Christmas fun facts

As the Christmas season is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d post some interesting facts about Christmas, which you may not know.

There is no mention of Dec 25th anywhere in the Bible, in fact there is no mention of when Jesus was born at all. There was much debate amongst early Christians, and it wasn’t until the fourth century AD in the Roman Empire that Jesus’ birthday was celebrated on December 25th. The most popular theory as to why this date was settled on is that it was borrowed from pagan traditions that already occurred on that day.

The first commercial Christmas card was printed in London in 1843. It was commissioned by a chap called Sir Henry Cole, and it pictures a family drinking wine. In 2001, it sold to an anonymous bidder for £22,250.

The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is sent to us by Norway every year.  They send us one every year to thank us for our help WW2.

Most Expensive Christmas Tree – Yves Piaget, spent over £10 million on decorating his Christmas tree. The tree was lavishly decorated with 83 pieces of jewellery in Tokyo.

The very first Christmas Cracker was created in London in 1847.  London-based sweet maker, Tom Smith, created the first Christmas Cracker in 1847. He was inspired by bonbons wrapped in a twist of tissue paper when on a visit to Paris.

William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066 at Westminster Abbey.

Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s clerk in A Christmas Carol, lived in Camden.  Charles Dickens himself actually lived in Camden as a child (16 Bayham Street).

Regent Street and Oxford Street’s Christmas lights were banned between 1971 and 1977.  This took place over the six year period in order to save money. But thanks to then-Prince Charles, they returned in 1978.

Dick Whittington, the panto favourite, was a real person and lived in the City of London with his wife, Alice.  He was a wealthy merchant and became Mayor of London.

Mince pies originally contained meat. During the 16th century it was believed that if you ate a mince pie every day from Christmas to Twelfth Night (5th Jan), you’d have happiness for the next 12 months. These pies were known as Christmas Pyes, and contained anything from rabbit to mutton, pigeon, cow tongues to pheasant!

Before turkeys were brought into this country over 500 years ago people used to eat geese, boars’ head and even peacocks during the festive season! Henry VIII was the first English king to enjoy a turkey on Christmas Day and the bird was still regarded as a luxury up until the 1950s, with many choosing goose instead.

The River Thames iced over 23 times between the years 1309 and 1814 and Londoners used to party on the frozen river!

Charles Dickens’ character, Scrooge ate his Christmas meal in a pub, thought to be the George and Vulture in Castle Court in London.  The pub has been there since 1142.

The Christmas tune ‘Jingle Bells’ was (reportedly) the first song ever played in space, 16 Dec 1965, during NASA’s Gemini 6A space flight.

Have a great weekend.

Valkyrie Updates


Stay informed with the latest insights, expertise and innovations in the world of security with Valkyrie’s news, reports and white papers