Bill Petro, author and technologist.
Writes about HistoryPopular Culture, and Tech Trends.
Contributing writer to the books Product Management to Product Leadership: The Advanced Use Cases
and Invitation to Church History

History of the Christmas Tree

December 8, 2021

HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE December 8 is National Christmas Tree Day. It is generally believed that the first Christmas tree was of German origin dating from the time of St. Boniface, an English missionary to Germany in the 8th century. He replaced the sacrifices to the Norse god Odin’s sacred oak — some say…

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History of the 12 Days of Christmas: They’re after Christmas?

December 7, 2021

THE HISTORY OF THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: THEY’RE AFTER CHRISTMAS? The 12 Days of Christmas are the dozen days in the liturgical or ecclesiastical calendar of the Western Church between the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child (Christmas Day, December 25) and the coming of the Wise Men, or Magi, to visit at his…

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History of Santa Claus: Saint or Elf?

December 6, 2021

HISTORY OF SANTA CLAUS December 6 is “Saint Nicholas Day.” The name Santa Claus is a kind of a contraction for Saint Nicholas. The German name Sankt Nikolaus can be pronounced San’t(a) ni-KLOuse (sounding like house.)   Origin of St. Nicholas He was born in the late 3rd century, perhaps in A.D. 270. Nicholas became a bishop…

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History of Mistletoe: Why is it the Kissing plant?

December 5, 2021

HISTORY OF MISTLETOE We’ve mentioned previously that mistletoe was prominent in the traditions of the Druids and the lore of northern Europe. The Druids used the mistletoe of their sacred oak as part of their ritual five days after the new moon following the Winter Solstice. In the Middle Ages, it was hung from ceilings…

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History of the Christmas Creche: Origin of the Manger scene

December 4, 2021

HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS CRECHE: ORIGIN OF THE MANGER SCENE One of the most enduring Christmas traditions is setting up a creche during the Advent season. A creche is a model of the scene of the Manger on the first Christmas at Bethlehem. A creche can be a small model set up in the home…

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History of the Holidays

What is the history behind the holidays we celebrate, both sacred and secular? Many of the sacred holidays in our American “Judeo-Christian” heritage have secular associations, while many of the seemingly secular holidays actually have religious roots. This is the back story behind our popular holidays.

Popular Culture

Featuring reviews of moviesconcerts, and theatre. I write movie reviews as soon as I see them, which is usually the day they come out (or before). Reviews of Star Wars and Star Trek movies, Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, and Harry Potter films, rock and jazz concerts and theatre reviews.

Tech Trends

Articles about current and future technologies and their possible implications. Discussions about Apple iPhone and Apple Watch and innovative technologies from other companies: social media, payment systems, personal data backup, etc.