Merry Christmas! Here is a Christmas Fact You Might Not Know

“Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself…”Norman Wesley Brooks

Merry Christmas to all!  Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends.  Remain vigilant and safe this Christmas and Holiday Season.   Enjoy your much deserved time off, the food, the comradely, and your family traditions.  Hang up the phone if work calls.  They have you the other 364 days a year and they can live without you!

Here is a Christmas Fact that few people know.  It was a simple mistake that started the Santa Tracker Program in 1955.  (Info Courtesy of KCRA)

The Santa Tracker program began in 1955 because of a mistake in a Colorado Springs newspaper advertisement from Sears Roebuck & Co. The Sears ad misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. The phone number published was actually for the commander in chief’s operations hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), which was NORAD’s predecessor.

On December 24, 1955, Air Force Col. Harry Shoup was on duty, and instead of hanging up on countless children that night, Shoup checked the radar and updated the eager children on jolly old Saint Nick’s location. That 1955 misprint and Shoup’s actions started a 62-year tradition that is made possible today by volunteers and corporate sponsors who bear the expense.

Now since you are an informed Historian you can share this information with others!

A couple of questions I had this Christmas.  Why do Atheists Celebrate Christmas?  When did Presents become a tradition for Christmas?  I was surprised with the answers.

The tradition of gift-giving is an old one, but it became associated with Christmas more recently. It is a relic of a pagan custom, namely, the winter solstice which in Europe occurs in December. This was celebrated in ancient Rome with gift-giving during the Saturnalia holiday, which took place that month.  As Christianity became increasingly widespread in the Roman lands, the custom of gift-giving continued. Around the year 336 AD the date of December 25 appears to have become established as the day of Jesus’s birth, and the tradition of gift-giving was reinterpreted and tied to the story of three Magi giving gifts to baby Jesus; together with another story, that of Santa Claus based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver, it slowly became a part of Christmas celebrations.

Courtesy Wikipedia….

So there you have it… . Atheists celebrate the Winter Solstice, not Christmas and the story of three Magi giving gifts to baby Jesus started the gift giving tradition.  Saturnalia was an ancient Roman tradition to honor the god Saturn.  All of these different events are around Christmas, and many had to do with celebrations and gift giving.  Even though Christians celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas others celebrate this time of year for their own beliefs.

Leave a Reply