The earliest New Year’s or Midwinter ceremonies were in Mesopotamia
In Santa Claus: Last of the Wild Men, Phyllis Seifker argues
In the Story of Belsnickle, Part I, I explained how Belsnickle could be the American version of the German gift-giver Pelsnickel, a seasonal activity patterned after guising, mumming and caroling, or a person (a “Belsnickler”) engaged in the seasonal fun of Belsnickling
St. Nicholas’ years as a saint had begun to resemble Elvis Presley in his Ed Sullivan days. Just as Elvis was one of the most popular singers in the nation, Nicholas was one of the most popular saints
The Pennsylvania gift-giver Belsnickle is an American version of Pelznickel, a German name that means “Nicholas in furs,”
The evil helpers of St. Nicholas–Klaubauf, Cert, Houseker, Hans Trapp, Beelzebub, Pere Fouettard, and Schmutzl, among many others–often get a bad rap. Granted, they are typically monstrous beings of the underworld with animal parts such as horns, fur, hooves, tails, and foot-long tongues who threaten to beat, kidnap or otherwise dispose of naughty children.
For those of you to whom the title of this post sounds vaguely familiar, it’s a variation of “How Can You Be in Two Places at Once Where You’re Not Anywhere at All,” the title of a 1969 album by an improvisational comedy troupe, The Firesign Theatre.
The Christmas Holiday That Gets No Respect Until the Great Schism of 1054, the world’s Christians could be divided into the Western Church, which became the Roman Catholic Church, and the Eastern Church, which became the Eastern Orthodox Church.
A number of my favorite vintage Thanksgiving postcards and some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes