Christmas in America: What’s Going on Here?

Edward O’Donnell – Holy Cross College


12/15/2020 4:00 pm



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.