All About Christmas

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Though his ubiquity is easily taken for granted, Santa Claus as we know him (white beard, red suit) didn't come onto the scene until about 1900. You can thank Coca-Cola, which used the modern-day Santa in a 1930s ad campaign, for popularizing the jolly, toy-giving figure that prevails today. Prior to that campaign, there were many incarnations of Santa, from a tall, gaunt man to an impish elf. Even today, depictions of Santa can vary. In the Netherlands, for instance, St. Nick is thin, wears a bishop's robe and hat, and rides a horse named Amerigo.

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  1. In Indiana, there is a town named Santa Claus. 00:18

  2. From 1659 to 1681 it was a crime for Puritans to celebrate Christmas. 01:07

  3. Santa would have to visit over 800 homes each second to make it to every home in one night. 01:40

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  1. The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree originated when a group of construction workers placed a tree at their worksite. 01:21

  2. Jingle Bells is the first song ever broadcasted from space. 04:15

  3. Wreathes date back to the ancient Greek and Romans. 05:55

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  1. Krampus, the evil Christmas devil, is the antithesis of Santa. 00:42

  2. Legend has it, Krampus will visit children during the holiday season if they have done something bad over the year. 01:01

  3. Krampus is a centuries-old tradition in Germany and Austria. 03:54

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  1. The Fraser fir is the most popular choice for a Christmas tree. 00:11

  2. Scientists are trying to breed better Christmas trees that don't shed as many needles. 00:47

  3. Cold weather helps evergreen trees to hold their needles longer. 01:17

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  1. Sending Christmas cards is a tradition that begin in the 1840s by Sir Henry Cole. 00:09

  2. The first Christmas card read "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You." 00:20

  3. When Christmas cards were introduced, they cost less to send than an ordinary letter. 00:28

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