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Author: Hargus Winnie

10 Interesting Facts and Information About Christmas for Kids

There’s something special about Christmas and kids look forward to this festival the most. And why shouldn’t they? After all, they get gifts from Santa Claus. But there’s more to Christmas than gifts and decorating the house.

Your kids will have Christmas holidays and will most likely spend their time playing.

How about this time you share with them some amazing facts about Christmas?

Read these Christmas facts to your kids and help them learn about this festival.

They can share this amazing information about Christmas with their friends too!

Amazing Christmas Facts for Children

Tell these jolly good Christmas facts to your kids. We are sure your children will love to know the history of everything that makes Christmas so special.

1. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is an annual Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The 25th day of December was chosen to mark His birthday by the Roman Catholic Church years after His death. And this Christian holiday is celebrated by Christians all over the world.ADVERTISEMENT

2. Christmas trees were first used by ancient Egyptians and Romans

The origin or the use of Christmas trees goes way back to ancient Egyptians and Romans. They used evergreen trees like fir or pine trees, wreaths, and garlands. And the use of modern Christmas trees started in Germany in the 16th century. Instead of the glitzy decorations that we see on them today, they were decorated with fruits and nuts. Wet bet you didn’t know this interesting fact about the Christmas tree!

3. The term ‘Xmas’ simply means Christmas

The use of the term ‘Xmas’ dates back to the 16th century. The ‘X’ in the word Xmas comes from the ancient Greek language. In Greek, Christ begins with the letter X. So, Xmas simply means Christmas.

4. Santa Claus was known as Sinterklaas in Dutch

For children, Christmas is all about receiving gifts from Santa Claus. But how did Santa Claus come into existence? The character of Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas.

As per a legend, St. Nicholas was a Christian bishop who provided for the poor and needy. He also loved children and enjoyed giving gifts to them secretly.

As his story spread, he was called Sinterklaas in Dutch, which later became Santa Claus. We bet, you didn’t know this fact either!

5. Santa Claus did not always dress up in red clothes

Santa Claus initially wore clothes that were in green, purple, or blue. For many years, this was the common theme for the jolly old man at the North Pole. However, Coca Cola decided to dress him up in colours that match their brand and that stuck. So this is why he is always in red clothes now!

6. Rudolph, the ‘Red-Nosed Reindeer’ has helpers too!

So you and your kids probably know Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, who pulls Santa’s sled on Christmas Eve. But do you know other reindeers? It would be impossible for Rudolph alone to pull Santa’s sled, don’t you think? It is filled with gifts to the brim for every good child in the world, and Rudolph can’t pull that all alone. Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, is in fact, Santa’s ninth reindeer. And there are eight other reindeers who help him. These eight reindeers are Cupid, Dancer, Vixen, Dunder, Comet, Dasher, Prancer, and Blixem.

7. Baby Jesus received some wonderful gifts when He was born

When Jesus was born, a bright star shone in the sky. Three kings followed this star and made a long journey to the birthplace of Jesus. They bore with them gifts of gold, frankincense (aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes), and oils.

8. The Christmas wreath is a symbol of love and eternal life

The Christmas wreath is representative of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore.

Eventually, the colors of Christmas – red, green, and gold were added. Red is said to represent the blood of Jesus, green is supposed to symbolize life, and gold stands for royalty and light.

And the evergreen foliage used to make Christmas wreaths symbolizes the continuity of life and nature even in the darkest days of winters.

9. Carolling is based on the tradition of wassailing

Have you ever wondered why people go door to door singing carols? The tradition is based on the English custom of wassailing, which was a tradition to toast to someone’s good health and fortune. St. Francis of Assisi took this tradition and converted it to the modern form of carolling.

0. Santa Claus gets gifts too!

Santa comes bearing gifts for the children who have been good throughout the year. But do you know that Santa gets gifts too? Who gives presents to Santa? It’s us!

Yes, even you can give gifts to Santa!

And no, the jolly old man does not want traditional gifts, but he is a bit partial to cookies and milk to keep him satisfied during his trip around the world.

So this Christmas, ask your children to help you while you make cookies for them and for Santa.

Santa will love eating cookies made with love!

Why Do We Give Gifts At Christmas?

The tradition of giving presents at Christmas has roots that go back as far as the Nativity story, whereupon the Three Wise Men gave gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus.

Historical Significance

The Romans had their own tradition of giving gifts during Saturnalia, which was a festival that began on the 17th of December and lasted until the 23rd.

St. Nicholas was perhaps one of the most famous gift givers in Christmas history, as he delighted children and adults alike in the surprise presents he left behind in the shoes that were left outside.

Yet is was the 18th Century, that gift giving became a central tradition of the Christmas festivities.

The gifts that were given were to remind those of the King’s journey, and of God’s selfless gift to humanity, and to help those who were unfortunate.

The Victorians brought warmth and spirit to Christmas, making the celebration more about the family. The strictest of parents would enjoy games with their young children, hearts filled with charity and friendliness.

To the Victorians, to give a gift was as an expression of kindness, ingenuity and merriment.

One such tradition would be a cobweb party. Each family member was assigned a color, then shown to a room which was criss-crossed with yarn of varying colors. The job was to find your color, such as green, and follow it, to find where a small gift would be.

Nowadays, Christmas seems to be all about the gifts.

Christmas advertisements have been in newspapers since 1820 and Father Christmas (or Santa Claus) has appeared in stores since 1840.

By 1867, the Macy’s department store in New York City decided to stay open until midnight on Christmas Eve, to allow the shoppers to make their last-minute purchases.

Many argue that Christmas would be incredibly different, without the many advertisements and places to buy gifts for their loved ones.

Most parents of young children are unwilling to do away entirely with what might be called the “gimmicky” or “commercial” Christmas, but that is no reason why some of the spirits of past holidays, such as the traditional fun Victoria Christmas, cannot be incorporated in modern society.

The History of Giving Presents at Christmas – Christmas Customs and Traditions

One of the main reasons we have the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the Wise Men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh.

The Wisemen visiting Jesus
  • Gold: is associated with Kings and Christians believe that Jesus is the King of Kings.
  • Frankincense: is sometimes used in worship in Churches and showed that people would worship Jesus.
  • Myrrh: is a perfume that is put on dead bodies to make them smell nice; Christian believe that it showed that Jesus would suffer and die.

Christmas itself is really about a big present that God gave the world about 2000 years ago – Jesus! One of the most famous Bible verses, John 3:16, says: ‘God loved the world so much, that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life.’.

All over the world, families, and friends give presents to each other. Most children around the world believe in a Christmas gift-bringer. It’s often St. Nicholas, Santa Claus or Father Christmas, but in parts of Germany they believe that it is the Christkind, in Spain they believe it is the Wise Men and in parts of Italy they believe it is an old lady called Befana.

These presents are also left in different places! In most of Europe, the presents are left in shoes or boots put out by the children. In Italy, the UK and the USA presents are left in stockings, often left hanging by a fire place. In many countries, presents for friends and family may be left under the Christmas Tree. In the UK, they are often opened on Christmas day morning with all the family together.

The custom of hanging stockings comes from the story of St. Nicholas.

Presents are opened on different days over the world as well. The earliest presents are opened is on St. Nicholas’ Eve on December 5th when children in The Netherlands of ten receive their presents. On St. Nicholas’ Day (6th December) children in Belgium, Germany, Czechia and some other European countries open some of their presents.

Children in the UK, USA and many other countries, such as Japan, open their presents on Christmas Day, December 25th.

The latest presents are opened on January 6th (a month after the earliest). This is known as Epiphany and is mainly celebrated in Catholic countries such Spain and Mexico.

One popular way of giving presents in groups such as clubs, school classes and workplaces is to have a ‘Secret Santa’.

This is where you pull the name of someone else in the group out of a hat (or other container!).

You then buy a present for that person. When the presents are given out (often at a Christmas party) each person is given their present but they have no idea which person in the group bought it for them!

Why Children Get Gifts on Christmas: A History

During a week when so many Americans have experienced some combination of joy, rage, and frustration in seeking the perfect holiday gifts for their children, it seems appropriate to pause and ask: Where did the practice of giving Christmas gifts to children come from?

There does not appear to be an easy answer. Gifts do not primarily serve as rewards: Commentators on the political left and right have in recent years asked parents to abandon the “naughty and nice” paradigm that suggests such presents are prizes for good behavior, and indeed historical evidence suggests that proper conduct has not been a widespread prerequisite for young Americans to receive Christmas gifts.

Nor do presents seem to have a clear connection to Christian faith. Some American families have established a “three-gift” Christmas in an effort to link the practice to the generosity of the three wise men in the story of Jesus’s birth, but again no broad historical precedent exists for this link.

In fact, religious leaders have long been more likely to decry the commercialization of Christmas as detracting from the true spirit of the holiday than to celebrate the delivery of purchased goods to middle-class or wealthy children. (Donating gifts to poor children is a different matter, of course, but that practice became common in the United States only after gift-giving at home became a well-established ritual.)

Critics of the commercialization of Christmas tend to attribute the growth of holiday gift-giving to corporate marketing efforts.

Although such efforts did contribute to the magnitude of the ritual, the practice of buying Christmas presents for children predates the spread of corporate capitalism in the United States: It began during the first half of the 1800s, particularly in New York City, and was part of a broader transformation of Christmas from a time of public revelry into a home- and child-centered holiday.

This reinvention was driven partly by commercial interests, but more powerfully by the converging anxieties of social elites and middle-class parents in rapidly urbanizing communities who sought to exert control over the bewildering changes occurring in their cities.

By establishing a new type of midwinter celebration that integrated home, family, and shopping, these Americans strengthened an emerging bond between Protestantism and consumer capitalism.

In his book The Battle for Christmas, the historian Stephen Nissenbaum presents the 19th-century reinvention of the holiday as a triumph of New York’s elites over the city’s emerging working classes. New York’s population grew nearly tenfold from 1800 to 1850, and during that time elites became increasingly frightened of traditional December rituals of “social inversion,” in which poorer people could demand food and drink from the wealthy and celebrate in the streets, abandoning established social constraints much like on Halloween night or New Year’s Eve. These rituals, which occurred any time between St. Nicholas Day (a Catholic feast day observed in Europe on December 6) and New Year’s Day, had for centuries been a means of relieving European peasants’ (or American slaves’) discontent during the traditional downtime of the agricultural cycle. In a newly congested urban environment, though, aristocrats worried that such celebrations might become vehicles for protest when employers refused to give workers time off during the holidays or when a long winter of unemployment loomed for seasonal laborers.