For a change of pace,
here are 12 fun - and unusual - holiday facts that you might not know.

Legend has it that the Three Kings took 12 days to travel to the birthplace of baby Jesus, so the Christmas holidays are known as the 12 Days of Christmas.

Christmas trees started in Germany in the 16th century. Instead of today's fancy decorations, they were decorated with fruits and nuts.

When Christmas tree lights first came out in the 1920s, they were so expensive, people only rented them.

For many years, Santa Claus wore clothes that were in green, purple, or blue. However, in a 1931 ad campaign, Coca Cola decided to dress him up in colors to match their brand (red and white), and that stuck.


Caroling is based on the old English custom of wassailing, a tradition to toast to someone’s good health and fortune. St. Francis of Assisi took this tradition and converted it to the modern form of caroling.

Santa does not ignore the children who have been bad throughout the year. In many countries, he puts pieces of coal into the child’s stocking instead. This tradition started in Italy.

Alabama was the first state in the U.S. to recognize Christmas as an official holiday.

Norway sends a Christmas tree to Britain every year as a symbol of gratitude for their help in preserving Norwegian liberty during World War II.


The traditional Christmas meal in England, before turkey became the popular choice, was a boar’s head covered with mustard.

The correct tradition for kissing under the mistletoe is to remove one berry from the little bunch after each kiss. After the berries are all gone, the mistletoe should be replaced as it's no longer lucky to kiss under it.

Aluminum Christmas trees were "the big thing" in the 1960s. But "A Charlie Brown Christmas" made them so unpopular with the public, they were discontinued.

The total number of gifts listed in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" is 364 - nearly one gift for every day of the year.