WASHINGTON – As you celebrate Christmas Sunday, here are some fun facts about the holiday you might not know about:
- In 1836 Alabama became the first U.S. state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday.
- In 1907 Oklahoma became the last state to make it official.
- In 1926, the first singing jingle played over the radio airwaves on Christmas Eve. It was “Have you tried your Wheaties.”
- A Jewish man wrote “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and a few other classic Christmas songs.
- The real St. Nicholas lived in Turkey where he was a bishop in the early 4th century.
- The Dutch turned the bishop into a Christmas gift-giving guy. When Dutch settlers migrated to the U.S. they brought the St. Nick tradition with them. Eventually, he eventually became known at Santa Claus.
- President Theodore Roosevelt was a bit of a scrooge when it came to Christmas trees. As a conservationist he banned Christmas trees in the White House. Some say his kids would sneak Christmas trees into their rooms, against his wishes.
- Germany made the first artificial Christmas tree out of goose feathers dyed green.
- Electric lights for Christmas trees were first used in 1895.
- “It’s a Wonderful Life” appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie.
- Rudolph the Red_Nosed Reindeer was actually created by department store Montgomery Ward in the late 1930s for a holiday promotion.
- The poinsettia plan was brought into the United States from Mexico by Joel Poinsett in the early 1800s.
- In Greek, X means Christ, which is how the word “X-mas” came to be.
- In Mexico, wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is said to bring new love in the upcoming year.
- And the saying really wasn’t “Bah Humbug.” It was “Bah Christmas.”
WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.
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