Day 1 of 12 days of Christmas - a partridge in a pear tree: Ten things you never knew about Christmas



The first day of Christmas is represented by a Partridge in a Pear Tree and whilst some assume it means a bird in a tree, there are those who say it has religious connotations. Whilst the Partridge and it's tree may forever be a mystery you can take some solace that some Christmas facts can be easily revealed.

The first day of Christmas is represented by a Partridge in a Pear Tree and whilst some assume it means a bird in a tree, there are those who say it has religious connotations. Whilst the Partridge and it's tree may forever be a mystery you can take some solace that some Christmas facts can be easily revealed.


It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid and whilst you await for the night where you embarrass yourself in front of your bosses, co-workers and liver at the Christmas party, here are some fun facts you probably didn't know about Christmas.

Wartime Truce

Possibly the last example of wartime chivalry was witnessed on Christmas Day 1914. Dubbed the Christmas Truce of 1914, troops across the western front lay down their weapons on Christmas Eve and both sides sang Christmas carols to one another from their trenches.


The next morning Christmas cheer once again overcame the conflict with soldiers from both sides meeting in the No-Man's-land to exchange gifts including: Helmets, cigarettes and a jolly good game of Football. Unfortunately, the combat began again on Boxing day, marking the end of wartime chivalry.


Santa - Overworked & Underpaid

US scientists took time off from their less important tasks such as curing diseases and solving global warming to answer the important questions - How does Santa do it?


The calculations revealed that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second whilst travelling around the globe at 650 miles a second. It's no wonder the jolly old guy only works one night a year, which alone is filled with danger from dogs, power lines and the fact that he is basically breaking and entering.


1 in 10 Englands will experience a White Christmas

If you were to pluck 10 Earths from the multiverse and place them side-by-side viewing England and Wales, statistically only one of those earths would experience a snow filled Christmas a year, which is either horrible news or a blessing depending on your views of snow.


However, the Scottish land of permanent winter and Northern Ireland have a 1 in 6 chance of 'enjoying' a white Christmas and we don't mean the cocktail!


Jingle Bells in Spaaaaaaaaace

December 16, 1965 marked a revolutionary day in the exploration of space. It marks the day that Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang Jingle Bells to the planet Earth.


The two astronauts claimed to see a flying object they couldn't identify and after a painstaking silence between themselves and earth, they started to play Jingle Bells with some bells and a harmonica - pretending to be a UFO called Santa Claus.


Bing Crosby's plan for world domination

Bing Crosby may have been dreaming of a white Christmas, but countless motorists and public transport users who need to get to work are not. Whilst the singer is no longer with us, his music is. White Christmas is the best selling Christmas song ever, shifting 50 million copies worldwide.

How the Grinch Stole £175 million

There are plenty of Christmas classics: Miracle on 34th Street, Die Hard and Jingle All the Way, but the title of the most successful Christmas themed film to date goes to How the Grinch Stole Christmas (and subsequently our hearts.)


Since its cinematic release in 2000, the green recluse has racked up a total of £175 million in revenue and well, in Whoville, they say his small bank account grew three sizes that day.


Mistletoe is a Dung Twig

Standing under the Mistletoe with your loved one is the cheesiest way to steal a romantic kiss. However, would you still stand under it if you knew the name Mistletoe essentially meant 'Dung twig?'


It gets this lovely name from the way it spreads from tree to tree through bird droppings. So yeah... What a lovely thing to dangle above your loved one's head...


St. Nick's Origin Story

All superheroes have an origin story: Superman's planet was destroyed, Batman's parents were murdered and The Flash was struck by lightning. However there is one man who comes out once a year, showering the world with gifts whilst covering the entire 510,072,000 km₂ that we call earth. That man is Father Christmas, but not much is known about his true identity, St. Nick.


In the 4th century, born around the year 270, a church bishop rose to fame through his generosity to the poor; that bishop was none other than Saint Nicholas. Since his days of local benevolence, he has taken up the responsibility of worldwide deliveries to good boys and girls around the globe.


12 Days of Bankruptcy

The 12 days of Christmas may seem like a lovely idea, but in reality it's expensive and consists of a total of 364 presents made up from:


12 Partridges in Pear Trees


22 Turtle Doves

30 French Hens

36 Calling Birds

40 Gold Rings

42 Geese-a-Laying

42 Swans-a-Swimming

40 Maids-a-Milking

36 Ladies Dancing

30 Lords-a-Leaping

22 Pipers Piping

12 Drummers Drumming


Not only is this an impractical way to celebrate Christmas, it also comes with a lot of financial and human rights issues. As of 2013, the price of all those items combined would cost a whopping £71,721 (converted from 4,651.) True love or not, surely some expensive jewelry would suffice.


America Builds an Army of Santas

With the aforementioned workload that Father Christmas has to take on year after year, he doesn't have much time for public appearances. Therefore each country must organise a crack team of Santas for rent and America alone has approximately 20,000 representatives for the jolly fat man (Santa, not Brian Blessed.) These everyday heroes are highly trained in dealing with public pressure, rowdy kids and making dreams come true.

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