Christmas Past

Christmas past is more than just history. It is memories and music and food and style and unique traditions. It is the stuff of legends, too. We grandly embrace the Christmas of the past.

Traditions of Christmas Stress

Stress at Christmas is a fact of life. In fact, it could be called a time-honored tradition. In our ongoing exploration of Christmas past we stumbled upon this poem, titled The Christmas Nightmare, written by Carolyn Wells and published in newspapers for Christmas 1900. It could have been written today: On the night before Christmas […]

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 […]

Great Christmas Gifts in the 1970s

Christmas gifts in the 1970s were very different than the decades before. It was an age before computers yet an age when technology affected nearly everything in gift giving. You could give Dad a tie for Christmas. But why would you when you could give him a hot lather shave kit instead? The shaving industry […]

Josiah, His Turkeys and His Sweetheart

(Editor’s Note: This Thanksgiving story was published sometime in the early 19th century. Like A Visit from St. Nicholas it was published as a tradition year after year in many newspapers. We found it in the Boston Traveler from 1836, though we noted it dating back as far as 1824 in another newspaper. This is […]

Christmas in the 1970s

Christmas in the 1970s was an era between eras. Music and television stars of the 1950s still produced major Christmas releases and the gifts, toys and fads of the time seemed caught sometimes between a time warp to the past and to the future. Take, for example, the wildly popular Star Wars action figures – […]

The Story of O Holy Night

O Holy Night is like the national anthem of Christmas songs. Hauntingly beautiful but so difficult to sing it is often presented a cringe-worthy performances by even the best of singers (Celine Dion is perhaps the best example of one who over-sings the song). Here is a new version, shown as much of the great […]

What Christmas was Like 100 Years Ago

We tend to think of Christmas much the same year after year. We listen to many of the same songs, we watch the same movies, we eat the same stuff and we do many of the same things that we have always done. We cling to Christmas traditions faithfully. But a look back in time […]

Five Things People Get Wrong about The Nativity

I have been on a mission over the course of several Christmas seasons to find a Biblically correct Nativity scene. Like others who celebrate the religious elements of Christmas I am fond of the Nativity story and want it to share space with my Christmas tree, my Christmas lights and other decorations of the season. […]

Reading Dickens

Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carol backwards and forwards. Pick a version by decade and you’re bound to find one you love. Everyone can claim to have seen a big or a small screen version of it. But have you ever read it? I confess it never passed in front of my eyes […]

London Christmas of the 1950s

This is a great video showing Christmas in London back in the 1950s — some things never change. For any Christmas lover in England — and there are many — this is must see stuff: For more great images of this time period of Christmas in London, please see this link.

Christmas in July: A Vaudeville Tradition

By Merry Carey Today, Christmas in July is an occasion to enjoy a taste of the Christmas season in the summertime—or in the wintertime, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s also an occasion for Yule-themed shopping sprees and a flurry of out-of-season Christmas movies on the cable-TV networks. But did you ever wonder […]

Kings of Christmas Extravagance

By Jeff Westover The history of Christmas through the ages is written in chapters of contrasting observance. One chapter could speak of the sanctity of the season, observed in hushed commemoration. And yet another chapter could speak of it as a season of riotous overindulgence, wild parties and outright mockery of things held sacred in […]

Christmas Giving: Are you a Spug?

By Merry Carey Are you a Spug? To find out, ask yourself these questions: Do you believe that it is foolish to join in giving Christmas presents to those higher up? Do you believe that it is vulgar to give Christmas presents only because they are given to you? Do you believe that it is […]

The Halifax Christmas Disaster of 1917

By B. Francis Morlan Editor’s Note: Every December the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia sends a Christmas tree to the City of Boston, Massachusetts. This story explains how that came about. December of 1917 was a time when the world was in transition. The horrors of World War I were known and the prospects of […]

The Christmas Tree Ship

By B. Francis Morlan The year of 1912 was tough for sailors. Dominating the news was the tragic voyage of the Titanic, which went down in April of that year off the Newfoundland coast. But another maritime tragedy struck in November of 1912. It is a story of superstition, ghosts and Christmas trees. At the […]