Christmas holds meanings of joy, peace, hope, love, and wonder for people worldwide. Though traditions and means of celebration vary, these roots run deep. Because of this, Christmas is one of the most beloved holidays around the globe.
And you know we love doing fun facts for you guys. So here, without much rhyme or reason, is your Christmas edition of Fun Facts with Hamilton!
- Christmas was not celebrated in early America. The Puritans who initially settled the nation believed it to be a symbol of English decadence. However, thanks in part to the inspirational writings of Washington Irving and Charles Dickens, Christmas was re-popularized after the Revolution, and later declared a federal holiday in 1870.
- In America, Santa’s image has evolved quite a bit over the years. But in 1931, Coca Cola commissioned Haddon Sundblom to design a Santa for their marketing. Sundblom’s creation established the image of the happy, red-suited Santa that we know and love today.
- In Japan, people flock to Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas Eve to get a bucket of “Christmas Chicken.” It started in 1974 when KFC Japan launched an advertising campaign… “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) The campaign was incredibly successful — 50 years later, the Colonel is a guest at almost every table!
- Every year in Iceland, they celebrate Christmas with a Jolabokaflod, or “The Christmas Book Flood.” People exchange books with one another on Christmas Eve and spend the night cozied up reading with treats and hot drinks. It is so popular that it contributes to the fact that Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world!
- Last year in 2019, the U.S. Postal Service delivered over 910 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, with COVID separating families and changing holiday shopping, that number is expected to be much higher. (And that’s not to mention the estimated 7 million packages going out a day between FedEx and UPS. Send your gifts early, folks!)
- American average spending about $1000 on Christmas gifts every year. This totals over $1 trillion in national spending for the holidays.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that as many as 100 fires are started every year by dried-out Christmas trees, leading to around $15.7 million in property damage. The CPSC has also estimated as many as 17,500 holiday decorating injuries occur from November-December. So, water your trees and be careful out there!
- Speaking of Christmas trees, the leading “tree producing states” are California, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. A whopping 98% of all Christmas trees in the nation are grown in these states.
- There’s about a ba-jillion Christmas song out there –too many to count. (And if we’re honest, a whole lot of them are re-covered by different artists) But, did you know that one of the most popular Christmas songs, “Jingle Bells,” was originally a Thanksgiving song penned in 1850?
Since we’re all about connecting people with people here at Hamilton Connections, we hope these few fun and random facts gave you something to share at your Christmas table this year. And whether that table will be in person or via Zoom, we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas! If you have any questions about how we can help you connect to the next step in your career, or connect to the next person in your team, call us today!