Monthly Archives: December 2014


Not all cultures consider January 1st the start of a new year, but those that do celebrate with various activities, some longstanding, other more modern. In the United States of America, people dance, drink champagne, eat cakes and other goodies, and watch the ‘ball drop’ in Times Square, either in person, or on TV. In […]


Despite what the carol says, the real Wenceslaus wasn’t, in his lifetime, a king. He was a tenth-century duke, specifically, the Duke of Bohemia in Czechoslovakia, and he did not become a king until after he died at the hands of his brother and had the title conferred on him posthumously by the Holy Roman […]



One hundred years ago, something momentous occurred. WW I was raging throughout Europe, and despite Pope Benedict XV’s plea for Christmas Day to be a day of peace, the head honchos on both sides refused to call an official cease fire. On Christmas Eve, however, common soldiers on each side could hear the other side […]


According to legend, the carol “Silent Night” came about because, on Christmas Eve, 1818, the curate of the church in Oberndorf, near Salzburg, Austria discovered that some mice had chewed through the inner workings of the church organ, and knew there would be no special music for Christmas unless he could come up with something […]




December 25th is, of course, the day on which Christians celebrate Christmas, but December 25th is also the date on which some historic non-Christmas-related things happened. Challenge your kids to find at least three. Some possibilities: • Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor on December 25th, 800. • William the Conqueror was crowned King of […]


’Twas the night before Christmas … Thus starts the poem most people hear at least once during the Christmas season. American writer Clement C. Moore fathered nine children, and, in 1822, penned “A Visit From St. Nicholas” to entertain the first six of them. It was published anonymously the following year and soon became a […]


Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan followers didn’t approve of Christmas. Oliver and Co. didn’t approve of a lot of things, but they REALLY didn’t like Christmas. All that fun and frivolity was sure to lead people into sin, and they couldn’t have that. They felt that celebrating Christ’s birth with twelve days of merriment (as […]



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