Finding Christmas in Thanksgiving

Finding Christmas in Thanksgiving

A recent survey revealed sharp divisions in when the celebration of Christmas begins. Nearly a third said Christmas begins right after Halloween, a third said Christmas begins right after Thanksgiving and for another third the celebration of Christmas is something done every day. In recent years many have insisted that Christmas so overpowers the calendar that holidays such as Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day are entirely forgotten. Those making the argument are also those who claim Christmas celebration comes in the form of broadcast music, seasonal Starbucks cups and decorations sold in stores. There are even those who blanch and takeRead more

Crazy New Foods of Christmas

Crazy New Foods of Christmas

Food, more than any other thing, is the most common element of Christmas. The aroma of it fills every family gathering, it is the showcase at every Christmas party and it even finds its way under the tree, if not part of the decorations. The trends in Christmas foods this year are surprising. It is more eclectic, more adult and more expensive than ever. Take, for example, this three pound chocolate masterpiece – a festive turkey you don’t have to roast: I know – you’re saying this is a Thanksgiving thing more than a Christmas thing but I remind youRead more

What Sears Meant to Christmas

What Sears Meant to Christmas

The news has been decades in the making: iconic retailer Sears is closing its doors for good this year. The effect of their loss, like that of Toys R Us, will not matter one bit to consumers. But the loss of Sears to Christmas history is worthy of note. Once upon a time Sears was the yearly watch-word for Christmas shoppers and Santa dreamers coast to coast. Kids everywhere marked the day when the Sears Christmas Wishbook would show up in the mail. Generations took their children to Sears to have their pictures taken with Santa. It was the placeRead more

Scary and Merry from Pentatonix

Scary and Merry from Pentatonix

Scary and merry is the theme of the first single to drop from the newest Christmas album coming out soon from Pentatonix. “Making Christmas” is a brilliant theme from the now classic film Nightmare Before Christmas. Coincidentally, that movie celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and the song, of course, is a delightful and frightful mix of both Halloween and Christmas. Watch: Pentatonix, who has made the hottest selling albums of this century (so far), seems to release a new Christmas album every two years. Christmas has been very good to them. But to be honest, Pentatonix has also beenRead more

Christmas on Social Media

Christmas on Social Media

Cecilia Johnson did not mean any harm when she did it. In late November of 2015, as a 9-year-old neighbor boy lay dying of cancer, Cecilia took up the cause of having Christmas cards sent to him. The boy had expressed a desire to fill his walls with Christmas pictures and this seemed a simple task to accomplish. Using her own home address Cecilia took to social media to spread the word. It very quickly worked. Several of Cecilia’s friends shared the post, the word was slipped to a local news station and within days the mailbox was full ofRead more

Christmas Cards Remain a Durable Tradition

Christmas Cards Remain a Durable Tradition

Many assume that with the rise of the Internet and the explosion of social media that older forms of communication have faded away. Indeed, letter writing, telegrams, and “dispatches” of the days of yore are now somewhat relic in nature and victims to technology. But one old fashioned form of festive communication has stubbornly survived and even grown in the digital age: Christmas cards. As traditions go, sending Christmas cards is not really an old tradition. BUT, sending Christmas greetings is an ancient tradition, dating back centuries. What was true then remains true now: Christmas takes the aspect of greetingsRead more

Bruce, how could you?

Bruce, how could you?

Bruce Willis is all over the news this week after he declared that Die Hard, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is not a Christmas movie. This has roiled the ranks of movie fans everywhere because it is one of the classic debates of both Christmas and movies. Let me share with you a true story, a story that takes us back more than 30 years ago before Die Hard was made. Even though I have been writing about Christmas since we began here in 1991 I’ve only shared this story once, last year during an episode of Tim Babb’sRead more

Tis the Season for Christmas Weirdos

Tis the Season for Christmas Weirdos

Once upon a time The Atlantic wrote of our merry website “they’re weirdos”. It was a swipe at the year round celebration of Christmas and of those who “took Christmas to the hobbyist” level. What other holiday, they asked, has such a following? Indeed. The groupies of Christmas are many: there are the Christmas light fanatics, the professional Santas, the Christmas radio geeks, the year-round Christmas music freaks, the Christmas collectors, the Christmas historians, the Christmas foodies, and the Christmas organizers. There are so many sub-groups that embrace the specialties of Christmas we cannot even begin to enlist them all.Read more

2018 Postage Stamps to Feature Traditional Santa

2018 Postage Stamps to Feature Traditional Santa

The United States Postal Service announced today the first of their new holiday stamps for 2018, this year featuring the traditional images of Santa Claus as envisioned by Haddon Sundblom. The images were an effective marketing campaign by the Coca Cola Company, who has long used the image of Santa Claus in combination with their traditional red and white colors to advertise during the holiday season. The stamps — sure to be as popular as the Charlie Brown Christmas stamps of 2015 — will be issued as Forever Stamps and will likely be released in early October in concert withRead more

History of Leon Day

History of Leon Day

Look out folks – it is almost Leon Day. It is, by all accounts, an obscure day to many. But Leon Day is now coming out of the shadows. Literally millions mark the day now. The 25th of June – previously unremarkable in every way – is a huge day on the calendar for anyone who considers themselves a true fan of Christmas: it is Leon Day. Leon is Noel, spelled backwards. Leon Day marks the exact halfway point to Christmas. Leon Day is a Christmas phenomenon born of Christmas socializing online. Long before the advent of Facebook and otherRead more