Christmas Traditions: Fact or Myth?
Fact: Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas Carols between 1649 and 1660 in England. He thought that Christmas should be a very solemn day and therefore banned carols and parties. The only celebration was by a sermon and a prayer service.
Myth: Rudolph lived with Santa at the North Pole and was one of his original reindeer. Actually Rudolph was discovered by Santa while he was making his Christmas delivery to his home. The story of Rudolph was written in 1939 by Robert May, an advertising copywriter for Montgomery Ward in Chicago for promotional reasons.
Fact: Some priests in Australia advise you to say "Happy Christmas", not "Merry Christmas", because Merry has connotations of getting drunk.
Myth: The candy cane is said to have its roots in Christianity. I list this as a myth because not all believe the candy cane's origins was religious in nature. Supposedly in England, a Christian candy maker invented a way for members of the Christian community to recognize each other. He is said to have shaped the candy in the form of a shepherds staff to symbolize that God in Heaven is the "Good Shepherd." He used white candy to represent purity. On the staff, he than placed three small red stripes to represent the presence of the Trinity. A bold red stripe was placed throughout the candy representing the blood of Christ and its redeeming power. Of course, this all depends on your personal beliefs.
Fact: St Francis of Assisi introduced Christmas Carols to formal church services.
Myth: All of Santa's reindeer are female. Despite many who believe only female reindeer would be able to pull a fat jolly elf around the world and know where the heck they were going, the laws of nature say otherwise. Most - and I do say most - reindeer loose their antlers by winter while females retain theirs well in to Spring. Santa's reindeer are all depicted with their antlers. In conclusion, some of them have to be male as well.
Fact: The soft drink company Coca-Cola invented our modern image of Santa Claus in the 1930s.
Myth: Jesus Christ was born on December 25th. The actual birthday of Jesus Christ still has experts scratching their heads. Some believe Christ was conceived on March 25th. Therefore, logically, he could have been born on Christmas. But truth is, no one really knows for sure...yet.
Fact: Alabama was the first state in the USA to declare Christmas a legal holiday in 1836 and Oklahoma was the last, 1907.
Myth: The number of suicides rise during the holiday season. Statistics show the suicide rate doesn't increase during the holidays. However, the media continues to perpetuate that it is, something that may cause more harm than good. This myth has been around, and was possibly started in the 1946 holiday film It's a Wonderful Life, when a fictional character contemplated suicide on Christmas Eve.