Christmas

A:

The tradition of the Christmas tree originates with pagan worshippers who decorated their homes with green boughs during the winter solstice. They believed that the long nights occurred because the sun god was ill. Placing a bough in the home during the solstice celebrated the waning of winter's power.

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  • How Do You Make Christmas Lights Twinkle?

    Q: How Do You Make Christmas Lights Twinkle?

    A: It's easy to turn a string of non-blinking Christmas lights into a string of festive twinkling lights. To reduce the risk of shock, Lowes emphasizes always unplugging any string of lights before replacing the bulbs.
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  • What Are the Names of Santa's Nine Reindeer?

    Q: What Are the Names of Santa's Nine Reindeer?

    A: According to tradition, Santa's nine reindeer are named Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dancer, Vixen and the red-nosed reindeer, Rudolph. They were first brought together in Robert L. Mays' 1939 book "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," published by Montgomery Ward as a Christmas advertising promotion.
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  • What Is the Difference Between Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus?

    Q: What Is the Difference Between Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus?

    A: Saint Nicholas was a Bishop who lived during the fourth century A.D. in the city of Myra, located in what is now present-day Turkey. Santa Claus is a fictional character that is based largely on the stories of Saint Nicholas. Over time, stories of the real St. Nicholas and the fictional Santa Claus merged to create folk stories where the two are one and the same.
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  • How Many Countries Celebrate Christmas?

    Q: How Many Countries Celebrate Christmas?

    A: At least 160 countries are known to officially celebrate Christmas on or around Dec. 25. However, many countries are known to have unofficial or similar celebrations around the same time.
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  • What Are the Twelve Days of Christmas?

    Q: What Are the Twelve Days of Christmas?

    A: The 12 days of Christmas is the period of days between Dec. 25 and Jan. 6, which is called the Epiphany. The Epiphany celebrates the divinity of Jesus Christ.
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  • How Old Is Santa?

    Q: How Old Is Santa?

    A: Santa’s age is unknown. Based on historical documents mentioning him, Santa has been around since about 280 A.D., which would make him more than 1,700 years old.
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  • What Is NORAD's Santa Tracker?

    Q: What Is NORAD's Santa Tracker?

    A: The NORAD Santa tracker is a public service that tracks the location of Santa Claus as he leaves the North Pole and travels around the world delivering gifts on Christmas eve. The service is run by a joint Canadian and U.S. organization called the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
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  • What Is Santa's Hat Called?

    Q: What Is Santa's Hat Called?

    A: The hat Santa Claus is depicted as wearing is a stocking cap. A traditional stocking cap has a conical shape, is long and normally features a pompom or tassel at the end. Stocking caps are normally knitted; Santa's is made from fur, according to "A Visit from St. Nicholas."
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  • What Is the Meaning of an Orange in a Christmas Stocking?

    Q: What Is the Meaning of an Orange in a Christmas Stocking?

    A: An orange included within a Christmas stocking is representative of St. Nicholas giving gold that was used to provide dowry money. Legend suggests that this gold was thrown to people by St. Nicholas and was in the form of golden balls.
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  • What Does an Upside-Down Christmas Tree Mean?

    Q: What Does an Upside-Down Christmas Tree Mean?

    A: An upside-down Christmas tree is meant to represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The custom is traced back to a 12th-century religious tradition of Central Europeans, who hung inverted trees decorated with candles.
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  • What Country Started the Christmas Gift Exchange?

    Q: What Country Started the Christmas Gift Exchange?

    A: The modern Christmas gift exchange became a central tradition in the 1820s in the United States when newspapers began showing Christmas-themed ads on their pages. Within 40 years, the Macy's store in New York City opened their doors until midnight on Christmas Eve to satisfy demand for Christmas gift shopping.
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  • What Is the Hot Item for Christmas This Year?

    Q: What Is the Hot Item for Christmas This Year?

    A: The number one hot item for Christmas this year is the Amazon Kindle, according to ILoveIndia.com. The tablet can be used for various activities including gaming, reading, video chatting or browsing the web.
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  • What Is Mrs. Claus' First Name?

    Q: What Is Mrs. Claus' First Name?

    A: Mrs. Claus, the wife of Santa Claus, has been given many first names. Depending on the source, her first name is Mary, Jessica Mary, Maya, Matha, Anywyn, Layla or Goody.
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  • How Do Christians Celebrate Christmas?

    Q: How Do Christians Celebrate Christmas?

    A: Christians celebrate the religious holiday of Christmas in many ways, including Nativity plays, special church services, singing Christmas carols and exchanging gifts. Families often have many personal traditions since the holiday is commonly defined as a time of family gathering.
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  • Where Did the Christmas Tree Come From?

    Q: Where Did the Christmas Tree Come From?

    A: The tradition of the Christmas tree originates with pagan worshippers who decorated their homes with green boughs during the winter solstice. They believed that the long nights occurred because the sun god was ill. Placing a bough in the home during the solstice celebrated the waning of winter's power.
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  • Why Do People Leave Santa Cookies and Milk at Christmas?

    Q: Why Do People Leave Santa Cookies and Milk at Christmas?

    A: It is most likely that the tradition of Santa's cookies and milk stems from the medieval German custom of the "paradise tree." Other thoughts are that it is linked to the Great Depression, Norse mythology or Saint Nicholas himself.
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  • How Can You Fall Asleep on Christmas Eve?

    Q: How Can You Fall Asleep on Christmas Eve?

    A: To fall asleep on Christmas Eve, it's best to maintain a relaxed atmosphere during the evening hours. Reading a book or simply enjoying the quiet can help bring sleep easier.
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  • Why Do You Celebrate Christmas?

    Q: Why Do You Celebrate Christmas?

    A: Christians celebrate Christmas to rejoice over the birth of Jesus Christ, who is believed to be the son of God. Others celebrate Christmas as a season of love, family and joy as well as a day of giving and receiving gifts.
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  • Where Did the Name Kris Kringle Originate?

    Q: Where Did the Name Kris Kringle Originate?

    A: Experts do not agree on the origin of the name Kris Kringle. Some believe it is a mispronunciation of Christkind, German for Christ Child. Others feel it originates with the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of Belsnickle.
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  • What Are the Different Types of Christmas Trees?

    Q: What Are the Different Types of Christmas Trees?

    A: There are several different tree species used as Christmas trees, such as the fir, pine, spruce, cypress and cedar. For each of the main category of Christmas trees, there are also different types among those. Plus, there are many different varieties of artificial Christmas trees available.
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  • What Is Santa's Phone Number?

    Q: What Is Santa's Phone Number?

    A: Children can call Santa at 951-262-3062 to hear a holiday greeting from St. Nick and advise him of their wish lists. To speak to a real, live Santa, children can call 1-877-HI-NORAD or 1-877-446-6723.
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