Today is my first blog - Wow! As all my pictures today were "Christmassy" I thought it would be fun for 10 Christmas facts. Here goes.....

1. The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.

2. All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

3. The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth; red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.

4. Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

5. The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner. The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker.

6. It is estimated that the single “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin is the best selling single of all time, with over 100 million sales worldwide.

7. In Germany, Heiligabend, or Christmas Eve, is said to be a magical time when the pure in heart can hear animals talking.

8. Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales in the U.S.

9. Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.

10. Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female.