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Christmas Trivia

This is a subcategory of Holidays

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"Hot cockles" was a popular game at Christmas in medieval times. It was a game in which the other players took turns striking the blindfolded player, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow. "Hot cockles" was still a Christmas pastime until the Victorian era.

"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was conceived by author Robert May in 1939. Two other names he considered before deciding on Rudolph were Reginald and Rollo.

“The Nutcracker” is the name for the ballet performed around Christmas time each year. “The Nutcracker Suite” is the title of the music Tchaikovsky wrote.

Holiday Headaches: Nearly one in four people said they have more headaches during the Christmas season than any other time of the year. Of those surveyed, 75 percent said that not having enough time caused them to have headaches; 73 percent said crowds and traffic created their headaches; and 51 percent said skipping meals gave them headaches.

A boar's head is a traditional Christmas dish. According to a popular story, the unlucky boar whose head began the custom in the Middle Ages was killed by choking to death on a book of Greek philosophy. The story claims that a university student saved himself from a charging boar by ramming a book of Aristotle's writings down its throat. He then cut off the boar's head and brought it back to his college.

A Christmas club, a savings account in which a person deposits a fixed amount of money regularly to be used at Christmas for shopping, came about around 1905.

A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

According to a 1995 survey, 7 out of 10 British dogs get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.

According to a 1997 Gallup poll, 29 percent of Americans found the Christmas holidays more stressful than enjoyable. Those with the lowest incomes were most likely to find the season stressful, perhaps reflecting their inability to participate fully in the commercial, gift-giving aspects of the holiday.

According to Gale Research, the average American household wraps 30 Christmas gifts each year.

According to historical accounts, the first Christmas in the Philippines was celebrated 200 years before Ferdinand Magellan discovered the country for the western world, likely between the years 1280 and 1320 AD.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans buy 37.1 million real Christmas trees each year; 25 percent of them are from the nation's 5,000 choose-and-cut farms.

After A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens wrote several other Christmas stories, one each year, but none was as successful as the original.

Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday. This tradition began in 1836.

America's official national Christmas tree is located in King's Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the "General Grant Tree," is over 90 meters (300 feet) high. It was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.

An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees. A spider web found on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck.

As early as 1822, the postmaster in Washington, D.C. was worried by the amount of extra mail at Christmas time. His preferred solution to the problem was to limit by law the number of cards a person could send. Even though commercial cards were not available at that time, people were already sending so many home-made cards that sixteen extra postmen had to be hired in the city.

At Christmas, Ukrainians prepare a traditional twelve-course meal. A family's youngest child watches through the window for the evening star to appear, a signal that the feast can begin.

At lavish Christmas feasts in the Middle Ages, swans and peacocks were sometimes served "endored." This meant the flesh was painted with saffron dissolved in melted butter. In addition to their painted flesh, endored birds were served wrapped in their own skin and feathers, which had been removed and set aside prior to roasting.

Christmas caroling began as an old English custom called Wassailing — toasting neighbors to a long and healthy life.

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