“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Sing along! December, that time of year when storefronts are festooned with holiday decorations and Christmas spirit! It’s a month of festivities, joy, and family reunions. December is also a month of one year’s closure and a time when we start preparing our New Year’s resolution list.
Whether we’ve been naughty or nice December brings a piece of magic to everyone’s hearts. To feel a piece of that magic, grab a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy these interesting facts about December!
December starts on the same day of the week as September every year. December ends on the same day of the week as April every year.
December is the twelfth and last month of the year in the Gregorian calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days.
The name December comes from the Latin decem for “ten”, as it was the 10th month in the Roman calendar.
The Anglo- Saxons called it “Winter monath” or “Yule monath” because of the custom of burning the Yule log around this time.
After many Anglo-Saxons became Christians they called it “Heligh monath” or holy month, because Christmas, the birth of Jesus is celebrated in December.
December’s flower is the narcissus or holly. December’s birthstones are turquoise, lapis lazuli, zircon, topaz (blue), or tanzanite.
December often marks the beginning of rain, snow, and cold weather.
December is associated with Christmas in many countries. There are Christmas decorations, sales, musicals, and parties. Many people spend their time Christmas shopping.
A lot of people have time off work around Christmas and before New Year’s Eve.
Common decorations on a Christmas tree each have their specific meanings. Candles – the light of the world, the Star at the top is a reminder of the first Christmas night and candy canes are to represent the shepherd’s cane.
“Jingle bells” was composed in 1857, and not for Christmas – it was meant to be a Thanksgiving song!
In 1647 Oliver Cromwell, an English Puritan leader, banned the festivities of Christmas for being seen as immoral on such a holy day. The ban was lifted in 1660.
An ancient legend states that forest animals can speak in human language on Christmas Eve!
An almanac prediction states that if snow falls on Christmas Day, Easter will be warm, green, and sunny.
December in the Northern Hemisphere is similar to June in the Southern Hemisphere.
There are fewer daylight hours in December in the northern hemisphere than in any other month.
According to a 2011 survey, more dentists have birthdays in December than in any other month.
In the UK more drivers are breathalysed during December than in any month. It is also the worst month for road deaths.
“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” (JM Barrie).
We withdraw more money in December than any other month.
According to a recent survey, December is the month when couples argue the most.
The stock market tends to do better in December than any other month. This has been put down to something called the “Santa rally”.
More people suffer fatal falls in December in the UK than any other month.
December in Shakespeare’s As You Like It: “Men are April when they woo, December when they wed”.
National Cookie Day is December 4th. Other snacks celebrated this month include pie, cotton candy, chocolate brownies (mmm!), cocoa, and cupcakes.
The saying that “Everything is bigger in Texas” apparently applies to tasty treats, too. On Dec. 5th, 2013, the Texas A&M Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas completed building the largest gingerbread house in the world.
The world became a little more magical on Dec. 5th, 1901, when Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was born in Hermosa, Illinois.
December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, inspires traditions around the world from hunts for presents to stockings or shoes filled with sweets.
December 7th is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
Nobel Prizes are awarded on the 10th of December on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
On the 11th of Dec. 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England to marry a twice-divorced American named Wallis Warfield Simpson.
Sir Francis Drake set sail from England on the 13th of December, 1577 leading a voyage around-the-world.
December 13th is St. Lucia’s Day, which has long been associated with festivals of light.
On the 17th of December, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio, ushered in the era of flight and soared into history.
The first day of winter is on either December 21st or 22nd. This is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It is called the winter or Southern solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
On the 23rd of December, Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear during a fit of depression.
In Britain, Boxing Day is usually celebrated on the following day after Christmas Day, which is the 26thof December. However, strictly speaking, Boxing Day is the first weekday after Christmas.
Why is the 26th of December called Boxing Day? Traditionally, the 26th of December was the day to open the Christmas box to share the contents with the poor.
December 28th is considered by some to be the unluckiest day of the year.
Times Square became the go-to place for New Year’s Eve revellers as early as 1904, but it was in 1907 that the New Year’s Eve Ball made its first appearance.
On the last evening of the year, December 31st, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about December that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!