Jesus Christ is King

Everything You Didn’t Know about Christmas


Everything You Didn’t Know about Christmas

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen.

You know Martin Luther invented the Christmas tree, and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert popularized it.

You know the Christmas holiday has strayed from its religious roots and observances.

But, author Judith Flanders says, “Anything you think you know about Christmas is wrong.

“No, Prince Albert didn’t bring the Christmas tree to England. No, the Dutch did not invent Santa Claus. No, Santa Claus’ red suit did not come from Coca-Cola. You could just go on and on forever.”

Flanders dispels myths and misunderstandings about Christmas in her new book, “Christmas: A Biography.”

She is a scholar of 19th-century history who previously has written about everyday life in Charles Dickens’ London and about Victorian domestic life. She says the holiday was a “natural” topic for her. “The 19th century was a period where a lot of things we understand Christmas to be today crystallized.” 

Here’s what she learned about a few familiar traditions.

Religious holiday … but not

More than half of all Americans — and 71 percent of white evangelical Christians — believe that the religious aspects of the holiday, the Christian celebration of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, are emphasized less than they were in the past, according to a poll released this week by Pew Research Center.

But from the very beginning, Flanders says, “we have a holiday that has always been about eating and drinking.” 

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