It is, according to popular song at least, the most wonderful time of the year. Here are five Christmas facts to entertain and astound your loved ones when you are sitting round the Christmas tree. Talking of Christmas trees….
1) Lighting up the tree
Thomas Edison was one of history’s great inventors assistant and it was his assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. Christmas tree lights first mass-produced from around 1890.
2) Carving up the pig’s head
Before turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig’s head and mustard.
3) Early post
The first commercial Christmas cards, today an annual tradition were commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843.
4) Christmas songs from space
Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.
5) Tree of gratitude
Every year since 1947, the people of Oslo, Norway have given a Christmas tree to the city of Westminster, England. The gift is an expression of good will and gratitude for Britain’s help to Norway during World War II.