10 Fun Holiday Facts That Caught Our Attention

We’re right in the heart of the holiday season. There’s no better time for some holiday facts about Santa, the Christmas elves, snowmen, toys and more. Find out the history behind why we hang stockings over the fire, what Michelangelo has to do with one of our favorite outdoor winter activities, differences in opinion when it comes to Christmas marriage proposals, as well as a look into Christmas traditions from around the world…


Santa-claus-with-little-elf

The “Jolly Old Elf”

Clement Clark Moore, author of the famous poem we know as “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was one of the first authors to mention elves in the Christmas tradition. But the elf in his story isn’t who you’d expect. Moore describes Santa as the “jolly old elf.” This early depiction of Santa might be one of the major reasons why elves are such a big part of Christmas today. Find out more about the origins of Christmas elves here.

St. Nick’s Stockings

Christmas stockings are one of the oldest Christmas traditions, dating back to one of the most popular origin stories of Santa Claus almost 2,000 years ago. The story revolves around the Greek Bishop, Saint Nicholas. Even though the events in the story can’t be proven, it also offers insight into our tradition of gift giving during the holidays. Get the details and learn more about Santa hats, sweaters and more in this Lakeside article.

milk-and-cookies-for-Santa

Crazy Christmas Calories

Santa Claus covers nearly 175 million miles in his worldwide Christmas Eve tour. He also has to consume over 260 million calories from cookies alone, and deliver over 20 million presents that would weigh around 700 million pounds. Santa also has to speak hundreds of languages to read all those notes and say “Merry Christmas” when necessary. Learn several of those Christmas greetings from around the globe right now.

Holiday Birthdays

The traditional Christmas celebration might revolve around the birth of Jesus, but fewer babies are born on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day compared to the rest of the calendar. Christmas Day is the least common birthday in America, second only to Leap Day. Christmas Eve isn’t very far behind, ranking fourth on the list. With Thanksgiving falling on different dates, it’s likely that it takes the top spot regarding holiday birthdays.

Festive Proposals

Year after year, the Christmas season beats out every other for the most marriage proposals. Christmas Eve is the most popular day to pop the question, but in a recent survey, men and women seemed to differ on the popularity of Christmas Eve proposals. Many women agreed on the holiday timing, but a bigger percentage thought Valentine’s Day or anniversaries were better. Get tips on holiday jewelry in this informative article.

happy-snowman-in-mountains

Snowman Renaissance

The tradition of building snowmen during the holidays has been around for quite a long time. Just to get an idea of how old the tradition is, it’s known that the artist Michelangelo was once commissioned to sculpt one of his own design in the courtyard of a ruler in Florence, Italy. The year: 1494; when Michelangelo was 19.

Toy Traditions

Many of the best-selling and most influential toys of all time were dolls. The Barbie doll reinvented the trend in the late 50’s, the G.I. Joe changed the game by giving boys a doll of their own, and action figures climbed in popularity following the release of Star Wars in the 70’s. Dolls have been an important Christmas tradition for centuries, from nutcracker dolls in 17th century Germany to Russian nesting dolls in the 19th century. It’s such an important Christmas tradition in Portugal, that doll hospitals thrive during the holidays, restoring and repairing all kinds of dolls that are cherished and passed down in families from generation to generation.

Gift Wrap Beginnings

Wrapping gifts can be traced back to ancient traditions in Japan, Korea, and more famously to upper-class European customs. However, it was a couple of famous brothers running a stationery store in Kansas City who are responsible for wrapping paper as we know it today. After selling out of tissue paper during a busy holiday season, the brothers replaced it on short notice with fancier paper they had in stock that was meant for lining envelopes. This paper sold out as well, and in the following years, the brothers started producing decorative versions for Christmas gifts. The brothers were Joyce and Rollie Hall. Their store was Hallmark.

three-kings-desert-star-of-bethlehem-nativity

We Three Kings

St. Nicholas wasn’t the original Christmas gift-giver. Those familiar with the Christmas story know that The Wise Men started our favorite holiday tradition by bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. Although the Bible does not mention the names of the Wise Men (it doesn’t even specify that there were three), many cultures have names for the three men. Three of the most popular are Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar. In Latin America, Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day) is traditionally celebrated on January 6th to honor the day the Three Wise Men gave gifts to Jesus. Traditionally, children put out their shoes the night before, waking up to gifts from the Three Kings. Similar to Christmas Eve, kids set out grass and water for camels instead of reindeer.

Holiday Travel Tips

According to this interesting infographic from Travel and Leisure, nearly 100 million Americans travel during the holiday season. Airfare is typically the lowest and least hectic on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day for the simple fact that many people aren’t looking to travel on these days. However, airfare usually spikes right after both of these days. And for future reference, if you’re one of the 6 million people who typically fly during the holiday season, booking your domestic flights two months in advance will typically get you the best deal.

Take Care of Your Commuter: Gifts for Travelers

For most of us, the best gifts we receive are often the ones that make our daily lives a little easier, a bit more comfortable and a lot less stressful. Luckily, especially if you’re still trying to find gifts for loved ones, there is one aspect of everyone’s day that can be improved with a thoughtful gift–the daily commute. End the search with some of these great gift ideas for travelers that drive on the daily, frequently fly or ride the train to work.


Ideas for Daily Drivers

22-ounce-nfl-360-degree-wrap-travel-tumblersuniversal-phone-magnetic-dashboard-mountmemory-foam-microsuede-auto-cushions

22-Oz. NFL 360° Wrap Travel Tumblers
Universal Phone Magnetic Dashboard Mount
Memory Foam Microsuede Auto Cushions


Gifts for Frequent Flyers

personalized-duffels-or-cosmetic-bags1,000-dot-to-dot-activity-books2-in-1-stand-with-power-bank

Personalized Duffels or Cosmetic Bags
1,000 Dot-to-Dot Activity Books
2-In-1 Stand with Power Bank


Deals for Railroad Riders

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Breathless Trilogy Set
Collegiate Mascot Neck Pillows
Lisa Frank® Power Banks


DAY TWELVE Holiday Fun Fact:

According to this interesting infographic from Travel and Leisure, nearly 100 million Americans travel during the holiday season. Airfare is typically the lowest and least hectic on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day for the simple fact that many people aren’t looking to travel on these days. However, airfare usually spikes right after both of these days. And for future reference, if you’re one of the 6 million people who typically fly during the holiday season, booking your domestic flights two months in advance will typically get you the best deal.


car-on-winter-road-in-the-morning

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Frequent Traveler
People celebrate Christmas many different ways, but if there’s one thing nearly all of us can agree on during the holidays it’s the fact that traveling is a pain. While most of us just get a taste of these traveling challenges during the holidays, there are a few people in every family who put up with many of these traveling woes on a monthly, weekly or daily basis. Whether they’re logging a lot of hours driving, flying or riding the train it’s in your power to make their life more comfortable and a little less stressful with these thoughtful Christmas gifts.

Last Chance for Personalized Christmas Gifts

Today is the final day to order personalized Christmas gifts so that you’ll get them in time for the holidays. If you’re looking for a unique way to surprise family or friends this Christmas, check out the personalized gifts below, or explore our entire collection of personalized gifts. Christmas is the perfect time of year to give our loved ones special gifts like jewelry. Also, find a few creative ways to “wrap” jewelry in our Lakeside article.


Personalized Jewelry

personalized-five-hearts-name-braceletspersonalized-cuff-braceletspersonalized-crucifix-cross-pendants

Personalized Five Hearts Name Bracelets
Personalized Cuff Bracelets
Personalized Crucifix Cross Pendants


Gifts for Holiday Hosts

sets-of-4-personalized-slate-coasterspersonalized-wine-bottle-shaped-cutting-boardspersonalized-stainless-steel-flasks

Sets of 4 Personalized Slate Coasters
Personalized Wine Bottle Shaped Cutting Boards
Personalized Stainless Steel Flasks


 Personalized Sports Gifts

personalized-NFL-locker-room-printspersonalized-college-locker-room-printspersonalized-MLB-stadium-prints

Personalized NFL Locker Room Prints
Personalized College Locker Room Prints
Personalized MLB Stadium Prints


DAY ELEVEN Holiday Fun Fact:

St. Nicholas wasn’t the original Christmas gift-giver. Those familiar with the Christmas story know that The Wise Men started our favorite holiday tradition by bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. Although the Bible does not mention the names of the Wise Men (it doesn’t even specify that there were three), many cultures have names for the three men. Three of the most popular are Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar. In Latin America, Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day) is traditionally celebrated on January 6th to honor the day the Three Wise Men gave gifts to Jesus. Traditionally, children put out their shoes the night before, waking up to gifts from the Three Kings. Similar to Christmas Eve, kids set out grass and water for camels instead of reindeer.


Christmas-gift-man-holding-box-with-stuffed-animal

Unique Ways to “Wrap” Jewelry for Christmas
Christmas is one of the best times of year to splurge on special jewelry for loved ones, because the holiday itself offers some unique opportunities to give jewelry to others. The versatile design of necklaces, bracelets, earrings or rings make it possible to find creative gift-giving solutions that add a personal touch as well as a fun little surprise. If you’re planning on getting some special jewelry for family or friends this holiday season, check out some of these creative gift-giving solutions to make their Christmas experience more memorable.

Gift Wrapping Ideas: Make Life Easier with Gift Bags

Even though you can still find bargain-priced gifts at Lakeside today, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the (very recent) past. And if, like most Americans, you stocked up on great gifts during the busiest shopping season of the year, now you need to wrap those gifts up and prop them under the tree. We’ve got a few easy solutions for gift wrapping ideas, from festive gift bags (for under $10) to creative solutions for presenting gift cards and hostess gifts. And if you’re wrapping some gifts with paper, be sure to check out our article below.


Gift Bag Sets Under $10

31-piece-chalkboard-carols-gift-bag-sets42-piece-designer-holiday-bag-sets

31-Pc. Chalkboard Carols Gift Bag Set
42-Pc. Designer Holiday Bag Sets


Creative Gift Wrap Ideas

6-piece-snowman-treat-bagsgift-card-puzzle

6-Pc. Snowman Treat Bags
Gift Card Puzzle


DAY TEN Holiday Fun Fact:

Wrapping gifts can be traced back to ancient traditions in Japan, Korea, and more famously to upper-class European customs. However, it was a couple of famous brothers running a stationery store in Kansas City who are responsible for wrapping paper as we know it today. After selling out of tissue paper during a busy holiday season, the brothers replaced it on short notice with fancier paper they had in stock that was meant for lining envelopes. This paper sold out as well, and in the following years, the brothers started producing decorative versions for Christmas gifts. The brothers were Joyce and Rollie Hall. Their store was Hallmark.


beautifully-wrapped-gifts

Holiday Hustle: Tips for Beautifully Wrapped Gifts
There’s something about showing up to holiday gatherings with a perfectly wrapped present that makes us so proud, even if it was secretly wrapped by a professional. The majority of us have not mastered the art of wrapping presents, and paying a professional to do it for us isn’t friendly to our Christmas budget. However, there are a few tricks to doing it right yourself. Here are five easy at-home tips for beautifully wrapped gifts.

Daily Deal: Make Playtime Magical with 18″ Girl Dolls

Cyber Monday has been extended on Lakeside. Whether you missed out on Cyber Monday or still need to finish up your Christmas shopping before it’s too late, we’ve organized a diverse collection of gifts to please the entire family this holiday season, including markdowns on toys for kids. Delight the little girl on your list with the 18″ Girl Doll and Outfits. The 18″ Girl Dolls feature hair that can be styled and eyes that close when the doll is laid down. Each vinyl doll comes dressed in a cute outfit with matching shoes. Plus, you can add to any 18″ doll’s wardrobe with Set of 3 Doll Outfits. Learn a few fun holiday facts about doll history below.


Lakeside’s Deal of the Day (November 29th)

18-inch-girl-doll-and-doll-outfits


DAY NINE Holiday Fun Fact:

Many of the best-selling and most influential toys of all time were dolls. The Barbie doll reinvented the trend in the late 50’s, the G.I. Joe changed the game by giving boys a doll of their own, and action figures climbed in popularity following the release of Star Wars in the 70’s. Dolls have been an important Christmas tradition for centuries, from nutcracker dolls in 17th century Germany to Russian nesting dolls in the 19th century. It’s such an important Christmas tradition in Portugal, that doll hospitals thrive during the holidays, restoring and repairing all kinds of dolls that are cherished and passed down in families from generation to generation.


teen-girl-in-warm-hat-with-smart-phone

Tech-Savvy Holiday Guide: Shopping for Teens & Young Adults
Teens and young adults can be some of the most difficult people to shop for during the holiday season. With each generation being a little more tech-savvy, it’s easy for parents to fall behind on newer trends targeting younger audiences. Finding the right gift for your tech-savvy teen doesn’t mean spending a fortune. Learn a couple new trends or get ideas for thrifty alternatives with this tech-savvy holiday shopping guide for teens.

We’ve Extended Cyber Monday — Shop Now!

Daily Deal: Greet Holiday Guests with a Snowman Door Hanger

It’s Cyber Monday! Lakeside is celebrating with new markdowns on some of our top items to help you find a few affordable gifts and holiday decorations. After all, we’re officially in the holiday season. Greet guests for every household event leading up to Christmas with this Monogram Snowman Door Hanger. The laser-cut snowman silhouette features a scrolled initial and wears a top hat that’s accented with a snowflake. Hang it on your front door with the included twine. Learn fun facts about snowmen below and enjoy Cyber Monday!


Lakeside’s Deal of the Day (November 28th)

monogram-snowman-door-hanger


DAY EIGHT Holiday Fun Fact:

The tradition of building snowmen during the holidays has been around for quite a long time. Just to get an idea of how old the tradition is, it’s known that the artist Michelangelo was once commissioned to sculpt one of his own design in the courtyard of a ruler in Florence, Italy. The year: 1494; when Michelangelo was 19.


woman-on-computer-on-couch

How to Sit Back, Shop Smart & Enjoy Cyber Monday
When Cyber Monday first started, it was based on the idea that people wouldn’t be able to do the majority of their shopping online until they got back to work after Thanksgiving weekend. Most shoppers today have the internet right at their fingertips at all times. With holiday bargains available all week, new deals pop up every day. Get tips on how to sit back and shop smart so you can enjoy Cyber Monday and track down the deals.

Cyber Monday Deals Available Right Now!

Daily Deal: Save Money with an NFL Bottle Bank

Cyber Monday hasn’t even started yet and Lakeside is already offering new markdowns to help you get out in front of the Cyber Monday madness. As we’ve been doing all week, we’re starting things off today with an amazing Deal of the Day. Today, you can surprise the football fan in your life with the NFL Bottle Bank. The handy bank gives you a great place to store spare change while adding some team spirit to any room of the house. The oversized bank features your team logo. If you’re a football fan, read on for football holiday facts.


Lakeside’s Deal of the Day (November 27th)

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DAY SEVEN Holiday Fun Fact:

Dick Lebeau, the Hall of Fame coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, is renowned for his defensive mind and known for inventing the zone blitz in the 1980’s. But he wasn’t just creating exciting new defensive schemes in Pittsburgh. Steelers players got to see a different side of coach during Christmas Eve. Every year, Lebeau recited his favorite holiday story, “A Night Before Christmas” from memory to his players.


christmas-balls-of-sport-ornaments

Holiday Gift Inspiration for Sports Fanatics
Just about everyone in the family has a loved one who loves sports. If you don’t love sports, knowing what to get that person for Christmas can be challenging. Whether you’re shopping for a football fanatic or that MLB enthusiast, check out this helpful Lakeside article for a little holiday gift inspiration to please sports fanatics.

Great Deals Today and Cyber Monday!

Daily Deal: Discover New Facts with Guinness World Records

Just because Black Friday is over doesn’t mean the deals are going to stop at Lakeside. We’ve got another Deal of the Day to help you cross a couple names off your Christmas list. Learn more facts than ever before with the brand new 2017 Guinness World Records book. It’s packed with fun facts and bursting with all new records on a diverse range of topics from black holes to killer plants. It features full-spread infographics that illuminate several fascinating subjects, including animals, the human body and explorations. Get started on your world record discovery with our Christmas facts, and get some tips on buying books as holiday gifts.


Lakeside’s Deal of the Day (November 26th)

guinness-world-records-book


DAY SIX Holiday Fun Facts:

In 2007, the largest gathering of Santa Clauses (13,000) took place in Northern Ireland. A couple years later in Wales, the largest gathering of people dressed as Christmas Elves (800) was achieved. And in 2008, the largest game of Secret Santa was played–in the United Kingdom–with 1,270 participants. The UK obviously takes their Christmas world records seriously. Learn about more world records with our Deal of the Day, and if you’re interested in giving books for Christmas, find a few tips and inspirational ideas in the article below.


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Holiday Shopping: Tips on Buying Books as Gifts
Thinking up a unique and personal gift for each person on your list can be a challenge. For some people, a good toy or a purse is appropriate. For others, something to support a hobby, like yarn or knitting needles, is in order. But for those who seem to have everything, a few good books might be the solution you need. You just need to figure out what type of book to get. Here are a few tips for buying books as gifts this Christmas.

Sneak Peek Now! Sofa Sunday Tomorrow!

Daily Deal: Treat Yourself with this Gift-Boxed Set

Black Friday is the best time of year to find Christmas gifts for everyone on your list, but it’s also a great time to treat yourself. Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment in the comfort of your home with the Cozy Sock & Lotion Gift Boxed Set. The revitalizing scented foot moisturizer and ultra-soft socks give your feet the star treatment. It’s boxed and ready to give as well, so you can take advantage of that 40% off and stock up to treat all the well-deserving members of your family. Explore our Black Friday deals, and read on for holiday jewelry advice.


Lakeside’s Deal of the Day (November 25th)

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DAY FIVE Holiday Fun Fact:

Year after year, the Christmas season beats out every other for the most marriage proposals. Christmas Eve is the most popular day to pop the question, but in a recent survey, men and women seemed to differ on the popularity of Christmas Eve proposals. Many women agreed on the holiday timing, but a bigger percentage thought Valentine’s Day or anniversaries were better. Read on for holiday jewelry tips from Debra Shepard.


smiling-beautiful-woman-opening-jewelry-box

Christmas Jewelry Trends & Shopping Tips
Christmas isn’t just the season of giving. It’s the season of giving jewelry!  Shopping for jewelry can be tough if you don’t know what to look for, aren’t up-to-date on the top trends or unfamiliar with online shopping. As a designer who’s been featured on fashion authorities like the Cosmo Hot List, Debra Shepard prides herself on knowing what’s in and what’s out in jewelry. Check out her views on trends, jewelry shopping and more!

Enjoy Black Friday Markdowns All Weekend!

Daily Deal: Give Thanks for Birthdays with a Family Plaque

For Thanksgiving, we’re offering a special Black Friday discount on an item that celebrates family. With this Family Plaque, you’ll be able to keep track of those special days throughout the year. It has a stylish country look, a durable wooden construction, and includes 24 tags that you can personalize with a family member’s name and birthday. Hang tags on the loop under each month so you’ll never lose track of whose birthday is coming up. Keep reading for holiday birthday facts and ideas to preserve Thanksgiving during Black Friday.


Lakeside’s Deal of the Day (November 24th)

family-plaque


DAY FOUR Holiday Fun Fact:

The traditional Christmas celebration might revolve around the birth of Jesus, but fewer babies are born on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day compared to the rest of the calendar. Christmas Day is the least common birthday in America, second only to Leap Day. Christmas Eve isn’t very far behind, ranking fourth on the list. With Thanksgiving falling on different dates, it’s likely that it takes the top spot regarding holiday birthdays.


happy-family-in-fall-leaves-thanksgiving

How to Avoid Losing Your Thanksgiving to Black Friday
Thanksgiving is a day for counting our blessings. Those fortunate enough to fund a feast will fill their chairs with family and their table with delicious food. It seems only natural that Black Friday is trying to devour it. In recent years, the start of the holiday shopping season has been nibbling at Thanksgiving’s crust. This year, retailers are demanding a full slice. Before you ditch family time for a half-priced flat screen or trade in your savory dinner for a halfhearted brunch, check out some of these easy tips for preserving your Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Deals Today! Black Friday Deals Tomorrow!