All About Christmas

All About Christmas

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.

02:08

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    In Indiana, there is a town named Santa Claus. (0:18)

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    From 1659 to 1681 it was a crime for Puritans to celebrate Christmas. (1:07)

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    Santa would have to visit over 800 homes each second to make it to every home in one night. (1:40)

08:21

Key Facts In This Video

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

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    Jingle Bells is the first song ever broadcasted from space. (4:15)

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    Wreathes date back to the ancient Greek and Romans. (5:55)

04:40

Key Facts In This Video

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    Krampus, the evil Christmas devil, is the antithesis of Santa. (0:42)

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    Legend has it, Krampus will visit children during the holiday season if they have done something bad over the year. (1:01)

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

01:56

Key Facts In This Video

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    The Fraser fir is the most popular choice for a Christmas tree. (0:11)

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    Scientists are trying to breed better Christmas trees that don't shed as many needles. (0:47)

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    Cold weather helps evergreen trees to hold their needles longer. (1:17)

00:51

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Sending Christmas cards is a tradition that begin in the 1840s by Sir Henry Cole. (0:09)

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    The first Christmas card read "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You." (0:20)

  • 3

    When Christmas cards were introduced, they cost less to send than an ordinary letter. (0:28)

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