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Ten Christmas Myths

christmas myths

While researching Christmas customs and traditions, I ran across something quite interesting.  Not all of what we believe about
Christmas is factual.  We have been accustomed to celebrate Christmas a certain way, not realizing we are celebrating something that began completely different.  Somehow, over the years Christmas has evolved into what society wanted it to be.  Here are some myths about Christmas that many of us don't know about. 

 1. Myth: Jesus' birthday is December 25th. Most theologians agree that Jesus was born either in the Spring or the Summer, not in December.  Biblical narrative suggests that shepherds watching over their flocks in the field on the night of Jesus' birth is something done in the springtime, not winter.

2. Myth: The three men that came to visit Jesus for the first time were kings. The three wise men were actually astronomers. They could have been priests or interpreters of special signs, particularly astronomy. However, the gifts they gave to Jesus were those fit for a king (gold frankincense, and myrrh)

 3.  Myth: Clement C. Moore wrote "T'was the Night Before Christmas".  There are those who believe that it was really written by Henry Livingston, who was a Dutch poet that lived in upstate New York.  Livingston was more likely to have written the poem, as he was a lighthearted, humorous fellow, opposite that of Moore, who was a professor of Oriental and Greek literature.  It is believed that Moore recited the poem to his children, which was heard by a family friend that decided to send the work to be published, without crediting an author.  As the poem gained popularity, Moore claimed the poem as his own work.

4. Myth: Santa Claus was always a jolly old man, dressed in a red suit.  Actually, Santa Claus was derived from the dutch word Sinterklass based on St. Nicholas.  Sinterklass was an elderly stately and serious man with white hair and long full beard. He wore a long red cape and carried a shepherd's staff.  He traditionally rode a white horse. Sinterklass carried a big book that tells whether a child is good or bad.  It wasn't until the illustration by Thomas Nast that was published in 1881 did Santa Claus become a jolly figure.

5. Myth: Baking Christmas cookies is an American tradition.  The Christmas cookie actually came from the Dutch word "Koekje", which means "small cake". It was the Pennsylvania Dutch who first introduced holiday cookies to America.  Many of the cookies we enjoy today came form European immigrants.

6. Myth: Hallmark was the first Christmas card producer in America. Christmas cards became popular in America around the 1870s when a German immigrant, who owned a small Massachusetts print shop designed and printed beautiful cards.  He was known as "father of American Christmas cards". The problem was they were impractical to produce and he went out of business around 1900, when other print shops found a more affordable way to produce them.  Hallmark was founded around 1910. 

7.  Myth: Santa's original reindeer's were named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen.  Donner and Blitzen were originally named "Dunder and Blixem" and came from the  German words for thunder and lightning.

8. Myth: Mrs Claus doesn't have a first name.  Although Mrs Claus generally was not addressed to with a first name, there have been references to Mrs. Claus being referred to as Jessica Mary or Mary Christmas.

9. Myth: The national Christmas tree in Washington D.C. was lit every year since 1923. For the first time in history it was not lit in 1942 due to the need to conserve power and observe security restrictions on outdoor lighting, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. For security reasons, it was not lit again until after the war concluded in 1945.

10.

Jingle Bells' was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas

 
 

It's hard to go more than five minutes without hearing the familiar tune of 'Jingle Bells' running through your head during the month of December. The truth is that you should have been hearing it in November. According to Mental_Floss Magazine, composer James Lord Pierpont wrote the song in the 1850s to play for his Boston Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. Kids and adults loved the song and eventually changed the lyrics to fit Christmas. No word on whether the original lyrics contained the line, "Dashing through the snow, in a one-turkey open sleigh."



Read More: 25 Things You Might Not Know About Christmas | http://thefw.com/christmas-facts/?trackback=tsmclip

Jingle Bells' was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas

 
 

It's hard to go more than five minutes without hearing the familiar tune of 'Jingle Bells' running through your head during the month of December. The truth is that you should have been hearing it in November. According to Mental_Floss Magazine, composer James Lord Pierpont wrote the song in the 1850s to play for his Boston Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. Kids and adults loved the song and eventually changed the lyrics to fit Christmas. No word on whether the original lyrics contained the line, "Dashing through the snow, in a one-turkey open sleigh."



Read More: 25 Things You Might Not Know About Christmas | http://thefw.com/christmas-facts/?trackback=tsmclip
Myth: The song Jingle Bells was written as a Christmas song.  It was originally written as a Thanksgiving song.  James Lord Pierpont wrote it for his Boston Sunday school class as a way to celebrate the Medford Sleigh Races.  Eventually, the lyrics were changed to fit Christmas.  


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