December means the winter holidays are upon us. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, Solstice, and all your favorite wintertime traditions. Celebrate with some seasonal scholarship below. All stories contain free links to the supporting academic research on JSTOR. Happy Holidays!

Louis Prang Christmas

Christmas, Inc.: A Brief History of the Holiday Card

Americans still purchase approximately 1.6 billion holiday cards a year. What about this old-fashioned tradition appeals to so many?
A cowboy pulling a sleigh of gifts

The Rise and Fall of Montana’s Christmas-Tree Harvest

Douglas firs weren't great for lumber, but they once made the small town of Eureka the Christmas-tree capital of America.
A woman in the kitchen in front of a Christmas tree

The Gendering of Holiday Labor

Women in heterosexual relationships still do most of the domestic work. During the holiday season, the tasks multiply.
Photograph: 	
Sunrise between the stones at Stonehenge on the Winter Solstice in the mid 1980s.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:StonehengeSunrise1980s.jpg

Celebrating Solstice the Ancient Greek Way

In the Western world, it’s now the holiday season. But why? Here’s a hint: It’s not because of Jesus’s ...
Kwanzaa

What is Kwanzaa?

A look at the history of Kwanzaa and how it has evolved in meaning over subsequent generations.
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus

Santa and Mrs. Claus and the Christmas War of the Sexes

In the late nineteenth century, bachelor Santa got married. Unsurprisingly, Mrs. Claus contributed uncompensated labor to the Claus household.
Menorah

How Hanukkah Became “Jewish Christmas”

For most of the Jewish world, Hanukkah is a minor holiday. What happened in America?
Christmas Lights

The Class Perceptions of Christmas Decorations in Great Britain

In the U.K., Christmas decorations are often associated with the lower-class, and such visibility has been scorned and criticized.
People enjoying their evening on a beach on Honolulu, Hawaii.

Mele Kalikimaka! How To Say “Merry Christmas” In Hawaiian

Translating "Merry Christmas" into Hawaiian offers insight into the language's modest inventory of consonants.
Night Before Christmas

10 Classic Christmas Stories

We've gathered up some of our favorite literary takes on Christmas.
Poinsettia

What Poinsettias Have to do with U.S.-Mexico Relations

Poinsettias were named for the first US diplomat to Mexico. The flower was more successful than he was. How it went from Aztec dye to Christmas decoration.
Starbucks Red Holiday Cup

The First “War on Christmas”

The controversy over Jesus' birthday has gone on for centuries.
Christmas classroom

Are Classroom Holiday Parties Constitutional?

Can schools let students and teachers celebrate religions holidays without violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause?
Santa at chimney

What Santa Claus Looks Like

Where does the figure of Santa Claus come from? Turns out the answer is not "the North Pole." And he's not just about Christianity, either.
toy train

Why We Give Children Toys for Christmas

Giving children toys for Christmas first became a thing in early nineteenth century England.
Christmas Carol illustration

How Charles Dickens Set the American Christmas Dinner Table

How did a religious celebration turn into a holiday that is all about home, family, and Christmas dinner? Turns out Charles Dickens has a lot to do with it.
technology gift

What Gift-Giving Research Tells Us About Giving Tech Gadgets

Whatever the gift, it’s worth stopping to think about how much we really want to entangle our gift-giving with the digital realm.
Christmas banquet

How Victorians’ Fear of Starvation Created Our Christmas Lore

One scholar sees more in the Christmas food of authors like Charles Dickens—English national identity and class.
A Christmas Carol

Pirating Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in the 1840s

When Parley's Illuminated Library published a pirated version of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens decided he had had enough.
A person's hands wrapping Christmas gifts

Only You Can Prevent Useless Gifts

Is it time for a revival of the Society for the Prevention of Useless Giving (SPUG)?
An elf carrying gifts

A Holiday Gift Guide from a JSTOR Daily Gift Fanatic

Splurges for that scholarly curmudgeon in your life who has a critique of capitalism but still likes to have nice things.
A troupe of mummers in animal costumes performing in a Medieval Baronial Hall at Christmas, c. 1500

Nittel Nacht: The Jewish Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas, and an undead Jesus walked the earth. No wonder early modern Jews played games and sang songs to scare him off.
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