Monthly Archives: December 2013


January is named for the Roman god, Janus, a two-faced god who looks back into the past, and forward into the future. As this year ends, and another begins, ask your kids to reflect on what happened in 2013, what they think might happen in the coming year, and which of these they think might […]


* Authorized Reproduction, Rex May:


The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase, matunda ya kwanza, which means “first fruits”. Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday that has been celebrated by African Americans since it was first instituted by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University in 1966. Based on harvest celebrations of African peoples […]



Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.   Matthew 2: 1-2 […]


Question: Why were Christmas crackers originally called cosaques? Answer: Russian horse soldiers called Cossacks made a lot of noise when they galloped along firing guns into the air, and this early name for crackers is thought to have derived from them. The very first Christmas crackers contained riddles, sweets, and small toys, and were made […]


Christingle means ‘Christ’s Light’ and this is the time of year many churches hold Christingle Services. Christingle services began with a Moravian congregation in Marienborn, Germany in 1747, when children at a special children’s service were told how Jesus, the Light of the World, had come to Earth to kindle an everlasting flame in their […]


Question: Why do some people decorate their homes with holly and ivy at Christmas time? Answer: Because that’s what pagans celebrating the Winter Solstice did. The decorative use of holly, ivy, and other greenery at Christmas time originated with the Winter Solstice (which occurs tomorrow, December 21st). By the middle of the 4th century, the […]


A multitude of religious holy days (holidays) were observed in the Middle Ages, and people got really festive for Christmas, with celebrations going on for twelve days. Challenge your kids to do a little online or library research and find at least twelve medieval Christmas traditions.   Here are some sites to try:


If your family will be flying somewhere this Christmas, show your kids the photos above and tell them it was those two little boys who made it possible. The photos were taken in 1876. Two years later, Wilbur and Orville Wright’s father gave them a foot-long flying toy designed by a French aeronautical engineer. This […]

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