THIS COURSE WILL AIR: DECEMBER 24, 2021 @ 4:00PM ET

Presented by eVolv Senior Connections

E-VOLV is proud to present a selection of lectures from One Day University. One Day University works with hundreds of professors from over 200 of the country’s best colleges to develop fascinating talks designed to educate, entertain and inspire. Join us to learn more about Christmas in America.

Christmas in America: What’s Going on Here?

Edward O’Donnell / College of the Holy Cross 


Was Christmas really banned in Massachusetts until the 1850s? How did the eight reindeer get their names? Why do we bring pine trees into our houses at Christmas? How did Santa go from a 4th century Turkish bishop, to a tiny elf, to a life-size grandfatherly figure dressed in red? What role did Coca-Cola play in this? Where does the Yule log fit into Christmas? Why are so many Christmas songs like “Rudolph” written by Jewish composers? What’s with the recent trend of upside-down Christmas trees? And is there really a “War on Christmas?” During this talk, Professor O’Donnell will take on these and many more Christmas-related questions.

Edward O’Donnell is a professor of history at College of the Holy Cross. He is the author of several books, including Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age. He frequently contributes op-eds to publications like Newsweek and The Huffington Post, and has been featured on PBS, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and C-SPAN. O’Donnell also has curated several major museum exhibits on American history and appeared in several historical documentaries. He currently hosts a history podcast, “In the Past Lane.”

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