Who invented The Elf on the Shelf and more holiday trivia

Who invented The Elf on the Shelf and more holiday trivia

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The Elf on the Shelf was written in 2004 by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell.

Who is the poinsettia named after?
The poinsettia was named for Joel Poinsett, a U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who introduced it to the United States from Mexico in 1829.

In what year did Hershey's start wrapping its Kisses in holiday colors?
Hershey's wrapped their Kisses in colored foil (other than silver) for the first time in 1962. Hershey's sold red, green, and silver Kisses during the Christmas season that year in addition to its year-round silver-wrapped ones.

How many Kisses can Hershey's wrap in one minute?
Today's machines can wrap up to 1,300 Hershey's Kisses a minute. Hershey's has the capacity to make approximately 33 million Hershey's Kisses per day, or more than 12 billion a year at their plants in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Oakdale, California.

Why do people hang mistletoe in doorways?
The ancient druids believed mistletoe had magic powers as well as medicinal properties. Later, the custom developed in England (and, still later, in the United States) of kissing under the mistletoe, an action once believed to lead inevitably to marriage.

Who wrote "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"?
Clement Clarke Moore, an American scholar, supposedly composed "A Visit From St. Nicholas" to amuse his children on Christmas 1822. A houseguest supposedly copied it and gave it to the press. The Troy, New York, Sentinel first published it anonymously on Dec. 23, 1823.

Where is the North Pole?
The North Pole, home to Santa Claus and his elves, is in the Arctic Ocean, about 450 miles north of Greenland.

When did Christmas become so commercialized?
Macy's first remained open until midnight on Christmas Eve in 1867. The store first featured window displays with a Christmas theme in 1874, and the holiday season has never been the same since.

What is the origin of the custom of giving gifts at Christmastime?
Gift giving has its roots in the story of the gifts from the Three Wise Men to the baby Jesus. In 16th century Europe, children received bundles called "Christ-bundles," full of toys, food, and birch rods to remind them of the importance of good behavior. The exchange of gifts between adults didn't appear in the modern sense until the 19th century.

Who wrote "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas?"
Irving Berlin, in 1942. It is one of the most popular songs ever recorded.

Where did the phrase "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" come from?
A letter to the editors at the New York Sun in 1897 from 8-year-old Virgina O'Hanlon prompted the now famous reply: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist."

Who were the Magi?
In the Christian tradition, the Magi were three kings from the East bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, who followed the star of Bethlehem to pay homage to the baby Jesus.

Where does the White House get its Christmas tree?
The National Christmas Tree Association presents the First Family with a tree every year, after selecting it at their annual convention.

Where do most real Christmas trees come from?
The top Christmas tree-producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington, and Wisconsin.

How did Dec. 25 become the day we celebrate Christmas?
In A.D. 336, Christian leaders set the date to Dec. 25, the same day as a popular pagan holiday in Rome (Saturnalia) that celebrated the winter solstice.

What is Advent?
In the Christian church, Advent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Traditionally, on each of the four Sundays before Christmas, Christians hang a wreath with four candles (each symbolizing one of the Advent Sundays) in their homes and churches.

What's a yule log?
The word yule has Middle English roots meaning "to cry aloud." Scholars think it relates to early Anglo-Saxon winter solstice celebrations. Bringing in a large log to serve as the base for holiday fires is an age-old tradition popularized in the 19th century.

Why do we deck the halls with boughs of holly?
In the Middle Ages, the Christian church forbade the hanging of mistletoe because of its pagan origins, and suggested holly as a substitute. The sharp leaves symbolize Christ's crown of thorns, and the red berries signify drops of his blood. Since the 19th century, wreaths of evergreens, holly, or pinecones and nuts have been traditional decorations in Northern Europe, the United States, and Canada.

Who wrote A Christmas Carol?
Charles Dickens wrote this holiday classic in the mid-1800s. Dickens loved Christmastime, and preserving the spirit of Christmas throughout the year was a common theme in his writing and personal life.

Why do we decorate Christmas trees?
Decorating Christmas trees is an age-old German tradition in which people hung trees known as paradise trees with religious symbols. The modern-day American practice of adorning a tree with multicolored decorations originated in Victorian England. German settlers brought the custom to the United States and the practice continues to this day.

What does the "X" stand for in Xmas?
The familiar abbreviation for Christmas originated with the Greeks. X is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Xristos.

Who popularized Santa Claus?
Between 1863 and 1886, the magazine Harper's Weekly ran a series of engravings by the famed political cartoonist Thomas Nast that included pictures of the jolly old Santa we know today.

What is the origin of the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
An advertising employee at the department store Montgomery Ward wrote the story in 1939 for a store promotion. The store gave away 2.4 million copies of the story to its customers that year and it's been part of American popular culture ever since.

How did Santa Claus become the symbol he is today?
Dutch colonists brought this tradition with them to North America in the 17th century. The English-speaking majority adopted Sinterklaas but called him Santa Claus, and united the legend of a kindly old man with old Nordic folktales of a magician who punished naughty children and rewarded good children with presents. The resulting image of Santa Claus in the United States crystallized in the 19th century and appears poised to continue into the 21st.

What does the word Christmas mean?
The word comes from an old English word that means "Christ's Mass." The holiday commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.

What does Kwanzaa mean?
Kwanzaa is Swahili for "fresh fruits." The holiday is based on African harvest festival traditions.

What is the origin of Kwanzaa?
Maulana Karenga, a professor of black studies at California State University at Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in 1966 as a nonreligious celebration of family and social values for African American families.

When is Kwanzaa celebrated?
Kwanzaa is celebrated daily from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

What are the seven principles of Kwanzaa?
Unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani).

What is the karamu?
The karamu, or feast, held on Dec. 31, is one of the high points of the seven days of Kwanzaa. Food, music, and dance are part of the karamu.

What is the winter solstice?
The winter solstice takes place on Dec. 21 or 22. In the Northern Hemisphere, it marks the time the sun is farthest away from the earth: the year's shortest day. In ancient times, people celebrated the winter solstice as a day of rebirth.

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