1. The ‘moving star’ that guided the three wise men was probably a comet; Halley’s comet.
Halley’s comet is a comet which is easily visible when it travels past earth, every 75-76 years. There’ve been recordings found of the comet’s apparition since 240 BC. A lot of mythical powers/events have been attributed to the comet, Christ’s coming could have been one of those. Hypothetically, if the nativity story is real, Halley’s comet would have been the one. It arrived at 12 BC. But Felix, that is 12 years before Jesus would’ve been born?! Well, at the same time, Jesus’ birthdate was set by Pope Julius I as the 25th of December. He did this in 350 AD.
2. Santa Claus is a rip-off of the Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’.
Many Dutch people know this, but many non-Dutch people don’t, so there you go. The Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ was a Saint from Turkey. He was celebrated by catholics in the Netherlands. When Europeans started migrating to the America’s, they took their customs with them. The Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ went with them, and slowly transformed into Santa Claus, due to interactions with people with different traditions and isolation from the homeland. (source)
3. The romanticized idea of a ‘white Christmas’ was started by Charles Dickens, who was born during an ice age.
Somehow, when people think of Christmas, they think of snow. Even though there where only 4 white Christmases in London during the 20th century. This idealized thought of Christmas being snowy, came through Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’. Dickens himself was born during a little ice age, which meant that during the first 10 years of his life, 8 of those had a white Christmas. So naturally, when he wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’, he thought of Christmas being snow-covered. The popularity of his book made people associate Christmas with snow, even though it is more likely not to snow during Christmas. (source)
4. Martin Luther was the first person to decorate a Christmas Tree.
The man who was responsible for the reformation of the Catholic church because he thought it was becoming too decadent and distracted from the real purpose of religion and being religious leader, was also reportedly the first person to decorate a Christmas Tree. Why? Because he once saw stars twinkle through the branches of a tree, and wanted to recreate what he saw using candles. Way to be a hypocrite, Martin. (source – #40)
5. The biggest secret Santa is organized by Reddit.
This year, 58,504 people participated in the secret Santa organized by Reddit. Users of the website send each other gifts through mail, with participants in 126 countries. Reddit claims a total cost of 2 million dollars has been made purchasing and shipping each gift. Some gifts are serious, other’s aren’t. Looking through each other’s posting history, one user saw that his target was a frequent poster of the atheist subreddit, and he sent him a bible. Although a good practical joke, the receiver didn’t get it. He went on the subreddit claiming he felt suppressed by Christianity. (source)
6. Boxing Day is named that way because employees would unbox gifts from their employers.
Boxing Day is only celebrated within certain parts of the British Commonwealth (the Christian parts). It typically takes place on December 26th, but in some countries, this may deviate. It was typically the day when workers would get back to their jobs after Christmas. Employers would give them a small present as a token of appreciation, and the workers would unbox their ‘Christmas Box’s’. Hence the name, Boxing day. (source)
7. Japanese people eat KFC during Christmas
Christmas wasn’t widely celebrated in Japan, a primarily Buddhist country. Due to efforts of a widespread Japanese advertisement campaign by Kentucky Fried Chicken, with the slogan “Christmas = Kentucky”, Japanese people started associating KFC with Christmas. No Turkey, Rabbit, etc. Just plain old deep-fried Chicken, made by the colonel himself. (source)