Christmas NewsChristmas Shopping

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 …
Christmas History

Christmas in the Crosshairs

The phrase “war on Christmas” has become so tiresome in the ongoing dialogue about Christmas that it tends to trigger instant eye-rolling disdain. The media attention to it all just makes one weary at the mere mention of it. Gerry Bowler’s new book, Christmas in the Crosshairs, settles rather emphatically the question of whether or not the modern “war on Christmas” is unique – or even worthy of all the …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas History

The First Christmas Tree in England

It was the British royal family’s German connections which led to the introduction of the Christmas tree custom in England. King George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte — who was of German descent– arranged for a great yew tree to be erected inside the Queen’s Lodge at Windsor on December 25 1800. A party of children of the local great-and-good was to take place that Christmas Day, and she had the …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas HistoryChristmas NewsThanksgiving

Ancient Connections of Thanksgiving and Christmas

Here is some fodder for your Thanksgiving day discussions around the turkey — which is the more sacred holiday in America, Thanksgiving or Christmas? Check your learning of history at the door. This history of both holidays goes back further than you know — and both are related to each other in significant ways. Watch this video: Christmas, while constantly under a cloud in regular debates of what is politically …
Christmas at WarChristmas FeaturesChristmas HistoryChristmas Shopping

The Year Santa was Nearly Banned

It is interesting to note in this day and age when Christmas shopping can be done on a device you hold in your hand and whatever it is you buy can be shipped to your home without you ever getting dressed what it was like 97 years ago as the U.S. government grappled with the idea of another Christmas at war. The year was 1918 and war was raging in …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas Legends

Animals in the Story of Christmas

Animals play a prominent role a Christmas, regardless of whether or not religious beliefs are behind it. The story of Rudolph is but one example of an animal that has become an icon of the season. The truth is that there are many animals are central to the story of Christmas and reindeer especially are the consummate Christmas animal. As with all things Christmas we turn back to ancient history …
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History of the American Christmas Tree

The story of Christmas trees in America usually takes us down the path of Hessian soldiers who showcased Christmas trees to George Washington’s troops during his famous Christmas trek across the Delaware. Historians explain that Christmas trees found their popularity in Pennsylvania over the ensuing 60 years in America as German settlers made them a permanent part of the American Christmas tradition. Others explain that Queen Victoria’s gaily decorated Christmas …
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The World’s First Christmas Movie

The world’s first Christmas movie dates back to 1898, an age well before even popular silent films shown in movie houses. Directed by George Albert Smith, a British pioneer of film making, this wonderful bit of film was considered a technological wonder of the time and to this day remains a cherished look back at Christmas in time: While it is a first among Christmas films it is also a …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas HistoryChristmas Legends

St. Nicholas

The legend of Santa Claus, the image of Father Christmas, and the basis for most legendary Christmas gift bringers of old world Europe all has their genesis in the real-world figure of Saint Nicholas. His story as a benevolent religious figure and giver of gifts has led to a centuries old reputation that has influenced seasonal charity for generations. He was born of a wealthy family in the village of …
Christmas HistoryChristmas Past

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 helm and lost in this tragedy was a man known affectionately as Captain Santa. Herman …
Christmas History

The First Christmas in the Americas

By Max Schilling “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” – and that is about all historians can really agree upon when it comes to the character of Christopher Columbus. Though memorialized in modern times with the celebration of Columbus Day in recognition of his exploration of the Americas there is plenty of historical proof that the first exploration of North America happened nearly 500 years before Columbus by Norse …