Santa Claus
Modern day Santa owes his existence in large measure to the Vikings. In Norse mythology, Odin, the long-bearded father of the gods presided over the midwinter Yule festival. Soaring above the rooftops astride his 8-legged white horse, Sleipnir, Odin led the flying Wild Hunt where he would slip down chimneys and deliver toys and candy into children’s boots left warming by the fireplace. Another fun fact: the word jolly is derived from the Old Norse jōl, meaning yule.

Tinsel
comes from the Old French word ‘estincele’ which means “sparkle”. Originally made from real silver, the shiny strands were meant to enhance the candlelight on a Christmas tree representing the starry sky over the Nativity.

KFC Christmas Dinner in Japan
Fried Chicken is the meal of choice for Christmas dinner in Japan. Sparked by KFC’s 1970s ad campaign for “Kentucky Christmas” or “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii,” the fast-food chain has become synonymous with the holiday. People reserve their meals months in advance.

H0H 0H0
The special zip code/postal code that Canada Post set up to ensure that all letters to Santa are directed promptly to the North Pole. Postage is free and every child (from both Canada and abroad) who writes a letter to Santa receives a personalised response.

Norad Santa Tracker
This hugely popular program which follows Santa’s sleigh progress via U.S. military radar and satellite systems actually started in the height of the Cold War because of a misprint in a Sears Christmas ad. The ad instructed kids to call Santa directly on what mistakenly turned out to be a top-secret military hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs. Rather than disappoint the youngsters, the colonel in charge staffed the (literally red) phone with airmen who gave the children Santa’s flight coordinates throughout Christmas Eve.

Banned in Boston
The 1950s hit song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” was originally banned by the Roman Catholic Church on the grounds that it mixed sex with Christmas. The ban was lifted after singer Jimmy Boyd famously met with church officials to explain why the song was not obscene.

Why is Christmas shortened to Xmas?
Christians have historically used “X” as a symbol to represent “Christ.” It comes from the Greek letter “Chi”, or “X”, which is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Christos). The “mas” ending comes from the Old English word for “mass”, these two words together make the term “Christ’s mass” or Christmas.

Why do the British tend to use the phrase “Happy Christmas” while Americans prefer “Merry Christmas?”
“Merry Christmas” started to fall from favour during the Temperance Movement in Victorian England because “merry” also means “tipsy” in British slang. The Royal family, who also introduced the tradition of indoor Christmas trees, popularised the use of “Happy Christmas” as part of their effort to redefine the holiday from a drunken, raucous affair to one centreed around family and charity.

Tis the season for break-ups?
According to a 2010 Facebook study, the peak time for couples to break-up during the year is two weeks before Christmas. However, the least likely day of the year to get a Dear John letter (or text) is Christmas day because that would just be too cruel.

$39,094.93
The cost to buy all 364 items on the 12 Days of Christmas gift list, according to Forbes magazine. Particularly tough on the wallet are the 7 Swans-a-Swimming which will cost you a whopping $13,125.00.

Aside from other important holiday to-do’s like taking a family Christmas photo and getting your shopping done, another significant item on your Christmas checklist is your annual Christmas card. This season, we’re here to help you get your Christmas cards signed, sealed and delivered. Our guide will help you create the perfect Season’s greetings for everyone on your list. The last thing you need to worry about is what to write in your Christmas cards!

WHAT TO WRITE IN A CHRISTMAS CARD?

= Start your Christmas card message with a Christmas greeting like “Happy Holidays!” or “Merry Christmas!”

= Write a personalized messaged based on your relationship with the recipient.

= For business Christmas cards, write Christmas messages that are cheerful yet appropriate.

= Write a few funny Christmas card lines if you know your card recipient is the type to enjoy a good laugh.

= Write a few religious sayings or Christmas bible verses for those recipients who celebrate their faith during the holiday season.

= Write Christmas card quotes to share the magic of the season.

= Don’t forget to sign your Christmas cards.

IN DETAIL: WHAT TO WRITE IN A CHRISTMAS CARD

It’s not always easy to put your feelings into words or sum up the memorable year that your family had. We have you covered with everything you need to know about what to write in a Christmas card to jump start your writing. Follow the steps below to create the perfect Christmas card sayings for your holiday greetings:

1. Start your Christmas card message with a Christmas greeting. The beginning of your message should include short and sweet greetings that serve as a festive way to address your card recipients. A Christmas wish can go a long way and is the perfect opening for your tailored greeting. Traditional sentiments include, “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!”

2. Write a personalized message based on your relationship with the recipient. If you’re close with the card recipient, write a heartfelt message. This will show your card recipient just how much you’re thinking about them this holiday season. Use details specific to the person opening the card to personalize your Christmas card sentiments. Make comments about some big news, a special occasion coming up or a new addition to the family to go along with the rest of your greeting.

3. For business Christmas cards, use Christmas messages that are cheerful yet appropriate. Remember to use formal or professional titles when addressing your Christmas cards, especially when writing on behalf of your business.

4. Write a few funny Christmas card lines if you know your card recipient is the type to enjoy a few laughs.

5. Write a few religious sayings or Christmas bible verses for those recipients who celebrate their faith during the holiday season.

6. Use Christmas card quotes to share the magic of the season. Quotes are the perfect way to inspire your loved ones during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to use cheerful or jolly quotes that spread your festive spirit.

7. Don’t forget to sign your Christmas cards. Use a warm closing for close family and friends, use formal titles for those recipients’ you are not as close with and utilize a more professional closing for your business Christmas cards.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!