STUDIO CITY (CBS) — Spice up your holiday party with some Christmas Trivia!
Thomas Quinn stopped by the KCAL 9 studios Monday to share some little know facts about the holiday season.
Quinn is a writer for print and television, a documentary producer / director, and an author.
WHERE DID RUDOLPH COME FROM? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was invented by an ad copywriter for Montgomery Ward.
HOW DID THE TRADITION OF CHRISTMAS TREE AND ORNAMENTS START? The Christmas tree is a pagan symbol for life enduring the winter. Christmas tree ornaments were originally apples, emblematic of the Garden of Eden.
DOES SANTA CLAUS HAVE ANY RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE? Yes! St. Nicholas was a fourth century bishop with a reputation for gift-giving, but he wasn’t even Catholic and St. Nicholas’ Day was December 6th.
WHY DO WE CALL IT CHRISTMAS? Christians got tired to seeing pagans have all the fun at Winter Solstice, so they celebrated the event with a church mass. “Christ’s mass.” Christmas. o Every culture has a major celebration at the Winter Solstice. o The Romans celebrated Saturnalia (basically one big party) which was later turned into Christmas when the Empire became officially Christian.
WHEN WAS CHRISTMAS FIRST CELEBRATED IN THE U.S.? Christmas as we know it today (cards, carols, gift shopping, Santa down the chimney, evergreen trees, eight reindeer) is less than 200 years old. It was established by the Victorians. o Until the Civil War, Americans paid little attention to Christmas. o Congress even met on Christmas Day for the first few decades after the Revolution. o The painting of George Washington kneeling in prayer in the snow on Christmas Eve is an urban legend. o Observing Christmas was actually banned in many towns in colonial America.
WHAT DAY WAS JESUS BORN? Sounds obvious right? Wrong! Jesus was not born on December 25th: o Nothing in the Bible supports the idea of December 25th as Jesus’ birthday. Medieval scholars thought he was born on March 25th. o December 25th is a birthday borrowed from another beloved religious figure from ancient Rome-Mithras, the sun god.