Cashton Record - An Independent Wisconsin Newspaper... Serving The Cashton Area For Over 120 Years!

Fanning Files


December 8, 2021

By Me

As a little break for the season… I’ve provided a few Christmas facts that I had never heard of until I came upon this Good Housekeeping article with some interesting facts Enjoy!

The Dutch gave us the idea to leave cookies and milk… If your kids leave Santa a little snack to keep him sated on your journey, thank the Dutch. On St. Nicholas’ feast day on Dec. 6, Dutch children leave him food and drink to be exchanged for gifts overnight.

Coca-Cola played a part in Santa’s image… Before Coca-Cola decided to use his image for advertising, Santa’s looks tended more spooky than jolly. Then, in 1931, the beverage company hired an illustrator named Haddon Sundblom to depict the jolly old elf for magazine ads. Now, kids see visions of sugarplums instead of having Santa-themed nightmares.

Hanging stockings started by accident… Legend has it, we hang stockings by the chimney with care thanks to a poor man who didn’t have enough money for his three daughters’ dowries. Generous old St. Nick dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night after the girls had hung their freshly-washed stockings there to dry. That’s where the gold ended up, and the tradition stuck.

Rudolph was a marketing ploy… Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first appeared in 1939 when the Montgomery Ward department store asked one of its copywriters to create a Christmas story for kids that the store could distribute as a promotion. The adorable movie featuring the island of misfit toys and Herbie the elf hit the airwaves (and our hearts) in 1964.

“Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song… Turns out, we first started dashing through the snow for an entirely different holiday. James Lord Pierpont wrote the song called “One Horse Open Sleigh” for his church’s Thanksgiving concert in the mid-19th Century. Then in 1857, the song was re-released under the title we all know and love. Today, it’s still among the most popular Christmas songs.

Silent Night is the most recorded song… We all know the same few handfuls of Christmas songs play at stores and on the radio in a loop all season long. But one of them has been adapted more than others. Silent Night ears that title, as the most-recorded Christmas song in history. It’s had more than 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978.

Celebrating Christmas used to be illegal… From 1659–1681, anyone caught making merry in the colonies would face a fine for celebrating. By the Revolutionary War, the day had so little significance that Congress even held their first session on December 25, 1789. Christmas wasn’t even proclaimed a federal holiday for almost another century, proving that the Grinch’s attitude toward the holiday was alive and well long before he was.

Mistletoe is an aphrodisiac… The holiday decoration isn’t just pretty. It’s also an ancient symbol of fertility and virility — and the Druids considered it an aphrodisiac. So the next time someone cracks a joke about meeting you under the mistletoe, consider yourself warned.

Mistletoe’s name isn’t as sweet… On the other hand, mistletoe’s name might not give you quite as many warm feelings. Mistle thrush birds eat the plant’s berries, digest the seed, and then help the plant germinate with their droppings. The Germanic word for mistletoe literally means “dung on a twig.” Romantic, right?


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