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MARKET TRADER, DECEMBER 21, 2018 - JANUARY 3, 2019


Ward, the department store owned the copyright and May received no royalties after it became a huge success. Sadly, May almost went bankrupt paying for his ailing wife’s medical bills before finally convincing Montgomery Ward to give him the rights to the plucky reindeer. Rudolph became an even bigger success when May set the story to music with the help of his songwriter brother-in-law Johnny Marks. A famous rendition recorded by Gene Autry became one of the best- selling Christmas songs of all time, selling more than two million copies.


 The abbreviation Xmas is not irreligious, as the letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ.


 For a Christmas to be


officially classified as ‘white’ a single snow flake needs to be observed falling during the 24 hours of December 25 on the rooftop of the Met Office HQ in London.


 According to data gathered from Facebook, two weeks before Christmas is one of the two most popular times of the year for couples to break up. Christmas Day is the least popular.


 Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they’re sold, and on average, three new trees are planted to replace each one harvested. Many parts of the traditional Christmas tree can actually be eaten, with the needles being a good source of vitamin C.


 In the first few centuries of the Christian era, controversy over whether


or not Jesus was divine at birth created political and social unrest that frequently burst out into full-scale warfare. So much for peace on earth.


 Boston church leaders tried to have the song ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ banned in the 1950s because they thought it “promoted physical intimacy.” Singer Jimmy Boyd had to fly to Boston and explain to them why it wasn’t obscene.


 Every year letters to Santa Claus flood post offices across the world. Some Canadian Post Office workers even started answering them – but as more letters arrived, they set up a special zip code for Santa as part of a ‘Santa Letter-Writing Program’ literacy initiative. The zip code? H0H 0H0.


 A man called Yves Piaget spent over £10 million on decorating his Christmas tree. The tree was lavishly bedecked with 83 pieces of fabulous jewellery.


 If you thought your works secret Santa was a tricky and complex business then imagine how difficult it must have been to organise the workers at Boots UK Limited, who took part in the largest ever secret Santa. The present swap involved 1,270 people and took place in 2008.


The i-Top is predicted to be one of the most asked for toys this Christmas


 Back in 1955, an advert placed by US department


FEATURE 15


Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they’re sold (Photo: Louis du Mont)


store giant, Sears, gave the phone number of a Colorado Springs store, so children could tell Santa Claus what they wanted for Christmas. But the number was a misprint, and instead sent children to the hotline for Colonel Harry Shoup, Director of Operations for the US Continental Air Defense. The calls poured in, and instead of blocking the number, the kindly Colonel ordered his staff to give children updates on Santa’s flight coordinates. The tradition has continued to this very day on the local news, the internet and with a special NORAD Tracks Santa iPhone app.


 Forbes compiled a list of the world’s richest fictional people, and St Nick topped it with a net worth of infinity. This beat the world’s current net worth record holder at the time, Mexican investor Carlos Slim Helu, who only topped out at a measly $74 billion. No wonder Santa’s so jolly.


 High Street retailer John Lewis is predicting that one of the most asked for toys this coming Christmas will be the i-Top, an electronic spinning top that counts the number of revolutions and keeps track of scores so players can try and beat each other.


In September this year


(when these ‘facts’ were compiled) long-range forecasters predicted a continuation of the wet and windy conditions which had dominated the late summer/ early autumn. Though some experts tentatively predicted a dry and cold period into December, none were forecasting a white Christmas, with changeable weather remaining in charge and conditions expected to be too mild for snow. As you read this in December, have those predictions changed? Or is mild and breezy still the forecast for Christmas Day? White Christmas or wet


Christmas, have yourselves a great time!


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