Dec 6, 2005

* Christmas comes from Old English, "Cristes maesse" or "Mass of Christ."

* A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

* The holiday classic, "It's A Wonderful Life," was originally a box office flop.

* The real Santa Claus was born in 280 A.D. as Nicholas. He commonly wore a red and white Bishop's robe.

* "Xmas" is considered by some to be a disrespectful abbreviation. But the Old English word for Christmas begins with X. The Greek word for "Christ," from which the English is derived, begins with the Greek letter chi, or X. So, X is an appropriate abbreviation for Christ.

* The first electric Christmas tree lights were telephone switchboard lights.

* About 400,000 people get sick each year from consuming tainted Christmas leftovers.

* In 1907, Oklahoma became the last U.S. state to make Christmas a legal holiday.

* Christmas trees are edible. Many parts of pines, spruces and firs can be eaten.

* According to the laws of the time, Joseph could have had Mary stoned to death for becoming pregnant.

* "Hot Cockles" was a popular game at Christmas in medieval times. In the game, players took turns striking a blindfolded player, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow.

* Boris Karloff was the voice of the Grinch in the animated classic, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

* During the Christmas shopping season, Visa cards alone are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the US

* According to a recent survey, seven out of 10 dogs in Great Britain get Christmas gifts from their owners.

* The average American household will send out 28 Christmas cards each year, and will receive the same number in return.