut of Green Bean Casserole, a dish that remains a holiday favorite in America. Its ingredients include green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and, as a topping, French’s Fried Onions. The casserole was created by Campbell Soup Company in order to promote its cream soups. French’s reports that 50% of all French’s Fried Onions consumption occurs over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
- In 1961, 50 billion Christmas cards were mailed by Americans, and, in 1962, America’s first Christmas postage stamp was issued—causing a mild firestorm by those who felt the stamp violated separation of church and state.
- The tradition of having a National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. began in 1923 when a 48-foot Balsam Fir from Vermont was placed in the Ellipse outside the White House. On Christmas Eve, President Calvin Coolidge lit the 2,500 red, white and green electric bulbs on the tree.[
- McAdenville, North Carolina claims the distinction of being the first community to use outdoor Christmas lights. The Library of Congress notes that “the tradition of decorating evergreen trees with Christmas lights dates back to 1956 when the McAdenville Men’s Club conceived of the idea of decorating a few trees around the McAdenville Community Center.
- In 1900, only one in five American families had a [Christmas tree]. While America never lacked for real trees, the time and expense of retrieving them from the wild was significant. Early in the twentieth century, however, Christmas tree farms began supplying large metropolitan areas with real trees. In the 1920s, real trees became commonplace, supplanting artificial trees in American homes.
- Your Christmas tree is edible. Well, unless it’s made of plastic. The bark of evergreen trees is not only edible, but is actually a pretty good source of Vitamin C. Just don’t eat the pinecones. [Check; another source says the cones are a good vitamin source.]Artificial trees made of goose feathers were in use in American homes since the 1880s. In the 1930s, however, The Addis Brush Company, an American toilet bowl brush manufacturer, began making artificial trees of green-dyed bristles and then supplied the British (who suffered a dearth of wild trees) with thousands of artificial trees in the post-War years. Americans took little interest in the Addis artificial trees and remained loyal to real tree.
- German glass ornaments were introduced to America by Frank Woolworth in the 1880s but such ornaments were produced under labor-intensive conditions and were expensive, with few Americans being able to afford more than one or two ornaments per year. On the eve of World War II, however, American companies began manufacturing inexpensive, mass-produced ornaments that made it possible for almost any American to have an extensive collection of Christmas ornaments for little cost within moments.
- But the world saw its first living nativity in 1224, when St. Francis of Assisi re-created the birth of Jesus to explain the holiday to his followers. During that first display, the manger was also used as an altar for Christmas Mass.
- “Jingle Bells” is one of the best-known and commonly sung American Christmas songs in the world. It was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh” in the autumn of 1857. Even though it is now associated with the Christmas and holiday season, it was actually originally written for American Thanksgiving. It has been claimed that it was originally written to be sung by a Sunday school choir; however, historians dispute this, stating that it was much too “racy” to be sung by a children’s church choir in the days it was written.Jingle Bells was the first song sung in space.
- Silent Night was written in 1818, by an Austrian priest Joseph Mohr. He was told the day before Christmas that the church organ was broken and would not be prepared in time for Christmas Eve. He was saddened by this and could not think of Christmas without music, so he wanted to write a carol that could be sung by choir to guitar music. He sat down and wrote three stanzas. Later that night the people in the little Austrian Church sang “Stille Nacht” for the first time.
Leave us a comment if you have another fact you would like to share with us.
Facts taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_in_the_post-war_United_States#cite_note-Waggoner2-1 (Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia)
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