A Prediction of Christmas Future from 1896

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. Then, like now, nobody could escape it. It was embedded everywhere. But it is safe to say that it was still a different Christmas than what we see now. ThereRead more

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

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

Ending Christmas Too Soon

Ending Christmas Too Soon

In a world where “Christmas Creep” has become a thing nary a word is said about the abrupt end of Christmas. Ending Christmas each year happens without warning and absent of ceremony. I was aghast to see on Facebook a friend who had tossed their tree to the curb on the evening of December 25th. Being charitable, my first thought was “maybe it was really dry”. No. They bragged about it! “We are the first to de-Christmasify the house on our street.” they said. To them it was an accomplishment – a badge of honor, a gold star ripped from theRead more

How Social Media is Killing Christmas Tradition

How Social Media is Killing Christmas Tradition

Social media is killing Christmas. There. I said it. What you are about to read is what they call a rant. It is also harsh truth. Brutal reality. You’ve been warned, snowflakes. As far as Christmas traditions go Christmas cards are not the most traditional thing going. Dating back only to the mid-19th century, Christmas cards emerged as a love child of technology and progress. That is the irony of Christmas cards now. The same thing that created Christmas cards is killing it – if you can indeed call technology progress. Christmas cards were possible thanks to advances in printing.Read more

Reaching Out to Serve at Christmas

Reaching Out to Serve at Christmas

Christmas represents for many people an ideal time to think of others. Many have time off, some have extra resources and most have a desire to lend a hand at this time of the year. That is one of the keystone message of Christmas. But finding opportunities to serve is not always so obvious for some. We offer something simple, something inexpensive and something nearly everyone can do: send cards through Operation Christmas Cheer. Operation Christmas Cheer was born of a desire to give back as part of our Annual Christmas Card Exchange. We knew how WE felt receiving cardsRead more

Loving Both Thanksgiving and Christmas

Loving Both Thanksgiving and Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas are seemingly at odds with each other these days. The politically correct thing seems to be “honoring Thanksgiving” by not doing Christmas too early. We must avoid the nefarious thing called “Christmas Creep“. Target made a splash in the news by announcing they were not going to “give in to Christmas Creep” by eschewing Thanksgiving. (Although they still have aisle after aisle of Christmas stuff you can buy while you notice their Thanksgiving signs and listen to their moralizing politics). Other retailers are getting in the act, too. Plenty have made it widely known that this yearRead more

Five Reasons to Skip the Christmas Eve Box

Five Reasons to Skip the Christmas Eve Box

Trending over the past several years is the idea of giving kids a “Christmas Eve Box” top open on Christmas Eve morning. The box can be filled with anything but typically they contain the kind of stuff you might find in a Christmas stocking. But now the trend is starting to catch some flak. Some call it just an extension of the commercialization of Christmas – and yet another way to spoil children over the holiday season. Other parents suggest it is “just one more thing” to get done in creating the perfect Christmas for their families. “I did itRead more

Five Ways to a Meaningful Christmas

Five Ways to a Meaningful Christmas

I lost my husband on September 11th, 2001 – that awful day etched in the memory of millions. He was there. Then he was gone. No goodbye. That first Christmas without him was as dark and empty as could be. There was no cheer, no celebration, no light to speak of for me. It was a dark, sad time. Christmas had always been special before. Each year we would fill our calendar and our home with the brightness of the season. We had music and food and decorations. We did everything that you probably do – except celebrate it right.Read more

The One Secret to a More Organized Christmas

The One Secret to a More Organized Christmas

If there is a common wish for Christmas that goes unanswered every year it would have to be celebrating an organized Christmas. From the food to the decorations to managing all the parties and events it seems that no matter what efforts are made there seems to be not enough time, too much to do and no way to fit it all in. On the Internet entire forums and websites are dedicated to the making the organized Christmas. There are planners and calendars galore. People share pictures, menus, recipes, patterns, and resources for everything Christmas. But for many the organizedRead more