In 2013, before Christmas, more than 250 passengers on Calgary-bound flights were part of a “Christmas miracle” done by WestJet. Santa Claus appeared on life-size screens at boarding gates and asked passengers what they wanted for Christmas. When the planes landed the gifts were on the baggage carousel.
Many of the modern holiday standards, including “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, “A Holly Jolly Christmas”, “Silver and Gold”, and “Run Rudolph Run” were written by a single Jewish American songwriter named Johnny Marks.
In addition to Father Christmas, Icelanders are visited by the 13 Yule Lads (including Sausage-Swiper, Spoon-Licker, & Door-Sniffer), as well as their giant pet cat Jólakötturinn, who eats children who don’t receive new clothes for Christmas.
Christmas used to be illegal in Massachusetts. After 1681, Christmas was no longer a crime, but was completely taboo. Anyone caught making merry or singing carols was prosecuted for disturbing the peace. It remained taboo until 1870, when the federal government made it a national holiday.
During a 1989 Christmas television broadcast, Santa Claus encouraged all children to hold the phone to the TV, tricking them into dialing a 1-900 number that automatically charged several dollars to their parents’ phone bill.
Some Native American Indian Nations believe in a mysterious man, a handsome brave who wears white buckskins, and brings gifts to Indian children. His name is ‘Handsome Fellow’.
A 2012 survey of 1,000 Americans found that 45% of them wished they could skip Christmas due to financial pressures.
A giant snowman named Snowzilla is created every year in Anchorage, Alaska. In 2008, the city attempted to stop the creation of Snowzilla, and on Christmas morning there were sign-carrying snowmen “protesting” that attempt in front of city hall.
Every Christmas since 1952 the US Air Force has airdropped gifts over the islands of Micronesia, making it the oldest ongoing Department of Defense mission and the longest running humanitarian airlift in the world.
In Iceland books are exchanged on Christmas Eve and you spend the rest of the night reading. Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country; & new books are typically published only during the Christmas season. This frenzy is called Jólabókaflóð, or “Christmas Book Flood.”