A Month of Christmas: The Finnish Joulu

Jul or jol is the term used for the Christmas holiday season in most of Scandinavia and parts of Scotland. Originally, “jul” was the name of a month in the old Germanic calendar. The concept of “jul” as a period of time rather than a specific event prevailed in Scandinavia; in modern times, Jul is a period of time stretching from mid-November to mid-January, with … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: The Finnish Joulu

Japan - Scott #3386c (2011)

A Month of Christmas: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town & Christmas in Japan

Earlier this week, I wrote that my favorite rock Christmas song is the live version of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” as performed by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in 1975 and released as the B-side of a single in 1985. The song was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie and was first sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town & Christmas in Japan

A Month of Christmas: The Wreath

A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs, or various materials that is constructed to form a ring. The word wreath comes from Middle English wrethe and from Old English writha, band. In English-speaking countries, wreaths are used typically as household ornaments, most commonly as an Advent and Christmas decoration. They are also used in ceremonial events in many cultures around the globe. … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: The Wreath

A Month of Christmas: The Madonna and Child

A Madonna (Italian: [maˈdɔnna]) is a representation of Mary, either alone or with her child Jesus. These images are central icons for both the Catholic and Orthodox churches. The word is from Italian ma donna, meaning ‘my lady’. The Madonna and Child type is very prevalent in Christian iconography, divided into many traditional subtypes especially in Eastern Orthodox iconography, often known after the location of … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: The Madonna and Child

A Month of Christmas: The Elf

An elf (elves in the plural) is a type of human-shaped supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. In medieval Germanic-speaking cultures, elves seem generally to have been thought of as beings with magical powers and supernatural beauty, ambivalent towards everyday people and capable of either helping or hindering them. However, the details of these beliefs have varied considerably over time and space, and have … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: The Elf

A Month of Christmas: Navidad en México

México, officially the United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos) is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 770,000 square miles (2,000,000 square kilometers), … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Navidad en México

A Month of Christmas: Jingle Bells

I grew up surrounded by music, primarily rock and roll. I don’t recall the first Christmas carol that I ever heard (although i think it could have been “Silent Night” as it has long been my favorite) but the first secular holiday song I identified with was “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby. I bought the 45 RPM single for my mother’s gift one year which … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Jingle Bells