Christmas is a time of giving. Everyone knows that. In fact, everyone seems to know pretty much everything about this holiday season – or so they think.
There are a few facts which elude even the most besotted of Christmas fans. That is, until now.
5. Christmas stopped war
That’s right. Santa Claus is the biggest peacemaker the world has ever seen. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jesus!
It was five months in to World War I (that is, before you guys over in the United States even knew about it) and the Germans and British were battling the shit out of each other (it’s a military term) on the western front.
Except that on Christmas Eve, they all stopped. Instead, they sung carols to each other. No-one really wanted to be there; they wanted to be home with their families, so for that night – and for Christmas Day after – they stopped fighting. No-one would have to learn on Christmas morning that their dad or son died.
4. Puritans created eggnog
I don’t get eggnog. It takes like vomit, which is great except that I don’t like vomit. So for this atrocity against good taste, I’m blaming the Puritans, who invented the most Christmassy of beverages even though they banned Christmas. Captain John Smith invented it at his Jamestown settlement in 1607.
3. Rudolph ain’t real
Like learning that your parents had to have nookie to produce you, this one’s a real downer. Though you might think that Rudolph existed long ago in the North Pole and was a precocious little reindeer, he was actually the invention of copywriter Robert L. May in 1939.
2. Two astronauts celebrated Christmas with a harmonica
I like this one a lot. Two astronauts on a 1965 space mission over Christmas radio Cape Canaveral. They’re saying ostensibly that there’s a major problem. The line goes tense.
Suddenly, Jingle Bells played on the harmonica comes over the radio.
They still won’t say how they smuggled the harmonicas onto the shuttle.
1. Congress used to work Christmas
If you’re one of the unlucky people working this December 25th, spare a thought for your representatives in the 1789 Congress. They convened their great conversation on December 25th – and people had to be there.