Christmas HistoryChristmas LegendsRetro ChristmasVintage Christmas

The Story of A Visit from St. Nicholas

A Visit from St. Nicholas is both a story and a poem that has survived nearly two centuries of Christmas celebration. It is arguably the only published work that can even come close to rivaling Dicken’s A Christmas Carol in both fame and annual reading. But do you know the story behind the story? Picture it: it’s a snowy Christmas Eve around the year 1821 in New York state. Clement …
Christmas History

Heroes of the 18th Century Christmas

The 18th century Christmas is kind of the ugly step-sister to Christmas of the 19th century. The Victorian Era of Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens and other Christmas superstars seems to hog the holiday limelight. Yet we could not have had the 19th century Christmas without some key movers-and-shakers in the 18th century. It was a critical time in world history. The British Empire had so expanded to nearly every corner …
Christmas History

Christmas that Came on the Mayflower

The Mayflower came to America 400 years ago. The Mayflower brought pilgrims of a different kind – about 100 people who were committed to living lives of industry and independent thinking. They were mostly Puritans. That made them very different than the rugged pilgrims of Jamestown, a group that had come to the shores of the New World many years before and had settled in the American south. The Puritans …
Christmas HistoryChristmas Past

The Influencers of Christmas in the 20th Century

Who are the influencers of Christmas? Influencers are people who create a lasting impact. In 21st century terms, influencers are people with a long reach via media that everyone follows what they do. As we go back in history we can see influencers in just about every kind of topic. George Washington was an influencer in liberty. Elvis was an influencer in Rock ‘n Roll. Babe Ruth remains the ultimate …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas HistoryChristmas Past

Christmas Anniversaries 2020

Every year for Christmas in July we recount the anniversaries of Christmas – literally a history of Christmas history. The amount of Christmas to recount in 2020 is amazing. ~ Christmas 25 Years Ago (1995) ~ One of the amazing things about Christmas is that a Christmas movie doesn’t necessarily have to be about Christmas to be a Christmas movie. In 1995 such a movie was made in While You …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas History

Thank Christmas for Your 4th of July Fireworks

Fireworks at Christmas are not a thing many people think about. For many folks, Christmas is long associated with snow, stockings and jingle bells. None of that seems to fit with the colorful summer traditions of fireworks. But the truth is that without Christmas you likely would not celebrate Independence Day with fireworks. For hundreds of years fireworks have had a long association with the celebration of Christmas around the …
Christmas HistoryChristmas NewsChristmas Past

A Christmas Social Media Post from 1818

Social media Christmas is a thing. From Twitter to Reddit to Facebook, today’s youth do comment about Christmas. The social media of today is building a wonderful record of their thoughts about Christmas and that record will be available for their grandchildren to read in the future. Too bad we don’t have the same thing from the teenagers of the past, eh? Who says we don’t? In our ongoing research …
Christmas HistoryChristmas NewsChristmas Online

Introducing The Christmas Hall of Fame

Over the years we have openly mused in dicussion on the Merry Forums — who would we put in a Christmas Hall of Fame? We no longer need to wonder about that question. We can now do something about it. We can approach all the great debates of Christmas and settle them: Who played the best Scrooge? Which is more important, the Angel or the Star? Is Die Hard a …
Christmas HistoryChristmas NewsChristmas VideoSacred Christmas

The Christ Child

A new minimalist short film has been released depicting the birth of Christ in a more Biblical way. The Nativity story has been so romanticized in film, song and the written word for so long it is refreshing to see the story set back in a more original context. The result is a richly human look at what it must have been like. Produced by The Church of Jesus Christ …
Christmas at WarChristmas HistoryChristmas MemoriesMerry Podcast

Christmas 1945: The Biggest Celebration of Christmas Ever

As peace broke out in 1945 a literal race began to get the world at war back home for Christmas. Historians have called the Christmas of 1945 the biggest celebration of Christmas ever. In the below edition of the Merry Little Podcast we discuss how the years of 1941-1944 changed Christmas. It was an unprecedented period of Christmas withheld. Families separated for the first time in generations as many sent …
Christmas HistoryChristmas OpinionChristmas Past

A Prediction of Christmas Future from 1896

In preparing for another episode of the Merry Podcast I came across an editorial from a New York newspaper published in 1896. It contains an amazing prediction of Christmas-yet-to-come. It is interesting to contemplate this being written considering how Christmas was celebrated in 1896 in America. By the end of the 19th century Christmas had become the near all-encompassing celebration it is today of all things seasonally sacred and secular. …
Christmas at WarChristmas History

Christmas at Valley Forge

Picture it: George Washington leads his army of 11,000 men – a third of which he estimated did not even have shoes – into Valley Forge just before Christmas 1777. There, just days before Christmas on the 19th of December, the Continental Army and George Washington himself would find a way to reverse the course of the war. That Christmas was just the beginning of both an incredible tale of …
Christmas FoodsChristmas History

The History of Pumpkin and Christmas

When it comes to Christmas the United States can lay claim to few traditional elements of the season. Christmas trees came from Germany, Santa Claus came from Turkey, while Christmas pudding, eggnog and mistletoe all came from various places in Europe. America just adopted them all. Except for pumpkin. Pumpkin is one of America’s greatest contributions to Christmas. Wait, you say – pumpkin has nothing to do with Christmas in …
Christmas History

Mourning Dickens and Recognizing Christmas

June of 1870 is a month of incredible Christmas history. It was during this month that the Congress of the United States passed a blandly worded law making Christmas a legal national holiday and it was the time that the world mourned the passing of Charles Dickens. Christmas in America was an ancient tradition. Contrary to many modern historians and popular culture that tells us Christmas was a secular invention …