Unwrap These Surprising Christmas Facts: Did You Know...

1) Christmas is a Christian holiday observed on December 25th each year to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. But no one knows for sure when exactly Jesus was born!

2) It may surprise you to learn that Christians observe Christmas on different days. Christmas Day falls on January 7th in some countries, such as Romania, the Ukraine, and Russia.

3) The term "Christmas" originates from the Old English expression "Cristes maesse," which translates to "Christ's mass." What about "Xmas," though? 

The Greek letter "Chi," which is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ, Xριστός (pronounced "Christos"), is said to be represented by the letter "X." 

4) Christmas trees also became more and more popular in Victorian Britain. However, these were originally observed in 16th-century Germany, where fir trees were adorned with fruit and nuts for Christmas, followed by candies, paper crafts, and candles.

5) Do you know how he came to be known as Santa Claus? It originates from Sinterklaas, a Dutch holiday celebrating Saint Nicholas.

The fourth-century Christian bishop St. Nicholas is revered as the patron saint of children because of his kindness and generosity. 

6) However, there are numerous other Christmas characters in the globe besides Santa! For instance, it is rumored that a good witch by the name of La Befana travels the country on a broomstick bringing toys to kids! A

Aditionally, children in Iceland put their shoes under the window for the Yule Lads, a group of 13 mischievous trolls. Sweets will be waiting for the child in their shoe if they have behaved well; if not, the Yule lads will leave them with a rotten potato! 

7) Just try to picture a world without Christmas. Does it feel a little odd? Sad, maybe? You might be surprised to hear that Christmas celebrations were forbidden in England in 1644, and that prohibition extended to the English-ruled American colonies soon after!

Government officials at the time believed that people had forgotten the religious significance of Christmas, so they outlawed the celebrations. Nevertheless, some continued to celebrate in secret until Christmas became legal once more—nearly 20 years later!

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