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?
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.
Night Before Christmas

10 Classic Christmas Stories

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

What is Kwanzaa?

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