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 LegendsChristmas Past

The Ghost Story of Mistletoe

The ancient roots of mistletoe have nothing on the 19th century popularity of mistletoe. It was, for all intents and purposes, a great fad of Christmas. It began with a poem, as many things popular with Christmas of the 19th century did. It was 1823 in a book titled “Italy” by Samuel Rogers. The poem was titled “Ginevra”. The poem tells the horrific story of a young bride who got …
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 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 there’s something amiss With your placid, habitual slumber; You suddenly find that your overworked mind …
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 PastChristmas ShoppingRetro Christmas

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 in the early 1970s was rocked by two elements: the long hair and long sideburn …
Christmas PastHoliday HumorThanksgiving

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 a delightful look an old American Thanksgiving traditions – as well as a great story …
Christmas PastRetro Christmas

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 hottest toys of the late 1970s. Star Wars is just as wildly popular now …
Christmas MusicChristmas Past

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 music of today is as a tale beyond the music, from Gentri: O Holy Night …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas HistoryChristmas Past

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. But I cannot find a Nativity scene that is accurate. These are details lost on …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas OpinionChristmas PastChristmas Stories

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 until I was an adult. It was during one of my first Christmas seasons alone …
Christmas HistoryChristmas Past

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 about the origins of Christmas in July? There are various theories about that, but it …