As the holiday season draws near, now is the perfect time to give you fine readers some random facts that you might not know about Christmas, December, and the holiday season in general. Grab a cup of egg nog and enjoy!
5. The Average North American Takes Six Months To Pay Off Christmas Debt. That's right, you are not the only one. If you thought you were alone when it comes to overspending during the holidays, you were wrong. In fact, most North Americans (Yes, that includes Canada) spend half a year paying off the debt acquired each holiday season, just barely giving themselves enough time to get ready for next year's holiday. Visa credit cards are reported to be used over 5,000 times every minute in the final weeks leading up to Christmas.
4. December Is The Most Popular Month For Nose Jobs. Is it because no one wants to show up at the holiday party with the shnozz they hate so much? Who knows? But all numbers point to December as being the month when most people get a little rhinoplasty done by their local plastic surgeon. Do they ask for a nose job from Santa or merely use their Christmas bonus to make it happen? The general assumption is that the holiday season allows the most time off from work to recover from this simple (but sometimes bruising) procedure. So, go enjoy your new face, Rudolph!
3. The Christmas Tree Business Is Booming. Despite the fact that artificial trees sell very well, live Christmas trees still outsell their fake counterparts. Every year in North America, people buy upwards of thirty million "live" Christmas trees. That's almost the entire population of Canada. Artificial trees are being sold more and more every year. Over twelve million were sold last year, which is almost three times as many were sold just ten years ago.
2. Rudolph was a "MAD MEN" ploy. Rudolph (the red-nosed reindeer) is obviously the most famous reindeer of all. But it wasn't always so. In fact, in the original 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, Rudy wasn't even mentioned. It wasn't until 1939 that our favorite reindeer came to life in a poem written by Robert L. May as an ad campaign for the Montgomery Ward department store chain. Montgomery Ward gave away coloring books every Christmas and decided in 1939 to come up with their own story. May wrote "Rudolph" and the chain gave away over two million copies of the book. May's brother in-law, Johnny Marks, wrote the popular song that became an instant classic and the second-biggest selling single of all time for over thirty years. That said, the lyrics to the song are actually quite different than the actual poem written for the popular coloring book.
1. Santa Claus Has a Canadian Address. Is it any surprise to learn that Jolly Ol' Saint Nick dwells in the Great White North? Why not? After all, it's pretty darned close to the North Pole, it's often freezing cold, and there's plenty of carb-heavy food (like poutine!) to keep his belly just like a bowlful of jelly. In 1982, tired of kids' letters to Santa always piling up at random post offices all over the country, Canada Post officially gave Santa Claus his own Postal Code. Ready for this? It's H0H 0H0. Yes, that's "HO HO HO" to those of you who haven't figured it out. This one is exclusive to Santa Claus, and every card or letter that has that postal code will get there, regardless of the address on the envelope. Of the upwards of one million letters sent to Santa Claus to this postal code, every single one is answered in the language in which it was received. Canadians are so polite..especially Canadian elves!
Do year hear what I hear? It's Christmastime again, Charlie Brown. So get out there, get yourself a tree (live or artificial), and leave a peppermint stick for old Saint Nick. See you under the mistletoe.
Ward Anderson is a comedian, author, and one-half of the talk radio program "Ward and Al", heard weekdays on SiriusXM satellite radio. His first novel, I'll Be Here All Week, will be released in May, 2014.
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