• I'm Taking an Eco-Holiday From It All (and So Are My Kids)

    by Frida Berrigan

    Is there still value in stepping back from the wasteful cycle of individual consumerism when major corporations and the US military are putting astronomical levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? 

  • Learning Lessons from "It's a Wonderful Life"

    by Christopher Wilson

    "With a panel of experts including the Smithsonian’s Lintelman, historian Jason Higgins, film critic Nell Minow, Leo Landis, curator of the State Historical Society of Iowa (the home state of actor Donna Reed who played Mary Bailey), and Reed’s daughter, Mary Owen, we explored American history as presented in a holiday favorite."

  • The Magnificent History of the Much-Maligned Fruitcake

    by Jeffrey Miller

    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.”

  • Reflect on Solomon Northup's "A Slave's Christmas"

    by Alan J. Singer

    Solomon Northup's famed description of being kidnapped from freedom in New York to slavery in Louisiana includes a description of Christmas revelry that shows how the enslaved preserved community and humanity, and a contrast to the yearly reality of fear and labor. 

  • Christmas Dies Hard

    The urban bourgeoisie of the 19th century pushed Christmas away from a drunken celebration of leisure and toward a holiday merging piety and consumerism. 

  • The Forgotten Story of Christmas 1918

    by Mary Elisabeth Cox

    We remember the 1914 Christmas Truce as a moment of humanity amid war. Four years later, a darker tale unfolded.

  • A Marvelous Christmas Carol

    by Bruce Chadwick

    This new A Christmas Carol, based on Charles Dickens’ novel, has a different look to it, a different musical score, a different Scrooge and different ghosts. But it is the same heart-warming story. 

  • Slavery and Your Upcoming Christmas Tour

    by Robert E. May

    Despite their public claims that slaves were content with their situations, white southerners knew better. So should those going to southern historic mansions and plantations for Christmas.