The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known by its opening line “‘Twas the Night before Christmas,” has a special place among Christmas traditions, right alongside hot chocolate, caroling and bright lights. It has also inspired the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly old man sporting red and a round belly.
But this poem has been steeped in controversy, and debate still looms over who the true author is. Traditionally, Clement C. Moore – a 19th-century scholar at the General Theological Seminary in New York, where I work as a reference librarian – has been credited with writing the poem in 1822 for his children. Every December, library staff shares our multiple copies of the poem in an exhibit to celebrate the holiday season.
No matter who wrote it, the poem is a fascinating object that has shaped Christmases past, present – and maybe yet to come.
Nothing says Christmas quite like a fruitcake – or, at the very least, a fruitcake joke.
A quip attributed to former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson has it that “There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”
It’s certainly earned its reputation for longevity.
Two friends from Iowa have been exchanging the same fruitcake since the late 1950s. Even older is the fruitcake left behind in Antarctica by the explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1910. But the honor for the oldest known existing fruitcake goes to one that was baked in 1878 when Rutherford B. Hayes was president of the United States.
Woke and leftist ideologies often target traditions and celebrations around holidays, particularly those that pertain to Christianity and American identity.
With 2021 coming to an end, Campus Reform has compiled a list of the top five instances of colleges and universities ruining holidays on campus.
1. Colleges celebrate Valentine’s Day with ‘Sex in the Dark’
Multiple colleges hosted a question and answer “Sex in the Dark,” a virtual Q&A event with health experts, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The majority of Americans, 73%, say their rights come from God, not government, and say government can’t force Americans to violate their religious beliefs, according to a poll conducted by Summit.org and McLaughlin and Associates.
“There’s a widening gap between the dominant media narrative and what the American people actually believe,” Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit.org said in a statement accompanying the poll results. “We’re seeing that in these numbers. As we approach a holiday established to thank God for His blessings on our nation, the American people still believe that our rights come from God, not from government, and that the right to believe and practice our religion must be respected.
“Despite everything, it is encouraging to see that Americans still acknowledge the freedoms that made this nation great.”
A series of economic struggles that have grown increasingly worse this year will likely have a significant impact on the holiday season, many economic experts predict.
After President Joe Biden gave remarks from the White House this week, one reporter called out, “Will Christmas presents arrive on time, sir?” The president did not respond to that question or the flurry of others as he walked away from the podium.
Dr. Anthony Fauci came under fire this weekend for suggesting that he may ultimately advise against group gatherings for Christmas this year.
Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that it remains “too soon to tell” whether Americans for a second year in a rowwill be told not to gather in groups around the holidays.
“We have to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” he said.
Backlash against the White House’s chief medical adviser was swift as many right-leaning commentators and pundits said that enough will never be enough for Fauci when it comes to lockdowns and extreme precautions against COVID-19.
Christmas and New Year’s are days of celebration in many parts of the world when people gather with family and friends. One thing many typically don’t celebrate on those days is a birthday.
Turkey and stuffing. Detroit Lions Football. Turkey Trots. Parades and the arrival of Santa. Followed by frenzied shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Maybe a bit of charity on Giving Tuesday. The ultimate American holiday. What more could you need?
Gratitude. Blessings. Humility. Although historical debate surrounds the origins of Thanksgiving in colonial America, it has a deeply rooted core that today is overshadowed by consumerism and entertainment culture.