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Christmas Myths

Christmas is filled with myths, facts and legends. Few of them are given below:

Between 1649 and 1660, Oliver Cromwell, in England banned Christmas Carols because, he thought that Christmas should be a very solemn day hence carols and parties should be banned. The only celebration was by a sermon and a prayer service.

St Francis of Assisi introduced Christmas Carols to formal church services.

In 1914 at midnight on Christmas Eve firing from the German trenches suddenly stopped and their brass band began playing Christmas carols. Early, Christmas morning, the German soldiers came out of their trenches, approaching the allied lines, calling "Merry Christmas". Initially the allied soldiers thought it was a trick but later they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the German soldiers. The truce lasted for few days, and the men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings, sang carols and songs.

The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.

Tinsel on the Christmas Tree is attributed to a widowed woman. She was left to bring up a large family of children all by herself and worked very hard to make a happy time for them at Christmas. She prepared a Christmas Tree to surprise her children on Christmas Day but unfortunately spiders visited the tree, and crawled from branch to branch, making webs all over it. The Christ Child saw the tree and knew she would be devastated to find this on Christmas morning so He changed the spiders' webs to shining silver.

The word carol is derived from the old French word caroller which derives from the Latin choraula. This was derived from the Greek choraules.

In 1834, Prince Albert who was Queen Victoria's husband brought the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle for the Royal family.

The first American Christmas carol was written in 1649 by a minister named John de Brebeur and is called "Jesus is Born".

The biggest selling Christmas single of all time is Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".

The common abbreviation for Christmas to Xmas is derived from the Greek alphabet. X is letter Chi, which is the first letter of Christ's name in the Greek alphabet.

The actual gift givers are different in various countries:

Spain and South America: The Three Kings
Italy: La Befana
England: Father Christmas
France: Pere Noel

Russia: In some parts - Babouschka (a grandmotherly figure)
Other parts it is Grandfather Frost.
Germany: Christkind.
Scandinavia: a variety of Christmas gnomes. One is called Julenisse
Holland: St Nicholas

Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree lighting in 1923