But why do we say XMAS?? Well, in Greek "X" means Christ and that is where the word “Xmas” comes from!
Here are some funny Christmas Statistics:
1 in 10 – The number of the presents received that will be broken by the New Year
7 in 10 – The number of dogs that get Christmas gifts from their owners
33 – The average amount spent per person on last-minute purchases
25 – The percentage time spent in queues when Christmas shopping
832 – The number of homes Santa visits every second to deliver all his presents
5340 – Average number of times Visa Cards are used every minute during Christmas time.
Every Place is different; every Tradition is different. Here in Verbier, with so many communities it is great to be able to sit down and have a taste of all the different sweets from around the globe:
FRANCE: Buche de Noel (a sponge cake, baked in a large Swiss roll pan)
USA: Pumpkin Cake (with cinnamon and ginger, frosted with cream cheese frosting)
SPAIN: Nougat (made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts)
HUNGARY: Beigli (roll of sweet yeast bread with a dense, rich, bittersweet filling)
ITALY: Panettone (is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan)
SWEDEN: Pepparkakor (heart-star and goat-shaped gingerbread biscuit)
UK: Christmas Pudding (steamed pudding, with dried fruit and nuts, usually made with suet)
PORTUGAL: Pain Perdu (French toast made with bread and eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon)
GERMANY: Lebkuchen (large cookies made of honey)
Christmas, as we know it today, is a Victorian invention of the 1860s. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world, our modern Christmas is a product of hundreds of years of both secular and religious traditions from around the globe.
FINLAND: ‘HYVÄÄ JOULUA!’
Many Finns visit the sauna on Christmas Eve. Families gather and listen to the national “Peace of Christmas” radio broadcast. It is customary to visit the gravesites of departed family members.
NORWAY: ‘GLEDELIG JUL!’
Norway is the birthplace of the Yule log. The ancient Norse used the Yule log in their celebration of the return of the sun at winter solstice. “Yule” came from the Norse word hweol, meaning wheel. The Norse believed that the sun was a great wheel of fire that rolled towards and then away from the earth. Ever wonder why the family fireplace is such a central part of the typical Christmas scene? This tradition dates back to the Norse Yule log. It is probably also responsible for the popularity of log-shaped cheese, cakes, and desserts during the holidays.
GERMANY: ‘FROEHLICHE WEIHNACHTEN!’
Decorating evergreen trees had always been a part of the German winter solstice tradition. The first “Christmas trees” explicitly decorated and named after the Christian holiday, appeared in Strasbourg, in Alsace in the beginning of the 17th century. After 1750, Christmas trees began showing up in other parts of Germany, and even more so after 1771, when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited Strasbourg and promptly included a Christmas tree is his novel, The Suffering of Young Werther.
ENGLAND: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’
An Englishman named John Calcott Horsley helped to popularize the tradition of sending Christmas greeting cards when he began producing small cards featuring festive scenes and a pre-written holiday greeting in the late 1830s. Newly efficient post offices in England and the United States made the cards nearly overnight sensations.Celtic and Teutonic peoples had long considered mistletoe to have magic powers. It was said to have the ability to heal wounds and increase fertility. Celts hung mistletoe in their homes in order to bring themselves good luck and ward off evil spirits. During holidays in the Victorian era, the English would hang sprigs of mistletoe from ceilings and in doorways. If someone was found standing under the mistletoe, they would be kissed by someone else in the room, behavior not usually demonstrated in Victorian society.
FRANCE: ‘JOYEUX NOËL!’
In France, Christmas is called Noel. This comes from the French phrase les bonnes nouvelles, which means “the good news” and refers to the gospel.
In southern France, some people burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. This stems from an ancient tradition in which farmers would use part of the log to ensure good luck for the next year’s harvest.
ITALY: ‘BUON NATALE!’
Italians call Chrismas Il Natale, meaning “the birthday.”
In Australia, the holiday comes in the middle of summer and it’s not unusual for some parts of Australia to hit 100 degrees Farenheit on Christmas day.
During the warm and sunny Australian Christmas season, beach time and outdoor barbecues are common. Traditional Christmas day celebrations include family gatherings, exchanging gifts and either a hot meal with ham, turkey, pork or seafood or barbeques.
Most Canadian Christmas traditions are very similar to those practiced in the United States. In the far north of the country, the Eskimos celebrate a winter festival called sinck tuck, which features parties with dancing and the exchanging of gifts.
Whatever you will be doing, however you will be celebrating, we wish you a great Xmas!
( Content found: http://www.history.com )