“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was originally a threat.

The ever-popular song was originally sung, loudly and repeatedly, by crowds of rowdy, lower-class servants demanding booze from their masters… or else.  (i.e. “We won’t go until we get some!”)

Santa Claus originated in a newspaper ad.

Far from being a quaint medieval legend, Santa Claus first appeared as a recognisable entity was in a newspaper ad for toys and “gift books” in the mid 19th century.

December 25 was originally a pagan celebration.

Nobody knows when Jesus of Nazareth was born and nobody celebrated his birthday for hundreds of years. December 25 was co-opted from pagan rites connected with the winter solstice.

Speedy Santa

US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.

Christmas Trees

NEARLY 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe.


BEFORE turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig’s head and mustard.

The Many Names of Santa

SANTA has different names around the world – Kriss Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.

Christmas Shopping

According to Matalan, 82% of people surveyed own a Christmas jumper, with 25-34 year olds the most likely to buy one. Over 75% of people buy their festive jumper to wear for a work event, whilst over half wear one on Christmas Day.

What’s in a Name?

The abbreviation Xmas isn’t irreligious. The letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ.

Christmas Royalties

Paul McCartney earns £250,000 a year off his Christmas song, which is widely regarded as the worst song he ever recorded.