December is here and Christmas is right around the corner, this time of year is usually the busiest; with people rushing out to buy last minute gifts, decorating their homes and going out to enjoy the numerous festivities that are running this times of year. Due to the pandemic many of these events have been cancelled, so lets fill the time until Christmas with some Christmassy facts. At the bottom of the page there will be a crossword based on the facts below.

So without further ado let's get on with it:

1. Did you know the original idea to leave food out for Santa Claus' reindeer derives from Norse children. They would leave treats out for Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged horse, to stop by during their hunting trips. Dutch children adopted this tradition for St. Nicholas' horse.

2. When you think of Santa one of the things that would come in mind is him flying in his sleigh. But did you know that image of Santa Claus flying his sleigh was created by the same other of the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow", Washington Irving.

3. Have you bought a Christmas Tree and wanted to dispose of it? Well some zoos except Christmas Trees as donations to that they will be recycled and provided as a food source from some animals. I guess zoo animals have a Christmas dinner too.

4. Ever wondered where the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square comes from, it is donated by the people of Oslo, Norway every year as a thanks for UK's assistance during WWII.

5. The tradition of hanging stocking by the fireplace originated from a Dutch legend.

 Classic Stockings by the fireplace.

6. Using an artificial tree is not environmentally friendly, you would have to use it for more than 20 years to be considered "greener" than buying a freshly cut tree every year.

7. During the Christmas season almost 28 sets of LEGO are sold every second... that's a lot of building.

8. Santa has a tough job on Christmas eve, he has 31 hours to deliver presents to all the children in the world. Meaning to make it in time for Christmas Santa would have to travel faster than the speed of light.

9. Throughout history Christmas has been known by multiple names including Nativity, Midwinter and Yule. Furthermore, another name for "Christmas Tree" is Yule-Tree.

10. Wondering where the term "Xmas" comes from? Well the Greek meaning of "X" is Christ. So which ever wat you spell it the word will still say "Christmas"

11. Originally, Christmas trees were first decorated with fruits, but as time went on it moved to candles and then electric lights. Apparently is was Thomas Edison's assistant that came up with the bright idea of using electric lights for Christmas trees.

12. The tallest Christmas tree is believed to be the 122-foot, 91 year old Douglas fir in the town of Woodinville.

13. Every time a tree is cut down for Christmas 2 or 3 more is planted in its place. This is because on average it takes 6-8 years for a Christmas tree to fully-grown. Alternatively, it rakes 15 years to grow even taller. Approximately 35 million trees are produced during the Christmas season just to keep up with pace.

14. Usually KFC does not come to mind as far as Christmas is concerned. However, this is different in Japan, as it is seen as a "tradition" to eat KFC on Christmas eve. It is so popular that customers have to book their seats 2 months in advance, that's crazy!

15. The song "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby is the best-selling Christmas song of all time, with it selling more than 50 million copies around the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                            White Christmas album cover                                     

16. The biggest Christmas present in the world is considered to be The Statue of Liberty. The French gifted it to the US on Christmas day in 1886.

17. During 2014, approximately 10 million Turkeys were eaten in the UK during Christmas. Think of the amount of cranberries consumed alongside the Turkeys. 

18. The Rubik's Cube was the highest selling Christmas toy in the 80s and that was back when they were cheap. Nowadays they cost anything from £10 plus.

19. Christmas pudding is an iconic part of Christmas , along with custard or double cream and you will have yourself a nice Christmas evening. But the original Christmas pudding was a soup composed of raisins and wine, you can image a lot of drunk people on Christmas.

20. Santa Claus did not always sport the red colours you see him wearing today. He would wear various colours (and even be different sizes). It is believed that the version we see Santa today was because of the Coca-Cola advertisements, depicting Santa in red holding a bottle of coke.

Depiction of the classic Coca-Cola Santa Claus

21. Dating back to the 17th century in the UK it was forbidden to do anything related to gluttony during Christmas by Oliver Cromwell. Oh and that law still stands today, meaning it is technically illegal to eat Christmas dinner on Christmas.

22. The Fridays and Saturdays before Christmas are considered to be some of the busiest shopping days of the year. So any last minute shoppers out there should consider shopping on Thursday instead.

23. Everybody loves the song "Last Christmas" but did you know that song makes £300,00 per year in royalties and starting from 2012, George Michael would have all the royalties from that song donated to charity.

24. "We wish you a Merry Christmas" was originally a song sung by servants asking their masters for alcohol on Christmas - hence the line "We won't go till we get some!" 

I hope you have learned something interesting and new in this article. Now using the facts above try to complete the downloadable crossword the best you can. As a bonus, there will be an easy mince pie recipe at the end of the article you can try to make at home.

Download Crossword

Answer Sheet

Easy Mince Pies

These mince pies are easy to make and the require on rolling! All that is needed is to press the raw, crumbly pastry directly into your tin for a nice biscuit finish. And if you have some mulled wine on hand it will go down a treat along with the pies.


225g Cold butter, diced

350g Plain flour

100g Golden caster sugar

280g Mincemeat

1 Small egg, beaten

Icing sugar, to dust.


1. To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then mix in the golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt.

2. Combine the pastry into a ball - do not add liquid - and knead it briefly. The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough.

3. Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/Gas 6. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry onto each hole.

4. Spoon the mincemeat into the pies. Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies.

5. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal - you do not need to seal them with milk or eggs, they will stick on their own.

6. Brush the tops of the pies with the beaten egg. Bake for 20 mins until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, then remove to a wire rack. Then serve, lightly dust with icing sugar.

Back to Top