21 Weird and Interesting Christmas Facts

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6 Santa In Switzerland Has A Sinister Companion Called Schmutzli

Santa Schmutzli

In Switzerland Santa is known as Samichlaus in the German speaking parts of the country. Samichlaus is based on Saint Nicholas, in a similar fashion that Santa is, but instead of wearing Santas costume, he wears a bishops gown. This costume would be a more traditional representation of the traditional Saint Nicholas, who was a real Catholic Bishop. He is a part of celebrations of St Nicholas Day.

Samichlaus in Switzerland, unlike Santa in most other parts of the world that celebrate Christmas, has a sidekick. This sidekick can be best described as someone a little less kind and caring than Santa. His name is Schmutzli in the German part of the country and Père Fouettard (from “whip”) in French.

Schmutzli can really be described as being the alter ego of  Samichlaus. He has one true signature part of the festivities. He carries a broom of twigs to administer punishment to children who have not been good. He generally appears with a concealed black face, black cap and red eyes. Just thinking about this character would have given me nightmares on Christmas night as a child. But some traditions do get scarier, as you will find out.

The original role of  Schmutzli was as a  symbol of the evil spirits. Though not as terrifying as Krampus, the opposite of Santa, as you would have already read about, he still manages to strike fear into little children.

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7 Deck The Halls Original Version, Nos Galan Referred To Bosoms (Breasts)

images35I207E2Deck The Halls is a popular Christmas carol that has been sung since the late 19th century. The modern lyrics and melody of Deck the Halls was first published in 1866. It is a song of happiness and joy ro celebrate Christmas and New Years. The original Welsh version, while still celebrating the New Year celebrations, had a slightly less family friendly lyrics.The original Welsh version of Deck The Halls was called Nos Galan, aka, “New Year’s Eve” and dates back to the 16th century. Even though Nos Galan is still a festive song, it was a New Years song, not a Christmas song. It’s lyrics and structure are also very similar to the modern version that we all know. The biggest difference between Nos Galan and Deck the Halls is in its first line, which is shown below along with the remainder of the carol. The very first line in Nos Galan refers to a bosom, which is a woman’s breast. Here is the version translated from Welsh into English.

Oh! how soft my fair one’s bosom,

fal lal lal lal lal lal lal lal la:

Oh! how sweet the grove in blossom,

fal lal lal lal lal lal lal lal la:

Oh! how blessed are the blisses,

[instrumental flourish]

Words of love, and mutual kisses,

fal lal lal lal lal lal lal lal la

8 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Says Christmas May Be Wrong

maury-christmas-you-are-not-the-father-funny-christmas-pictures

You know that the Christmas festivities are in trouble when even the former Pope of the Catholic Church says the date may be wrong.

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Pope Benedict XVI has said that Christmas is wrong! He has said that the entire calendar is based on a 6th century monks mistake. The Pope has said that Jesus was actually born between 7Bc and 2BC. This admission coupled with the original pagan winter solstice ceremony on which Christmas is based upon certainly throw some real doubt as to whether or not we are not only in the correct year, but also celebrating the festive season at the right time.

The worst part about it is that we could all be up to seven years older than we really are. That would be a real bummer.

9 NORAD Tracks Santa Because Of A Wrong Phone Number

NORAD tracks SantaMany people know that NORAD tracks Santa every year on his present delivery journey around the world, but why do they do it? They are military installation, and surely the whereabouts of the jolly fat man should be the least of their concerns, provided his Visa details are correct that is. Well the story behind NORAD tracking Santa is an awesome one, and the guy that started it all is one hell of a nice guy.Every year young children around the world eagerly await the arrival of Santa with a sack full of presents. I can recall when I was a young child I was told to look for a bright star flying across the sky, and that would be the nose of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer at the front of the sleigh. For young children in America and Canada who had access to a telephone they could contact the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to enquire how Santa was faring on his journey. So why would NORAD, a bi-lateral US and Canadian aerospace warning and defense organisation track Santa’s journey delivering presents?On Christmas eve in 1955 an advertisement appeared in a local Colorado Springs newspaper enticing kids to phone Santa. The advertisement carried a picture of the jolly fat man and said “Hey kiddies! Call me on my private phone and I will talk to you personally any time day or night.” The problem was the phone number printed in the ad was not for Santa, but for the predecessor of NORAD, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). Unlike today, if something is incorrectly publicised there was no quick or effective way to correct the mistake. So what happened next?

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Now NORAD tracks Santa

On duty that night at CONAD was Colonel Harry Shoup, now known as the “Santa Colonel.” Instead of answering a call from a president or general, on the other end of the line were young children wanting to talk to Santa. Instead of briskly informing the youngsters they had the wrong number and hanging up, Colonel Shoup decided to play along and ordered his operators to find the location of Santa Claus and report his progress to every child who phoned in that night. In 1958 when NORAD took over operations from CONAD they decided to continue the popular service.

Today NORAD tracks Santa every Christmas eve and provides the service to a worldwide audience. They still provide a phone service along with modern means of communication such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Email and TroopTube.tv. Thousands of volunteers every Christmas eve man phone lines and computers to provide the popular service to children (and adults) around the world, and they provide the service in seven languages. Their website gets nine million unique visits every year, 12,000 emails and a staggering 70,000 phone calls from over 200 countries. To search and follow Santa on his worldwide trip at Christmas time just enter @noradsanta into a search engine and start tracking.

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10 Canada Post Replies To All Letters Sent To Santa Claus

canada post replies to santa

Who doesn’t like Christmas? It is a marvellous time for celebration, family get togethers and also a time for a little R&R. For most of us though the lead up to Christmas can be a hectic time. The date always seems to approach with a great deal of gusto, and before we know it, the day has arrived. But no matter how busy we get it hardly compares to Santa Claus. In the lead up to Christmas he receives thousands of letters from children from around the world. Given how busy he would be at that time of year one could wonder how he could possibly respond to every letter.

Well, the reality is he doesn’t. As we all know, Santa is fictitious, but for the benefit and joy of our children we allow them to be mystified with the magic of Christmas. Part of that involves thousands and thousands of letters being sent to Santa, at the North Pole every year. Enter Canada Post. If you, or your child sends a letter to Santa Claus, North Pole, with the special postal code of HOH OHO, Canada Post employees and volunteers will respond to every single letter sent, provided the letter is sent by December 17.

Over the last 30 years Canada Post has received and responded to over 20 million letters sent to Santa Claus, and the employees and volunteers contribute over 190,000 hours of work every year providing this service.

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