1. People argued over wishing you a “Merry Christmas” even 100 years ago. A cartoon from a 1916 copy of the “Chicago Tribune” made the argument that we should wish people a CHEERY Christmas instead of a MERRY Christmas . . . because merriment was associated with drunkenness, noise, and other bad behavior.
2. Nobody knows for sure how the traditions of hanging Christmas stockings or drinking eggnog got started.
3. Christmas trees used to be lit up with real candles. It seems insanely dangerous today, but people used to put actual candles on their tree.
4. Oyster stew was a common dish at Christmas dinner. Oysters were plentiful and cheap in the 19th and early 20th centuries . . . so a typical Christmas dinner would usually include some kind of oyster dish.
5. Santa as we know him today might be thanks to a Coca-Cola ad. Santa’s red suit can be attributed to a guy named Thomas Nast who worked for “Harper’s Weekly” magazine in the late 19th century. Before that, Santa often wore a tan suit. But it was a series of advertisements from Coca-Cola in the 1930s that really made the image of Santa in a red suit popular. (Buzzfeed / Time / ET / Smithsonian / History)