5 Christmas Myths, Not Found in the Nativity Story

5 Christmas Myths

5 CHRISTMAS MYTHS: NOT FOUND IN THE NATIVITY STORY I’m often asked to explain the history behind a holiday or the origin of a popular tradition. Is it based on history, tradition, or legend? The best historical sources we have on the birth of Jesus are found in two of the Gospel accounts in the…

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History of Christmas: Caesar Augustus

augustus caesar

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS: CAESAR AUGUSTUS Perhaps it is fitting that our last historical Nativity character in the History of Christmas series should be the first person mentioned in St. Luke‘s story of the first Christmas. But he was not Jewish, nor a shepherd, nor a Magi. Instead, he was 1500 miles away, the Roman emperor, Caesar…

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Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie?

die hard

IS DIE HARD REALLY A CHRISTMAS MOVIE? Scholars and historians have debated the question “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” for centuries. Or at least during the last three decades since the movie was released. This is why readers have turned to me, your friendly neighborhood historian, to wrestle with this age-old question and help…

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History of the Christmas Star: Natural or supernatural?

Christmas Star

HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR The Star of Bethlehem has puzzled scholars for centuries. Some have skeptically dismissed the phenomenon as a myth, a mere literary device to call attention to the importance of the Nativity. Others have argued that the star was miraculously placed there to guide the Magi and is, therefore, beyond all…

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History of A Charlie Brown Christmas

HISTORY OF A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on CBS TV as a 30-minute animated Christmas special written by Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. The comic was hugely popular at the time when the TV special debuted on December 9, 1965. Though this was not Shulz’s first TV…

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History of Christmas: Why do we celebrate it on December 25?

Advent

THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS: ADVENT Here begins our series of articles on the History of Christmas. Advent begins this Sunday. Meaning Advent means the “coming” of the Christ Child. The Advent Season is marked by the four Sundays before Christmas and is celebrated in the church calendar as one the most festive seasons of the year. This…

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Can we listen to Christmas music now? When we start celebrating holidays

THE START OF HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS On November 1st a friend asked, partly in jest: “Halloween is over, can we listen to Christmas music now?”   And therein lies a conundrum. When do we begin the celebration of the Christmas holiday? There are two schools of thought: Celebrate each holiday in its own season: first Halloween,…

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History of Boxing Day: Feast of St. Stephen?

HISTORY OF BOXING DAY Boxing Day is a holiday unfamiliar to many Americans, but it it well known among the countries of the British Commonwealth. It is celebrated on December 26 as a public holiday in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand… as well as some parts of Europe and Africa. While some believe…

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