1. All letters addressed to Santa in the United States go to Santa Claus, Indiana.
2. Though Santa Claus has worn blue and white and green in the past, his traditional red suit came from a 1930s ad by Coca Cola. The image of Santa Claus flying in a sleigh started in 1819 and was dreamt up by Washington Irving — the same author who created the Headless Horseman.
3. Rudolph was actually conceived by a department store, Montgomery Ward, as a marketing gimmick to get kids to buy holiday coloring books. Rudolph almost didn’t have a red nose either: At the time, a red nose was a sign of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward thought he would look like a drunkard. Rudolph was almost named Rollo or Reginald. Reginald the Red-Nosed Reindeer doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
4. “Silent Night” is the most recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” actually has a truly depressing back-story: songwriter James “Haven” Gillespie was broke, jobless, and his brother had just died when he was asked to write a Christmas song. He was originally too overcome with grief, but eventually found inspiration in his brother’s death and the Christmas memories they had together. “Jingle Bells” was originally supposed to be a Thanksgiving song.
5. The highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Jim Carrey version.