Why are there Twelve Days of Christmas?

Many of us enjoy singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” during the holiday season.  The song brings out the passionate singer in all of us, with its difficult melodies and its memory recall exercises.  But in North America, many of us have forgotten what the twelve days of Christmas really are!  The song is not, …

Who were the Three Wise Men?

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, and Christians’ anticipation of his return. If Christmas is all about the nativity, then why do we give gifts? We have the Three Wise Men to thank for the tradition of gift giving at Christmastime. They traveled a great distance, like many of us do for the holidays today, …

The German Christmas comes to America

German Christmas Ornaments When you look at your Christmas tree what do you see?  Globes, glass ornaments, tinsel?  All of these are German Christmas “inventions,” some passed down since the 12th century.  Even the indoor tree itself was a German innovation!  This month, in honor of Oktoberfest, we’d like to share with you the legacy …

Ornaments for Le Tour de France

The Tour de France often brings to mind a certain famous rider and all of the celebrity news surrounding the event.  The Tour, however, has been around for over a century, and had intense fan followings long before the media created the modern image of the race. The first Tour de France was in 1903, …

The Origins of Santa Claus

There are many Origins of Santa Claus The Santa Claus we know today has origins as far back as the fourth century.  Combining mainly elements from the 4th century life of Saint Nicholas and the ancient mythology of the Germanic figure Odin, Western culture arrived at a composite character with a white beard, a host …