by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts
Copyright © 2004 by Mark D. Roberts
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My House Decorated for Christmas
Closeup of the Nativity Scene
Christian History magazine ran a series of articles on the history of Christmas. These are quite readable, yet reliable historically.
"O, Christmas Tree"
History of Christmas tree traditions.
Background on various Christmas traditions, especially nativity scenes and Christmas pageants.
When does Christmas really begin? On the history of Advent.
"Peace on Earth?"
Christmas carols and the Civil War in America.
"Happy (?) Advent"
A basic discussion of Advent, the period of preparation for the celebration of Christmas.
"Why December 25?"
A readable discussion of the origin of the date of Christmas.
"Let Me Count the Days"
On the supposedly Christian origin and meaning of the carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
History of the use of holiday plants, including holly and poinsettieas.
History of the candy cane and its Christians origins.
"The Real Saint Nicholas"
Short history of "Santa Claus."
"The Real Twelve Days of Christmas"
Historical feasts and traditions of Christian Christmas
From the Catholic Encyclopedia online:
An article from the Catholic Encyclopedia . Filled with lots of facts about early Christian celebration of Christmas. Lots on the origin of Christmas and the problem of the date of Christmas.
Helpful Books to Buy:
Among many books on the history of Christmas and Christmas traditions, here are some good ones:
Stories Behind Great Traditions of Christmas, by Ace Collins
Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, by Ace Collins
The New Oxford Book of Carols
The Birth of Jesus: Hype or History?
My series on the historical basis for the Nativity narratives.
Ancient "Gospels" and the Birth of Jesus
If you want to read a "whopper" of a ancient "gospel" in which Jesus is a bratty little miracle worker, see "The Infancy Gospel of Thomas."
Another early Christian writing that fills in many of the gaps in the story of Jesus' birth, with lots of legendary material, is "The Protoevangelium of James." This includes the legend of Jesus born in a cave.
Other Helpful Discussions of Christmas
Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?
Are Christmas Trees Idolatrous?
The Birth of Jesus Christ
Some Great Christmas Carol Links
The Hymns and Carols of Christmas (outstanding!)
An Online Christmas Songbook
Concerning A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The text of A Christmas Carol online.
Lots of resources on Dickens
"The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton" See Chapter XXIX