Category Archives: Christmas

December 26

Boxing Day Bonanza

To celebrate festive traditions, here is an excerpt from The Book of Christmas descriptive of the Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling, and Festivities of the Christmas Season (1836) by Victorian poet and critic Thomas Kibble Hervey (1799 – 1859). “Boxing-day is still a great day in London. Upon this anniversary, every street resounds with the clang of […]

December 25

The Story Of the First Christmas Ads

The following excerpt about the age-old material significance of Christmas comes from Pulitzer nominated Prof. Stephen Nissenbaum’s The Battle for Christmas, (Random House, 1997): “If the domestic reform of Christmas began as an enterprise of patricians, fearful for their authority, it was soon being reinforced by merchants, who needed the streets to be cleared of […]

December 24

Capote’s Christmas Memory

We dedicate the festive winter holiday week to inspirational quotes which mark cultural or historical landmarks from around the world. To keep the  Holy Eve excitement of our childhood alive, here is an excerpt from A Christmas Memory (1956), an autobiographical short story by classic American novelist Truman Capote (1924 – 1984) which has become a literary staple […]

December 23

Wagnerian Influences in Humperdinck’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’

On the 23rd of December 1893, Hansel and Gretel, an opera by Engelbert Humperdinck, premiered in Weimar, under the baton of Richard Strauss. Humperdinck composed nine works  in total for the stage. But Hansel and Gretel brought him the biggest critical acclaim. The libretto, written by Humperdinck’s sister, Adelheid Wette, was loosely based on the Brothers Grimm […]

December 20

It’s a Wonderful Life!

A taster of Christmassy things to come! On the 20th of December 1946, Frank Capra’s film It’s A Wonderful Life had a preview showing for charity at New York City’s Globe Theater, a day before its official premiere. “This was Frank Capra’s 1946 exploration of small-town America and its faith or lack of it in the […]