New Years Ball
In 1907, the ball lowered in Times square on New Year’s Eve was made of iron and wood and decorated with 100 bulbs. In present holidays, the ball is made of Waterford crystal and covered with 696 bulbs, 96 strobe lights, and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors.
The Popular Poinsettia
Poinsettias were first introduced in 1828 by the US ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. In present holidays, they are now grown in all 50 states and represent over 85% of potted plant sales during the holidays.
A Tree of Lights
In 1949 the tree at Rockefeller Center was strung with 7,500 bulbs, but in present holidays it has more than 25,000 bulbs. That is more than 5 miles of lights.
The Tree Tradition
The first American mention of a Christmas tree was in 1747. It wasn’t a tree at all but a wooden pyramid covered with evergreen boughs and decorated with apples. In present holidays, more than 34 to 36 million trees are produced each year. The industry employs over 100,000 people and over 1 million acres of land have been planted with Christmas trees.
The first Christmas card was created by a London businessman and printed in England in 1843. Three years later, the first commercial Christmas card was available to the public. In present holidays, this is the busiest time of year for the US Postal Service. Last year, over 20 billion cards, letters and packages were sent causing the USPS to hire 40,000 temporary workers.
The Origins of Rudolph
In 1939, an advertising employee at Montgomery Ward department store wrote the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for a store promotion. That year the store gave away 2.4 million copies of the story. Ten years later, Gene Autry recorded the song. Since then it has sold over 80 million copies and Rudolph has definitely gone into holiday history.
******People always mistake Santa’s reindeer “Donder” and call him “Donner”******
How to Find and Recognize Mistletoe
It grows commonly in many trees in most areas of North America. It stays green all winter and produces white berries when most plants are dead or dormant. It was thought to have magic properties by the Celts. Also, it must not touch the ground during cutting; it may remain hanging through the year, often to preserve the house from lightning or fire. It grows on a wide range of host trees. Just look for green, round clumps in the trees. It is easy to spot once all the leaves have fallen from the trees; look in trees such as oak.