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Christmas

New Year's Trees: They're Like Christmas Trees But Russ...

December 26, 2019

Toys. Lights. Family and friends gathered around a stunningly decorated evergreen tree. This might sound like a familiar Christmas scene---after all, that's ...

Santa Claus And Father Christmas Used To Be Two Complet...

December 25, 2019

Today, we tend to think of Santa Claus and Father Christmas as one and the same, along with Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, and every other name the fat guy in the...

Père Fouettard: Santa's Sidekick Who Beats Up Kids

December 24, 2019

Move over, Krampus! Meet the Whipping Father, Père Fouettard if you’re nasty (or French). As one of Santa's many creepy friends, Père Fouettard travels alongside the man...

All I Want For Christmas Is You: History, How Much Mari...

December 22, 2019

There aren't many artists who had a better year in 1994 than Mariah Carey. After the success of the previous year's Music Box, she was named the top female single...

Zwarte Piet, The Controversial Black Servant Of The Dut...

December 21, 2019

A Sinterklaas celebration, which takes place on December 5. (Photo by John van Hasselt/Corbis via Getty Images) Every winter, the people of the Netherlands an...

The First Christmas Cards: Dead Animals And Kidnapped C...

December 20, 2019

Whether you like them or not, Christmas cards are a part of the season. They may feel like they've been around forever, but the first Christmas cards only date ba...

George Washington Crossing the Delaware: A Brazen Chris...

December 19, 2019

Copy of 'Washington Crossing the Delaware' by Emanuel Leutze, Abbot Hall, Marblehead, Massachusetts. (Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Gro...

Odin And Santa: The Norse God Delivered Gifts With An E...

December 9, 2019

Viking stele showing Odin's horse, Sleipnir. Pagan. From Tjangvide, Alskog, Gotland, Sweden. 9th century. Swedish History Museum. Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by: ...

Saint Nicholas: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

December 6, 2019

Christmas party 1820 with St. Nicholas. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) "Saint Nicholas" is just one of the many names by which we call the jolly old elf who (allegedly) br...

Krampus: Full History Of The 2000s' Favorite Christmas ...

December 5, 2019

Now you've done it. You dropped the moral ball, and per tradition, Krampus will come for you on December 5. (Don't even pretend you don't know what you did.) Whil...

"Jingle Bells" Is A Thanksgiving Song: What?

December 1, 2019

As one of the best-loved songs of the Christmas season, "Jingle Bells" has become part of our holiday culture, but there is more to this catchy ditty than meets the ear. F...

Black Friday: History, Who Created It, And Why Do We Ha...

November 29, 2019

Black Friday shopping. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images) In recent decades, a new holiday tradition cropped up in the United States: Black Frid...

How Telling Ghost Stories Around A Fire Used To Be A Ch...

October 20, 2019

With the nights growing longer and a chill filling the air, is there a better way to stay warm than curling up around the hearth to tell a ghost story? Halloween...

Mark Carr, the First NYC Christmas Tree Seller, And a B...

December 22, 2016

In the mid-19th century, hardly any modern Christmas traditions existed. One that did was the Christmas tree, a pre-Christian ritual incorporated into holiday fes...