The best-selling Christmas song of all time, White Christmas, was written by a Jew whose own Christmas tradition was visiting the grave of his son who died on Christmas day in 1928 at the age of three weeks old. That son was Irving Berlin, Jr. Irving Berlin was not his birth name. He was actually born Israel Beilin and immigrated from Russia. He wrote many other well known classics that are too numerous to list. He was one of the all time great songwriters.
Instead of cookies and milk, some Irish families leave a pint of Guinness for Santa on Christmas Eve.
Lawrence Welk was the first TV show to air in stereo – in 1958, before stereo TV had been invented. ABC simulcast one audio channel on its radio network, the other channel via TV; listening to both would give you the stereo effect.
Tolkien wrote yearly letters to his children as if they were from Father Christmas. They started off as simple Happy Christmas letters but grew more complex including a polar bear sidekick, the man on the moon, goblins, snow-elves, pictures, and he even developed an Arktik language.
Coca-Cola’s failed its “Magican” campaign. They sold cans that contained spring loaded tabs to dispense cash prizes. Prize cans contained a foul smelling liquid instead of cola to prevent drinking. Though harmless, one child drank it and Coca-Cola ended the campaign 3 weeks later due to backlash.
10th century Norwegian Viking ruler King Haakon the Good made the household production of Juleøl (Christmas Beer) a law. Families that did not have beer at their Christmas feast were issued a fine.
Long before Christianity made its way to the native Germanic peoples, Norwegians celebrated the winter solstice by brewing and drinking beer to honor their Norse gods. To celebrate “Jul,” a Norwegian word that in modern vernacular refers to the Christmas season, Vikings brewed and consumed strong, barley-based beer while in the throes of winter’s coldest and dreariest months. They also used the ale to make offerings in hopes to entice the gods to bring back the summer sun.
According to “The Geography of Beer,” King Haakon the Good, who ruled from 934 to 961, later used the ancient Jul celebration to push a Christian agenda. As part of his efforts to introduce Christianity to the Norwegian people, King Haakon the Good implemented a pagan-meets-Christian mash-up, making it a law to celebrate Christmas with beer. Those who didn’t have beer at their Christmas feast were issued a fine. Norway became Christianized in the 11th century.
Doctors used to prescribe ‘Obecalp,’ a sugar pill that is literally ‘placebo’ spelled backwards, for various illnesses such as psychosomatic disorders and chronic ailments.
Natives in Canada had a traditional gift giving holiday nearly identical to Christmas called Potlatch until it was outlawed for being unchristian, hundreds of natives were sent to prison for continuing to celebrate it from 1921 until the law was finally repealed in the 1950s.
Unlike his famous father, Thomas Edison Jr. was a terrible inventor. Eventually, he resorted to selling snake oil like the “Edison Magno-Electric Vitalizer”, embarrassing his father so much that he was given an allowance of 900 dollars a week to stop marketing his own “inventions”.
Because of a typographical error, a “wicked bible” stated that “thou shalt commit adultery.” Published in 1631, this Bible is also known as an “adulterous Bible” or the “sinners’ Bible.” Only several hundred copies remain and they’re worth $100,000 to collectors.