For the first time in 38 years, the Christmas night sky will have a full moon. What joy! The last time this occurred was in 1977 — not too long after the release of the movie Saturday Night Fever. The next Christmas full moon won't appear until the year 2034, NASA has confirmed.
Of course, this mostly just means there'll be a brighter night sky if it isn't cloudy. (And if there's snow on the ground, Christmas night will take on a particularly ethereal and somber beauty.)
But you know what would be even cooler and rarer? A Christmastime lunar eclipse.
NASA maintains a calendar of every lunar eclipse that will occur until the year 3000 — should humanity last that long. Lunar eclipses only occur a couple or more times per year — and it's rare for them to hit the same date twice.
The next time a lunar eclipse will occur on Christmas will be December 25, 2531, a time nearly as far away from today as Columbus's voyage to America.
The 2500s, actually, will be a prime century for Christmas lunar eclipses. NASA predicts there will be three: in 2531, 2550, and 2596. (My prediction: The skateboard will make a miraculous comeback as the toy of the year in 2596.)
Disappointed by how long we have to wait? A Christmas solar eclipse will occur much sooner. NASA predicts the next one will be on December 25, 2307 (it will be a partial eclipse). Set your calendar alerts now.