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Fun facts about Christmas origins

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Fun facts about Christmas origins

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The first artificial Christmas trees, made of goose feathers and dyed green, were introduced to the United States by German immigrants.

“Before the Germans, the idea of the Christmas trees originated from the Vikings,” said junior Linsey Kim.

Christmas trees grow for about 15 years before being cut and sold. Northgate Shopping Center is home of the tallest cut Christmas tree. The 221-ft Douglas fir was cut down in 1950 and was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.

President Teddy Roosevelt banned trees from the White House in 1912.

“My family sends out a Christmas card every year and did you know that more than three billion cards are sold during the holidays in the country,” said junior Nicole Yamada.

Christmas wasn’t always observed as an official holiday in the United States. The state of Alabama was the first to recognize it in 1836. It was declared a national holiday in June 1870, but Oklahoma procrastinated and didn’t finalize it as a legal holiday until 1907.

The history of the mistletoe actually has a less romantic meaning than most think. The term “mistletoe” originates from the Anglo-Saxon word “mistletan” which means “little dung twig.” It was named this because the plant spreads through bird droppings. Some ancient peoples, such as the Druids, honored the mistletoe plant as sacred. They thought it so powerful because it remained green and fruitful during the winter season when all other plants died. The ancient peoples believed it had the power to cure infertility, and they never let it touch the ground.

“The most common mistletoe you see during Christmas, the American mistletoe, is actually one of  two that are native to the United States. The other is dwarf mistletoe,” said senior Sara Tashima

The legend of the Christmas stocking begins with three unmarried daughters. The family was very poor and their father was forced to sell them into prostitution. However, St. Nicholas overheard villagers talking about the situation and wanted to help. Knowing the father refused to accept any charity, on Christmas Eve St. Nicholas secretly tossed a bag of gold into each of the girl’s stockings hanging above the fireplace. The next morning the family was overjoyed and was able to save its daughters.

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The Voice of Sacred Hearts Academy
Fun facts about Christmas origins