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Seasonal Fun Facts

Expand your holiday trivia knowledge with these interesting tidbits from past and recent history.

New Year's Ball

Holiday Past
The original ball lowered in Times Square on New Year's Eve back in 1907 was made of iron and wood and decorated with 100 light bulbs.

Holiday Present
The modern New Year's ball is made of Waterford crystal, covered with 696 light bulbs, 96 strobe lights, and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors.

The Popular Poinsettia

Holiday Past
Poinsettias were first introduced into this country in 1828 by the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett.

Holiday Present
Poinsettias are now grown in all 50 states and represent over 85 percent of potted plant sales during the holidays. Over $220 million worth of poinsettias are sold during holiday season!

Kisses in Color

Holiday Past
Hershey's started wrapping their Kisses in red, green, and silver foil for the first time in 1962. The success of the holiday-wrapped Kisses led Hershey's to dress up their little chocolates for the Easter, Valentine's Day, and Fall Harvest seasons.

Holiday Present
Hershey's now wraps up to 1,300 Hershey's Kisses a minute. That gives them the capacity to make approximately 33 million Hershey's Kisses a day, or more than 12 billion a year.

A Tree of Lights

Holiday Past
In 1949, the tree at Rockefeller Center was strung with 7,500 bulbs.

Holiday Present
Now more than 25,000 bulbs are strung on the tree - that's more than 5 miles of lights!

The Tree Tradition

Holiday Past
The first American mention of a Christmas tree was in 1747, and, strictly speaking, it wasn't a tree at all but a wooden pyramid covered with evergreen boughs and decorated with apples.

Holiday Present
Once the tree idea caught on, it grew by leaps and bounds. More than 34 to 36 million Christmas trees are now produced each year in the U.S. The industry employs over 100,000 people, and over 1 million acres of land have been planted with Christmas trees.

Artificial Trees

Holiday Past
Artificial Christmas trees were on the market by 1900. They were available by mail from Sears, Roebuck and Company, and cost 50 cents for 33 limbs, or a dollar for 55 limbs.

Holiday Present
Most artificial trees are now manufactured in Korea, Taiwan, or Hong Kong and contain non-biodegradable plastics and metals. They usually range in price from $200 to $2,000.

Holiday Mail

Holiday Past
The first Christmas card, created by a London businessman, was printed in England in 1843. Three years later, the first commercial Christmas cards were available to the public. One thousand cards in all were produced and they were an instant success.

Holiday Present
The holiday season is now the busiest time of the year for the US Postal Service. Last year, over 20 billion cards, letters, and packages were sent, causing the USPS to hire nearly 40,000 temporary workers and put thousands of additional trucks, trains, and planes in service.

The Origins of Rudolph

Holiday Past
In 1939, an advertising employee at the department store Montgomery Ward 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.

Holiday Present
Ten years later, Gene Autry recorded the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Since then it has sold over 80 million copies. Rudolph has definitely gone down in our holiday history!

More on: Christmas

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