10 Interesting Christmas Facts You Might Not Know

It’s almost Christmas! Over the last couple weeks, we’ve been offering you some interesting fun facts about the holiday season–now you can read all those fun Christmas facts right here. Learn about U.S. Presidents, why reindeer drive Santa’s sleigh, what kids around the world set out on Christmas Eve other than milk and cookies, as well as facts about Christmas trees, gift cards, the book tradition in Iceland and so much more…


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Presidential Tradition

Grover Cleveland was the first President to decorate the White House Christmas Tree with electric lights in 1894, only three years after electricity was installed in the White House. Learn more interesting facts about why we decorate with Christmas lights, as well as how Thomas Edison was involved in this LTD article.

The Coldest Christmas

Overall, 1983 was the coldest Christmas in the United States. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, over 125 cities east of the Rocky Mountains broke low temperature records on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This Christmas probably won’t be that cold, but you’ll probably still want to bundle up while you travel and attend holiday get-togethers throughout the season. Get a few holiday fashion tips with our featured article here.

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Reindeer Origins

Reindeer were first domesticated by humans as early as 3,000 years ago. Today, almost half of the reindeer world population is domesticated. Anthropologists theorize that the reason reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh isn’t just because reindeer can survive up in the frigid climate where Santa lives. Some ancient cultures depicted the reindeer as leaping through the air, curious images that bring to mind reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh.

Milk & Cookies

In America, it’s traditional to leave out milk and cookies for Santa Claus. But this tradition varies from country to country. In Sweden, kids offer up coffee to keep Santa awake. In Ireland, a pint of Guinness isn’t out of the ordinary. In Chile, families leave out a sweet sponge cake known as Pan de Pascua to keep Santa moving.

Twelve Days of Christmas

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is as popular in Australia as it is here, but the lyrics are different. Instead of partridges, turtle doves and all the other birds, the Aussies use wombats, emus and all other kinds of wildlife from their native outback. Interested in some more interesting facts about Christmas songs? Keep reading.

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Big Wave of Books

One of Iceland’s deepest Christmas traditions is to give books to one another on Christmas Eve. Families spend the night reading their brand new books. The tradition is responsible for the Christmas Book Flood, an affectionate name for the huge wave of book sales that occurs between September and November as families prepare for their favorite Christmas Eve tradition. Get creative with book-giving using these ideas.

Official Christmas Tree

America has an official Christmas tree, and it’s not the one outside Rockefeller Center. It’s not even the tree that’s traditionally lit outside the White House each year. President Calvin Coolidge announced in 1926 that a giant sequoia (the General Grant Tree) living within Kings Canyon National Park in California, would be the Nation’s Christmas Tree. It also happens to be one of the biggest trees in the world at over 300 feet tall.

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After Thanksgiving

Christmas actually became an official national holiday in America in 1870, seven years after Thanksgiving was declared a federal holiday by Abraham Lincoln. It took awhile for Christmas to turn into the holiday we recognize today. The British brought Christmas to America in its earliest years, but strict Puritan beliefs did not allow for the “pagan” celebrations typically associated with the holiday. It was even outlawed in certain cities in the 17th century. After the Revolutionary War, many British traditions were no longer celebrated in America, including Christmas. The holiday resurfaced in the early decades of the 19th century, and by the time the Civil War ended, Christmas was finally a major holiday, mixing traditions from across the country.

Gift Card Craze

Gift cards have been on a steady rise in popularity over the last decade. In fact, the average person bought at least two gift cards in 2015. But even though gift cards are one of the most frequently requested gifts, they have yet to show that they’re truly valued by all. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly $1 billion in gift cards went unused in 2013, and about a third of that the next year. A big percentage of the numbers comes from people losing the physical card before using it, giving priority to digital gift cards as the solution for the near future.

Forests for Sale

Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states in America. Somewhere between 25-30 million Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year, while 300-350 million are currently planted to meet the future demand. The average growing time for a real tree is around seven years, and the states producing the most trees yearly are Oregon, North Carolina and Wisconsin, among others. It’s not too late to get your tree. Start right here.

Christmas Checklist (Day 12): Still Time to Trim the Tree

Quite a few families already have their Christmas trees up and decorated, but some of us are just catching up on our holiday decorations after a hectic Thanksgiving and a busy week of shopping. There’s still plenty of time to get a tree and decorate it with time to spare for Christmas. Take a look at two of our favorite pre-lit artificial trees, and get some last-minute ornaments to trim the tree or put to use as hostess gifts this season.


Artificial Christmas Trees

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6-Ft. Pre-Lit Pop-Up Christmas Trees 
7-Ft. Pre-Lit Trees


Ornaments Under $5

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Sentiment Globe Ornaments
NFL Sled Ornaments

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Lighted Marquee Monogram Ornaments
Set of 6 Mini Mason Jar Ornaments


Christmas Fun Fact #12

DID YOU KNOW: Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states in America. Somewhere between 25-30 million Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year, while 300-350 million are currently planted to meet the future demand. The average growing time for a real tree is around seven years, and the states producing the most trees yearly are Oregon, North Carolina and Wisconsin, among others. Trim your tree with some tips below.


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Ideas for Hosting a Tree-Trimming Party
The holiday season is a crazy time of year. Between holiday shopping and getting the house ready to host all of the out-of-town guests, you also have to get the tree decorated. Holiday decorating is a big task. One easy way to help get your holiday decorating started while making it feel like less of a chore is by hosting a tree trimming party. Here are five quick ideas to make your holiday decorating party festive and productive.

Christmas Checklist: Holiday Decorating & Guest Room Ideas

Halloween is just a week away, and there’s only a month until Thanksgiving. Even though your schedule is packed tight with fall activities, it’s time to start checking off some things on that Christmas to-do list. Get into the Christmas spirit by preparing for holiday decorating and holiday guests with these helpful LTD articles.

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Christmas Decorating Ideas Inspired by the Outdoors
Many of the most classic Christmas scenes take place in wonderful winter settings, somehow fooling us into believing that stepping outside will be much more enjoyable than it really is. Winter weather is always more inviting sitting behind foggy windows with a warm mug. We don’t want to spend an entire day out in the cold, but we do want to create that wintery Christmas feeling in our homes, and that means bringing the outdoors in. If you like the look of winter or are just a nature fan, get the season rolling with these holiday decor ideas.

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4 Ways to Make Your Holiday Guest Room One-of-a-Kind
If you’re hosting holiday guests during Thanksgiving, Christmas or somewhere in between, the list of things you have to get done in the next few months is most likely pretty long. But getting ready for the holidays isn’t always stressful. Sometimes you’re able to get the to-do list finished ahead of schedule. Getting a headstart, planning ahead and checking off holiday to-do lists allows us to make more time for special holiday projects. Find out how to make your holiday guest bedroom one-of-a-kind when you find some extra time this season.

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Holiday Spirit: Curious Facts About Christmas

ltd-tree-pinkChristmas has evolved quite a bit over the centuries. Santa certainly didn’t deliver gifts at the first Christmas and candy canes weren’t a seasonal candy available in Bethlehem — these customs and traditions were picked up along the way and spread from culture to culture. Here are 5 curious facts about Christmas you didn’t know.

When in Rome Conventional wisdom suggests the Christmas tree tradition was started in Germany because of the seasonal song “O Tannenbaum,” but decorating evergreens for the winter holiday can be traced back to Ancient Rome. Ancient Romans dressed boughs of evergreen trees with fruits and nuts for their Saturnalia celebrations each winter. Early Christians may have adopted the evergreen tree as a symbol of rebirth and renewal to make the holiday feel more familiar to Roman converts to Christianity. The German tradition dates from the 1700s, but it didn’t catch on in England and America until the 1800s when Queen Victoria wrote about her happy memories of decorating trees as a princess.

nativity-ornament-setX Marks the Holiday Most people believe the “X” in Xmas is a way for advertisers to shorten the name of the holiday, but the nickname has a long history that has nothing to do with marketing and commerce. It’s a deeply religious symbol that got its start in monasteries. First commonly used in religious texts in the 1400s, the letter “X” signified the cross and was the first letter of Christ’s name in the Greek alphabet. For monks who spent hours toiling over manuscripts, finding a way to write quickly and efficiently was vital. When they replaced Christ’s name with an X, they were using what linguists call a Christogram.

American Revolution Christmas was once illegal in Boston. Until 1681, celebrating Christmas in Puritan Boston would cost you a five-shilling fine. Eventually, civic leaders loosened up and allowed Christmas celebrations, but even then, early Americans weren’t big on the holiday; in fact, some Puritans considered it a holdover from Catholicism. It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870, in part because the Puritans disapproved.

Little People Louisa May Alcott, the author famous for writing Little Women and Little Men, penned many short stories, novels and non-fiction articles, but a lesser known fact is that she’s responsible for giving Santa his elves. One of her short stories in 1856 mentioned Christmas elves, pointy-capped creatures who helped Santa Claus care for his reindeer and make gifts for good children. Although the story wasn’t published in her lifetime, she shared it with other writers, and a few years later, a story about Santa’s elves appeared in a copy of the magazine “Godey’s Lady’s Book,” one of the most influential publications of its time. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are enduring characters, but Alcott’s most famous literary creations might be Santa’s little helpers.ltd-pet-hats

Merry Petmas! Most people who have pets consider them part of the family. About 64% of American pet owners buy their pets gifts — some even hang the requisite stocking over the fireplace. Extra treats, a squeaky toy or a pet bed, we want to bring holiday cheer to every member of the family, four-legged and otherwise.

Happy holidays from LTD! Whether you’re celebrating with extended family or you’re having a quiet holiday with your pup, we wish you well this season and for the year to come.

Holiday Spirit: Fun Facts About Christmas Trees

christmas-treeOh, Christmas tree! It’s one of our favorite holiday decorations with traditions to keep us busy from the day after Thanksgiving to the day after the first of the year. It has a long history leading up to where it stands this holiday season — there’s so much to know, there’s probably a fact for every needle on the tree! But we compiled a list of the most fun facts about Christmas Trees.

  1. In the 19th century, Germany introduced the first artificial Christmas trees to the United States. They were made of goose feathers dyed green. Later, in 1930, an American brush company re-tooled the artificial Christmas trees using brush bristles similar to toilet brushes.
  2. Aluminum artificial Christmas trees were first manufactured in Chicago in 1958.
  3. According to History.com, it was allegedly Martin Luther’s idea to light Christmas trees with candles to resemble the stars in the sky. It wasn’t until 1882 that people started using electric lights.

  4. The New York Times attributes the idea of the Christmas tree lot to woodsmen Mark Carr who opened a lot in New York in 1851.
  5. christmas-treeTime Magazine credits construction workers during the Great Depression for erecting the first Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center in 1931.

  6. According to WhiteHouseHistory.org, President Franklin Pierce erected the first White House Christmas tree in 1856, but the first official tree lighting ceremony was held in 1923 when  President Calvin Coolidge was in office.
  7. During Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency, he banned the Christmas tree from the White House because, as an environmentalist, he didn’t approve of cutting down trees for decoration.
  8. In 1979, to honor the American hostages in Iran, the only light on the National Christmas Tree was the top ornament.
  9. For every Christmas tree cut down or harvested, three seedlings are planted in its place.  
  10. It can take up to ten years for a tree to be big and mature enough to be harvested as a Christmas tree.
  11. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the Christmas tree industry provides about 100,000 jobs.
  12. According to statista.com, 33 million farm-grown Christmas trees were sold in the United States in 2013.
  13. Christmas trees are farmed in all 50 states.
  14. 93% of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their tree and, in the United States, there are more than 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs.
  15. Recycled real Christmas trees are used to make mulch for paths and hiking trails.
  16. An acre of Christmas trees provides enough oxygen to sustain 18 people for a day and the trees can remove dust christmas-treeand pollen from the air.

Whether you cut down your Christmas tree yourself or you bought an artificial tree from LTD Commodities, the Christmas tree is an essential part of the holiday season. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!