Dear Clients & Friends,
We’re burning the midnight oil finishing all our year-end duties, but we certainly wanted to take the time to wish everyone a happy and peaceful holiday season. So, instead of an intellectual article this weekend, we thought we’d share some fun trivia.
To those of you who celebrate Hanukkah as I do, Chag Sameach. We hope that your Chinese food dinner is tasty, and I share the pain of not being able to go to the movie theater on Friday. To those who celebrate Christmas, we wish you a very merry Christmas. To those who celebrate other holidays this season, such as Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, Diwali, Chinese New Year, or others, we wish you love and peace, creativity, celebration of good over evil, and a healthy rebirth.
Now for some fun trivia about Christmas and Hanukkah.
How did red and green become Christmas colors?
We mostly have holly and Coca-Cola to thank for the rise of red and green as Christmas colors. Holly, obviously, has bright red berries and dark green leaves. It was used long ago by the ancient Celts for winter solstice celebrations as a symbol of protection and good luck. Coca-Cola’s role in making the colors a widespread combo for the holiday began in 1931 with ads featuring Santa Claus in a red and white suit surrounded by a green background and accents.
Library of CongressGetty Images
What’s the most successful Christmas movie ever?
With a whopping $286 million at box office, 1990’s Home Alone is the highest-grossing Christmas movie ever. Coming in second is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, released in 2000 with a box office of $260 million, according to Forbes.
How many packages does the USPS deliver during the holidays?
In 2019, the USPS projected 800 million package deliveries between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The postal service hasn’t specifically said how many packages are being delivered this year, but the package volume is at an all time high because of the pandemic.
True or false: "Jingle Bells" was written to be a Christmas song.
False! The song wasn’t intended to be attached to the holiday. Some historical reports say it was first performed at a Thanksgiving church service. In any case, the lyrics don’t mention any holiday at all.
When was the first tree put up at the Rockefeller Center?
Technically, the first Christmas tree was put up in 1931 when construction workers building the site decided to buy one to lift their spirits during the Great Depression. In 1933, it became a tradition with the first official lighting ceremony.
MATT CAMPBELL Getty Images
Has Christmas ever been illegal to celebrate?
Yes. The Massachusetts-Bay Colony ordinance of 1659 made Christmas illegal to celebrate in that specific colony. The law was repealed in 1681. Christmas didn’t become a state holiday in Massachusetts until 1856, though.
When was the term “Xmas” first used?
The term was first used in the mid-1950s. It comes from the Greek letter chi, the first letter in the word Χριστός, which means Christ.
What are two other names for Santa Claus?
Saint Nick and Kris Kringle.
How many Americans use artificial Christmas trees?
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A survey conducted by Nielsen for the American Christmas Tree Association found that nearly 94 million U.S. households will display a Christmas tree this year. Of those, 85 percent are artificial.
What department store sold $50,000 chocolate advent calendars in 2007?
Harrods sold a 4-foot, Christmas-tree shaped advent calendar carved from wood that had compartments filled with organic chocolate. The proceeds from the calendars went to cocoa farmers in Belize.
How much do Americans spend on holiday shopping?
The National Retail Federation reports that Americans plan to spend an average of about $998 this year on holiday shopping. That’s down from last year’s average of around $1,048.
Why is kissing under mistletoe a tradition?
The start of the tradition is up for debate, but many ancient cultures believed mistletoe to have healing properties—from potentially protecting against poisons to restoring fertility. There’s also a myth that mistletoe was used to kill the god Baldur, and his mother Frigg used its berries to bring him back to life. She then declared the plant a symbol of love and promised to kiss anyone who went underneath it.
Why are stockings hung?
The most popular legend tells of a poor man who was worried his three impoverished daughters wouldn’t have enough status to marry. St. Nicholas heard of his situation and wanted to help but knew the man wouldn’t take charity. Instead of directly handing him money, St. Nicholas put gold coins in the daughters’ stockings that were drying by the fire and disappeared.
Gifts were not always given for Hanukkah.
It used to be tradition for people to give money to one another for Hanukkah. But as Christmas became more popular, more and more Jewish people began giving gifts
Hanukkah dishes are fried for a reason.
Gary Friedman Getty Images
Latkes, sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), apple fritters, kugel- when you think of the food served at Hanukkah most of them are fried. This isn’t a coincidence, people fry their food in oil for Hanukkah as a symbol for the miracle oil that burned for eight nights straight.
Grand Army Plaza in New York Reportedly Has the Largest Menorah in the World.
This year you can see the lighting of the 32 feet high and 4,000 pound Menorah every night from December 2nd to December 9th.
Hanukkah is not the most important Jewish holiday
Jewish holidays like Passover and Rosh Hashanah are actually much more significant to the religion.
Harry Truman was the first president to celebrate Hanukkah at the White House
In 1951, he accepted a Menorah as a gift from the Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion.
There is no "wrong" way to spell Hanukkah.
You may have seen the holiday spelled like Hanukkah, Hannuka, or Chanukah... the list goes on. The most common version is Hanukkah, but all of the spellings are actually accurate. Because there is no correct way to directly translate the Hebrew sounds to English, it could be spelled a variety of different ways, each equally correct.
The famous dreidel, or four-sided spinning top, was invented as a distraction.
The Greek-Syrians had outlawed Jewish studies, so the Jews spun dreidels to pretend they were merely playing games while they engaged with their scripture.
Over 17.5 million jelly donuts are consumed in Israel throughout Hanukkah.
To celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting eight days, many of the holiday's festive foods are prepared in oil, particularly: the family favorite sufganiyot (or jelly donuts).
Happy Holidays to all!! Holy Cow, are we looking forward to a new year!! Goodbye 2020; not going to miss you!
-Your Family at MORWM 😊
*All trivia from Kelly Allen, editorial assistant for Delish & House Beautiful, and an anonymous contribution from HerCampus.com
Matthew Ramer, AIF®
Principal, Financial Advisor
MOR Wealth Management, LLC
1801 Market Street, Suite 2435
Philadelphia, PA 19103
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