little girl in a Santa hat opening a present

Explore the Magic: Christmas Facts for Kids

Christmas tops the list of favorite holidays for most kids. In fact, some would say that kids base their entire year around Christmas. 

Kids have even been known to start thinking about what they want for Christmas as early as January! 

But there is much more to Christmas than just gifts.

Christmas is a time for family, love, and traditions. Keep reading if you want to find out Awesome Christmas facts for kids!

Check out Santa Claus Facts, Mrs. Claus Facts, Santa’s Elf Facts, and Reindeer Facts for Kids 

What is Christmas?

Christmas is an annual Christian holiday held on December 25th, celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Jesus was born between 3 and 7 BC.  He is also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and is the head figure of Christianity.  His life and teachings are recorded in the Bible.

People all over the world celebrate Christmas. In the Catholic religion, Christmas is a holy day. Many people attend church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Children receive presents from Santa Claus and family members at Christmas.

Popular Christmas Traditions

There are many different Christmas traditions. Some Christmas traditions include having a Christmas tree, sending Christmas cards, baking holiday cookies, buying presents for loved ones, hanging stockings, decorating your home with Christmas lights, kissing under the mistletoe, singing Christmas carols, and celebrating Christmas day with loved ones.

On Christmas, many families all over the world eat Christmas pudding.  It is also called figgy pudding or plum pudding.  It is a pudding made with thirteen ingredients to represent Jesus and the Twelve Apostles made with dried and candied fruit.

Some people leave out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve in hopes that Santa will leave presents under the Christmas tree.

Will you be leaving cookies and milk for Santa this year?

Many families send out Christmas cards to friends, family, and loved ones. 

The tradition started in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, who helped set up the Public Records Office, which is now the United States Postal Service, and artist John Horsely.  Cole and Horsely created the first Christmas Card to encourage people to use the mail delivery service.

Newer traditions include wearing family matching pajamas, ugly sweater parties, family gift-giving games such as a pink elephant.

Christmas Decorations 

Many people enjoy decorating their homes for the Christmas holiday.  One of the most popular decorations is hanging up Christmas lights on the outside of houses. Right after Thanksgiving, you will start to notice holiday lights popping up on homes in your neighborhood. 

This is how you can tell Christmas is coming.  Many families will take trips around neighborhoods looking for the best holiday displays. 

Many people decorate the inside with Christmas stockings, little Santa Clauses, Christmas dishes, cups, mugs, nutcrackers, and, of course a Christmas tree!

The Christmas Tree

Christmas trees are also known as the Yule tree. They are evergreen trees, usually either a fir tree, pine tree, or spruce tree.  

Santa is known to leave Christmas gifts under the tree.

It is believed that decorating Christmas trees originated in 16th century Germany when Christians would bring decorated trees into their homes.

Christmas trees were first decorated with foods such as apples, nuts, and dates.

In the 18th century, Christmas trees began being decorated with candles.

Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895.

The tallest Christmas tree ever displayed was in Seattle, Washington, in 1950.  The Christmas tree was 221 feet tall!

Awesome Christmas Facts for Kids 

Some people say the Christmas season officially begins when Santa arrives at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Did you ever wonder where X-Mas came from? X is a symbol for Christ in Greek, so to shorten the word Christmas, people sometimes use X-Mas.

Hanging mistletoe in your home was an ancient pagan practice that early Christians adopted.  Kissing under the mistletoe originated in England.  It was tradition to kiss under the mistletoe. Every time someone kisses under the mistletoe, they pick a berry off; this continues until all the berries are gone.

A candy maker in Indiana invented candy canes.  He wanted to use them to spread the name of Jesus around the world.

In 1836, Alabama became the first state in the US to declare Christmas a legal holiday. 

Oklahoma became the last state to declare Christmas a legal holiday in 1907.

In June of 1870, Christmas became a federal holiday in the US.

If you received all the gifts from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would have 364 presents.

Do you know why we say the Twelve Days of Christmas?  It is believed that it took the 3 kings 12 days to find baby Jesus.

The song Jingle Bells was written by James Pierpont in 1857.  It was originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh” and was made for Thanksgiving.

Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Many years ago in England, a traditional Christmas dinner included a pig head served with mustard.

The tradition of naughty children getting a lump of coal in their stocking comes from Italy.

Did you know that tinsel was once made of real silver? It was invented in Germany in 1610.

There are two islands named Christmas.  Christmas Island (formerly Kiritimati) in the Pacific Ocean and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus is also known as St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Grandfather Frost, and Kris Kringle. Click Here for more Santa Claus Facts!

Santa is believed to bring gifts to good girls and boys on the night before Christmas (December 24th) also known as Christmas Eve.

On Christmas morning, children wake up really early to look under the Christmas tree to see what Santa brought them.  Some families do not wait until Christmas morning and open presents at midnight.

Kids all over the world write letters to Santa Claus requesting gifts for Christmas.  Children send these letters to the North Pole. Sant lives at the North Pole with Mrs. Claus.

There are 3 towns in the US that are named Santa Claus. One in Georgia, one in Arizona, and one in Indiana.

Santa Claus 8 eight reindeer are named Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donder, and Blitzen.

To know more Reindeer facts, click here

Three Kings Day

For many people, the official end of the Christmas season ends on January 6th, the 12th day of Christmas. January 6th is known as Three Kings Day or Feast of Epiphany, which celebrates when the three wise men brought gifts for Jesus. 

The three wise men brought Jesus the gifts of Myrrh (anointing oil), Frankincense (perfume), and gold as a symbol of kingship on Earth. 

Click here for more Christmas Activities for Kids

Interesting Christmas Facts for Kids

When is Christmas celebrated?

Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.

Why do we celebrate Christmas?

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

When did Christmas become a federal holiday in the United States?

Christmas became a federal holiday in 1870

What are some Christmas traditions?

Having a Christmas tree, decorating your home with Christmas lights, baking holiday cookies, singing Christmas carols, sending Christmas cards, and spending time with friends and family.

What does the X stand for in X-Mas?

X is the symbol for Christ in Greek.  Sometimes, people use the X to shorten the word Christmas and just refer it to X-Mas.

Merry Christmas!