‘Tis the Season to… Innovate!

Tech innovations

This year we have seen some incredible innovations – everything from COVID-19 vaccines being developed, to small businesses adapting their services to our own NHS Volunteer initiative!

We wondered what sort of innovations led to the kind of 21st century Christmas traditions we all know and love. So, we pulled together a list of tech innovation-inspired Christmas facts for you to enjoy!

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Lights – Whilst we can thank Thomas Edison and Edward H. Johnson for creating the first strands of electric lights in the 1880’s, it was 15 year old Albert Sadacca that pushed his family to start selling pre-strung multicoloured electric lights after a terrible local fire caused by candles in 1917. Sadacca’s family business, the OMA Electric Company, went on to become the world’s largest Christmas lighting company!

Tinsel – First used in Germany in 1610, made from shredded silver, the modern Tinsel was introduced in England in 1846. It was initially made of lead until the US government convinced manufacturers to change it to plastic.

Artificial Christmas Tree – In the 1800s, Germans were conscious of the amount of Christmas trees going to waste after the holiday period. They began developing artificial Christmas trees using dyed green goose feathers!

Christmas food, drink and gifts

KFC – Due to a wildly successful marketing campaign, Japanese people traditionally eat KFC for their Christmas dinner. In fact, it’s so popular that you have to order your Christmas dinner 2 months in advance!

Advent Calendars – Started in Germany in 1903 by Gerhard Land, a publisher, with each door revealing a bible passage or poem. Since then, advent calendars have become a lot more varied, from traditional religious themes to secular ones with chocolate, alcohol, beauty gifts and much more behind each window!

Mince Pies – Originally a Medieval delicacy, mince pies used to contain meat with chopped up fruit. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that they got rid of meat and replaced it with fruit and spices. An old British tradition states you need to eat a mince pie every day for the 12 days of Christmas! If you refuse you will have bad luck for a year.

Christmas Crackers – Starting in the 1860s, a tiny amount of gunpowder in a cardboard tube is responsible for the classic pop sound from Christmas crackers.

Christmas Cards – The first official Christmas card was created in the UK in 1843! Then, the Royal  Mail introduced their first Christmas stap in 1966, which included children’s drawings of the nativity.

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Window – The classic Christmas window display originated in New York! Due to the widespread availability of plate glass in the 1800s, shop owners were able to build large windows to display their merchandise. Macy’s New York store’s first window display featured a collection of porcelain dolls.

Christmas TV adverts – Whilst Christmas themed adverts have been on TV for decades, the battle of the high production value Christmas ad started in 2011 with John Lewis’s ‘The Long Wait’. Ever since then, supermarkets and department stores such as Marks & Spencer, Aldi and more have been creating Christmas adverts in a bid to be the nation’s favourite each year.

Christmas Trivia

  • In Columbia in 2010, the government launched Operation Christmas, a campaign to encourage FARC guerrillas to demobilize. Jungle trees were covered in lights and decorations, so when guerrillas got near, the lights would illuminate and banners would appear encouraging them to drop their weapons and come home. The campaign was deemed a success – whilst it was active, 331 guerrillas demobilised.
  • During the first Christmas of WWI in 1914 there was a series of ceasefires which became known as the Christmas Truce. In some areas, men from both sides crossed the trenches, exchanged gifts and some even played football!
  • Medical researchers in the US and the Netherlands wanted to understand why reindeers get red noses. They investigated how blood circulates in a reindeer’s nasal passage using video-imaging technology. They discovered that a reindeer’s blood vessels and circulatory system is 25% more packed in compared to a human nose – this causes the famous red glow!

Humans are incredible, whether that’s innovating to improve Christmas lights or to save the environment!

If your business is looking to innovate in 2021, an IT hiring strategy will be key to your success. Please contact us to understand how we work and the value we can bring to your talent acquisition success.

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