Did You Know...

from the December 15, 2013 Society Page

*~ How magical is Santa?  There are 2.1 billion children under age 18 in the world. If there are on average 2.5 children per household. Santa would have to make 842 million stops on Christmas Eve, traveling 221 million miles. To reach all 842 million stops, Santa would need to travel between houses in 2/10,000 second, which means he would need to accelerate 12.19 million miles per second on each stop. The force of this acceleration would reduce Santa to “chunky salsa.”

*~ In 1962, the first Christmas postage stamp was issued in the United States.

*~ The Viking god Odin is one precursor to the modern Santa Claus. According to myth, Odin rode his flying horse, Sleipnir (a precursor to Santa’s reindeer), who had eight legs. In the winter, Odin gave out both gifts and punishments, and children would fill their boots or stockings with treats for Sleipnir.

*~ Mistletoe is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.

*~ In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.

*~ Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.

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