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.
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.
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.
from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Anti-Jewish Tropes in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You’re in keeping with the medieval tradition of viewing the Jew as an outcast and a baleful force in society.
A scene from The Christmas Angel

The Theatrical Magic of The Christmas Angel

The silent film director Georges Melies made a unique and wonderful Christmas film by borrowing the theatrical techniques of French “feeries.”
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.
Twelfth Night party

Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and the Real “Twelfth Night”

"Twelfth Night" was more than a Shakespeare play; for a very long time it was an extremely popular European winter feast.
Christmas classroom

Are Classroom Holiday Parties Constitutional?

Can schools let students and teachers celebrate religions holidays without violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause?
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.
Menorah

How Hanukkah Became “Jewish Christmas”

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