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The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues with the German tradition of candlelit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s. Discover the history of the Christmas tree, from the earliest winter ...read more
Christmas traditions around the world are diverse, but share key traits that often involve themes of light, evergreens and hope. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world, our modern Christmas is a product of hundreds of years of both secular and religious traditions ...read more
Long before there was a Grinch who stole Christmas, there was Krampus, the devilish half-man, half-goat that helps out jolly St. Nicholas by stuffing naughty Austrian children in sacks and dragging them to hell. Yes, the true history of Christmas is as colorful ...read more
The War on Christmas begins around the same time each year, when stores start peddling plastic Christmas trees and giant Santa Claus inflatables. Depending on which media talking head is speaking, the war is either a subversive effort by left-wing liberals to erase all traces of ...read more
Santa Claus—otherwise known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle— has a long history steeped in Christmas traditions. Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red who brings toys to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve, but his story stretches all the way back to the 3rd ...read more
Long before the advent of Christmas—and even before the birth of Christ—ancient civilizations embraced evergreen boughs, wreaths and garlands as symbols of eternal life amid the darkest days of the winter solstice. From these pagan roots sprouted the modern Christmas tree. The ...read more
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when cooks around the country take to their kitchens to bake cookies galore. Whether you prefer gingerbread men, crisp springerle or crunchy biscotti, chances are you’ll enjoy some fresh baked Christmas cookies this holiday season. Like ...read more
The pious Puritans who sailed from England in 1630 to found the Massachusetts Bay Colony brought with them something that might seem surprising for a group of devout Christians—contempt for Christmas. In a reversal of modern practices, the Puritans kept their shops and schools ...read more
As Christmas approached in the waning days of 1882, Edward Hibberd Johnson joined his fellow New Yorkers in decking the halls. Then as now, Yuletide traditions ran deep, and the 36-year-old once again undertook the annual ritual of decorating the parlor of his Manhattan home with ...read more