If Christmas is the favourite time of the year for you, you have found yourself the perfect video slot. It was in 2015, that two Christmas Editions were launched by the Swedish software developer. I couldn’t show much enthusiasm for Fruit Shop™ Christmas Edition and Flowers™ Christmas Edition, though, just because it looked like snowflakes were falling in spring instead of in winter. Confusion all over, but I think NetEnt got the message as it was end of 2016 that NetEnt launched its first original Christmas-themed video slot called Secrets of Christmas™.
Origin of Christmas
You might be one of the many millions of people that look forward to the dark days of December each year. Not because of the cold nights, no way, simply because of the famous feast so popular with many: Christmas! Retailers prepare for the feast all year and start to stock Christmas merchandise in summer already. No wonder, because Christmas is the most commercial feast of them all and that sort of worries me. I started to wonder if new generations actually know what Christmas is all about. Do I actually know what Christmas really is all about? I decided to get into it to bring back some of the true spirit of Christmas. The fact that Christmas can be divided in two words, “Christ’s-mass”, might ring some bells already. We know Christmas as a time to commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, but do we actually know Jesus’ real day of birth? It is claimed that Christ was born in fall so December 25th was nowhere near Christ’s actual birthday, but the exact date of Jesus’ birth is unknown, simply because the Bible does not give specifics one either Jesus’ conception or his true birthday.
In the second century A.D., Sextus Julius Africanus calculated Jesus’ birth to be December 25th which was widely accepted. On the exact same date, the Roman culture already celebrated the holiday of Saturnalia honoring Saturn, the god of agriculture, with a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival. It sort of sounds like the Christmas we celebrate nowadays, however, it is believed that the holiday of Saturnalia in the old days was celebrated in a rather obscene kind of way, a way of which we prefer not to link it to today’s Christmas feast. According to the internet, Rome eventually instituted Christianity as the state’s religion after which the Roman church converted the feast Saturnalia to a Christian holiday in order to commemorate Jesus’ birth. Christians have celebrated it as such ever since while nowadays non-Christians do join the celebrations by putting up a Christmas tree, have Christmas dinners, give presents, enjoying Christmas as a time spent with family.
I think it’s pretty interesting to know about the holiday’s real significance and meaning, but even if you know the true origin of Christmas, which isn’t as cheerful as you would think, Christmas will probably still be the same. We would still celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th, including the Christmas trees, mistletoe, and Christmas presents while hoping for Santa Claus to fulfill some of our desires and dreams on Christmas Day.
NetEnt’s Christmas Gift Party
The internet learned me that merchants regularly report that over 60% of their annual retail sales occur during the Christmas shopping season, but I guess this differs in every single country. Yet, it’s a lot and it certainly represents an incredible amount of gift buying. But where did exchanging gifts come from? As mentioned before, the custom of gift-giving was already around during the Saturnalia and must have been adopted by Christians from the pagans. At first, it was all about the emperors selecting their most despised citizens to bring offering and gifts during the feast, but later, this cruel ritual turned into a decent custom in which people gave each other present. It was the Catholic Church that gave this custom a Christian flavor involving Saint Nicholas as well.
Okey, this might not make sense to you if you didn’t read the entire uncensored story behind the origin of Christmas, but trust me when I tell you that this custom could have been derived from a pretty obscene feast that initially had nothing to do with Jesus’ birth or with the Bible as it was all part of the Saturnalia celebrations.
Secrets of Christmas™, the hidden irony
I’m so happy that I had a good look into what always seemed to be a Christian custom. Nothing is what it seems, and apparently the same goes for Christmas. It’s only because of my curiosity finding out more about the origin of Christmas that the title of this Christmas-themed video slot sounds a little bit ironic. There’s no feast celebrated on this planet that’s hiding so many secrets as Christmas does. However, all the above doesn’t change a thing and Christmas will continue to be the most popular period of the year. One in which we celebrate, take a few days of, enjoy delicious food, spend time with family and friends while waiting for Santa Claus to fill up the empty space under the tree. This last custom has been a source of inspiration for the team of developers at NetEnt who, for the first time since its establishment in 1996, came up with an original Christmas-themed video slot ironically named Secrets of Christmas™.
Not so secret is that this game is offering enough slot excitement while offering a great ambiance that will bring you in the Christmas spirit for sure. With the Secrets of Christmas™ slot, NetEnt is adding a game that’s filled with joy and if you ask me what I like most about this Christmas-themed video slot, I must say I do like the “traditional aspects of Christmas” such as the garlands, the golden church bell, Christmas stockings, candles, and the Coca-Cola type of Santa Claus.
The Secrets of Christmas™ slot is definitely not designed for the high-rollers, just for those players who like to play video slots while getting in the right Christmas mood. With a minimum bet of 0.25 and a maximum bet of 125.00, this cozy video slot game will have enough to bets to offer for the majority of the players. I can’t complain about the payout percentages either with a Return to Player (RTP) of 96.7% and a pretty high Hit Frequency of 38.9%.
Secrets of Christmas™ slot features
While this Christmas-themed video slot is offering a Wild as well playing the same role, as usual, I think it’s nice if we skip this common slot feature and concentrate on the only interesting slot feature in the Secrets of Christmas™ slot, the Free Spins feature that is preceded by a Christmas Gift Bonus feature. Once you activate the Free Spins feature with the help of three or more Scatters, you’ll get a chance to activate extra Free Spins, Multipliers, Wild symbols, and Wild Reels. To activate the extra features, you’ll be picking some of your favourite Christmas gifts. The more Scatters you’ll find on the reels on forehand, the more gifts you’ll be awarded with. The number of picks is equal to the number of Scatter symbols that were involved while activating the Free Spins feature. Once you’ve unwrapped all your gifts, all additional Free Spins, Multipliers, Wild Reels and Wild symbols will be activated or added to the reels just before you get the chance to play your 10 Free Spins. Altogether, I do believe that this game has enough to offer if you’re not looking for an action-packed video slot like Warlords: Crystals of Power™ which was launched at the NetEnt Casinos just weeks before.