I'll bet  most of you never knew some of these really fun facts about Christmas.

Getty Images / Scott Barbour

 

It's getting to be a tradition, as every year I dig up little known facts about our holidays.  I think it's fun stuff, so here we go.

*  Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer was created by a department store.  In 1939 the long gone Montgomery Ward stores gave away promotional coloring books where Rudolf first appeared.

*  "Parson Brown" was not the first and last name of a person.  The name mentioned in the song "Winter Wonderland" is a minister.  So, that's his title with his last name.

*  In Iceland there are 13 Santas.  They were originally depicted as trolls eating naughty kids.  I actually read this on several websites.  Hopefully their Santas are now jolly.

*  Candy canes originated during the 17th century in Cologne Germany.  The sweet treats are said to signify a shepherd's staff.

*  In 2012 about 33 million real Christmas trees were purchased in the U.S.A.

*  3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. every year.

*  The National Retail Federation says holiday spending in the U.S. this year will be more than 600 billion dollars.

*  The man who did the voice for the original Tony the Tiger was also the person who sang "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch."  His name was Thurl Ravenscroft.  They'rrrrr great!

*  The Christmas tree, as we know it, originated in Germany way back in the 16th century.  It didn't become popular until the mid 19th century when Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert put up their own tree.

*  "Xmas" comes from Greece.  In Greece "X" is the symbol for Christ.

*  Historians say the biggest Christmas present ever given is off the coast of Jersey City.  You may have guessed it.  It's The Statue of Liberty.  "Miss Liberty" was presented to the U.S. by France as a Christmas gift.

*  The classic Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart was inspired by a Christmas card.  During the 1930's Philip  Van Doren Stern wrote a short story from an idea he had from the card.  Frank Capra turned the story into that great 1946 film.

Our trivia wouldn't be complete without mentioning Christmas music that we're playing through tonight on New Jersey 101.5.

*  The song "Jingle Bells" is thought to have been written for a Thanksgiving Sunday school program.  The tune was originally named "One Horse Open Sleigh" and was written by James Peirpoint sometime between 1853 and 1857.

*  Brenda Lee was only a tender 13 years old when she recorded "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

*  And, one man is responsible for writing several classic Christmas songs.  His name was Johnny Marks.  Some of the holiday songs Johnny penned includes "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer", the a fore mentioned "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas", and "Silver and Gold."

The funny thing is, Mr. Marks was Jewish.  Yes, so was Irving Berlin who wrote "White Christmas."

I hope all of you of every faith will have joy in your heart for the holidays, and all year long.