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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  • 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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  • 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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  • How Many Reindeer Pulled Santa's Sleigh?

    Q: How Many Reindeer Pulled Santa's Sleigh?

    A: Santa has a team of nine reindeer to pull his sleigh: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and, finally, Rudolph, who leads them all with his bright, red nose.
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  • How Can I Get a Santa Letter Postmarked From the North Pole?

    Q: How Can I Get a Santa Letter Postmarked From the North Pole?

    A: Santa letters postmarked from the North Pole are available from the U.S. Postal Service. The letter envelopes receive a stamp bearing the name "Santa" as the letter's sender.
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  • What Is Santa Claus Called in Germany?

    Q: What Is Santa Claus Called in Germany?

    A: In Germany, Santa Claus is referred to as "Weihnachtsmann" and the literal English translation of that name is "Christmas Man." Christmas in Germany is celebrated in a similar way to Christmas in the United States, except Santa Claus visits on Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas Day.
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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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  • 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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  • Is Santa Real?

    Q: Is Santa Real?

    A: Santa Claus is a fictional character based on multiple figures. The person most closely connected with the Santa Claus legend is Saint Nicholas, a Greek Christian bishop who helped the poor and left presents for children.
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  • Where Does Santa Claus Live?

    Q: Where Does Santa Claus Live?

    A: Depending on each country's culture, nationalpost.com explains that Santa Claus's home is believed to exist in various locations, such as the North Pole, Drobak, Lapland and Greenland. The claim that Santa lives in the North Pole is most commonly attributed to North America and Britain.
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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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  • 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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  • Who Is Santa Claus?

    Q: Who Is Santa Claus?

    A: Santa Claus is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins. Among several Western practices, he is believed to bring gifts to the homes of good children on the eve of Christmas (December 24). Other common names for Santa Claus are Saint Nicholas, Kris Krinngle or simply “Santa.”
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  • Where Do Letters to Santa Go?

    Q: Where Do Letters to Santa Go?

    A: Letters to Santa stay in the area where they were mailed, unless the envelope lists a specific address, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Volunteers sort through and respond to the letters.
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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 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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  • 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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  • How Many Christmas Trees Are Sold Each Year?

    Q: How Many Christmas Trees Are Sold Each Year?

    A: According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there were 24.5 million real trees and 10.9 million fake trees purchased in the United States in 2012. This equates to a total of 35.4 million Christmas trees.
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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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  • 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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  • 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 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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