The History and the Mystery of Santa’s Wink

The History and the Mystery of Santa’s Wink

Santa’s wink is missing. British fans of Christmas are taking to social media to vent over a change in Coca Cola’s traditional Christmas commercial that shows Santa handing a bottle of Coke to a little boy and then winking at him. That wink from Santa is meaningful. It has been around for a long, long time both as a gimmick in holiday advertising and as yet another means of imaging the legendary gift bringer. But what most do not know is that Santa’s wink goes back much, much further than that. One of the many ancient figures that make upRead more

History of Christmas Greetings

History of Christmas Greetings

Lazy historians typically date the advent of Christmas cards to the 1840s, a time when postal services in modern western societies were well established and became more affordable. The truth is that the sending of holiday greetings is centuries old. Commercial Christmas cards got their start in the UK in the 1840s, suspiciously around the same time as the explosion in popularity of all things Christmas — from trees to holly, as spurred by popular Christmas-themed works such as Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The tradition of holiday greetings, however, dates back centuries, most famously noted in the Bible when angelsRead more

The Christmas Tradition of Ghost Stories

The Christmas Tradition of Ghost Stories

The “spooky season” of Halloween has more connection to Christmas than many people realize. It comes in the form of the Christmas ghost story. In the end, both holidays at their core are a celebration of life over death, of explorations into themes of light and dark. Even the Nativity Story, innocently told through the tale of the birth of a Baby, has elements of the supernatural. Gabriel’s visit to Mary – and later to Joseph – is one that many imagine as filled first with fear and then with wonder. Gabriel, though describe as an angel, is a visitorRead more

History of the Christmas Countdown

History of the Christmas Countdown

The anticipation of Christmas is considered by many one of the great joys of the season. These days there are websites and social media groups dedicated to counting down days to Christmas and cable television channels have adopted a countdown to Christmas as a way to get all their new holiday content shown during the course of a season. Counting down to Christmas is a time-honored tradition. It is older than you might suppose. Some draw it back to advent calendars crafted by mid-19th centuries German carpenters who constructed delicately decorated wooden calendars that featured a treat for each day’sRead more

Christmas Trains

Christmas Trains

For more than a century trains were the center piece of mass transportation. This time in culture also saw the rise of the industrial revolution and, as well, the media-driven mass popularity of the secular Christmas. The real connection of trains to Christmas was born of the fact that going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house for the holidays was best accomplished by trains and it happened every Christmas. In fact, more people moved by train in November and December over the course of those 100 years than by any other method. If you wanted toRead more

Five Weird American Christmas Traditions the World Misunderstands

Five Weird American Christmas Traditions the World Misunderstands

There is plenty to Christmas around the world that people consider weird. Krampus, for example, is strange. The popularity of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan on Christmas Eve is another weird one. But when it comes to Christmas no place is known for weird better than America. While Christmas wasn’t born in the United States it sure has taken it over. And that dismays much of the world that still considers Christmas a sacred and religious festival. The secular growth of Christmas in America is what lends the odd elements of it that people around the world consider so strange.Read more

Tips to Prepare for Christmas Card Sending

Tips to Prepare for Christmas Card Sending

It is our tradition to announce and open our annual Christmas card exchange during our Christmas-in-July festivities each year. In advance of that we thought it best to share with you some tips for preparing for the sending and receiving of approximately 100 cards from around the world as part of the exchange. Many of us have done this now for over a decade. In a time where the world has seen a decline in the practice of sending cards we have merrily clung to the tradition for many reasons. For many of us the joy of receiving this mailRead more