Christmas

Tis the season… to learn all about Christmas traditions, build your gift list and pick up free printable sheet music for your favorite Christmas songs!

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The earliest biblical descriptions don't mention the presence of animals at the manger when Jesus was born. So how did those Nativity scenes evolve into what we know today?

By Vanessa Corcoran

The typical manger scene features Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and an assortment of animals. But in Catalonia, Spain, there is one more character: a figure with his pants down taking a poop. But why?

By Nathan Chandler

White elephant. Mean Santa. Yankee swap. These are the holiday parties we live for. But if it feels like yours is getting a bit tired, we've got 10 rules to liven it up this year.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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These Advent calendars give new meaning to the phrase "countdown to Christmas." Plus, where did the Advent calendar come from? And what are some of the more unusual takes on it?

By Alia Hoyt

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City may be an iconic symbol of the holidays, but how well do you know this tree-dition?

By Laurie L. Dove

On Christmas Eve, Icelandic families traditionally settle down to a cozy night of exchanging gifts of books and reading. It's all part of jólabókaflóð or the Christmas Book Flood.

By Dave Roos

We tallied up how much dough it costs the big guy to give every kid in the world toys. And it's way more than we expected.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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Our theory on St. Nick's sweet ride: It's rustic on the outside and state-of-the-art on the inside. Learn more about the advanced technology we think runs Santa's sleigh (and those reindeer).

By John Fuller & Cherise Threewitt

Yes, you read that right. There are several options for renting Christmas trees. They're more eco-friendly and way more convenient.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

Parson Brown? Yuletide? Do you have a clue what the lyrics of Christmas carols are talking about?

By Christopher Hassiotis

Throughout the world, Christmas celebrations reflect local culture and traditions, and they all share in the wonder of the season. Learn more about the various Christmas traditions you'll find in countries around the world.

By Sarah Toast

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Writer Robert Lamb wonders if the unblinking, judging eye of elfin surveillance is such a great idea.

By Robert Lamb

Get your ugly holiday sweater fill in one go with these nine horrid knits.

By Yves Jeffcoat

Experts and parents are divided on whether to encourage children's belief in Santa Claus.

By Alia Hoyt

Forget caroling, feasting and having any sort of fun at all on "Foolstide," the catchy but hateful nickname some Puritans gave Christmas in the New World.

By John Donovan

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You thought your drunk uncle was the worst part about Christmas? These tragedies, large and small, should put things in perspective.

By Clint Pumphrey

Make the set up and break down of Christmas decorations a breeze with these simple tips.

By Sarah Fernandez

Can't say "Xmas"? Sure, you can! Despite (or perhaps, because of) Christmas' popularity among Christians and non-Christians alike, there are lots of myths connected with this holiday.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

For many children, the holidays summon visions of sugarplums and fanatical devotion to a magical old man with a sack of gifts. But there's a dark side to yuletide traditions. Welcome to the domain of Krampus!

By Robert Lamb

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Is decorating a Christmas tree part of your annual holiday traditions?

House guests are basically at your mercy. You call the shots when it comes to the menu, planned activities and even the ambient temperature. Their smiles say "I'm having fun," but their eyes are pleading for some quiet time.

By Chris Obenschain

We know it's close to Christmas when we hear the jingling sound -- of cash registers that is. Before you make your holiday purchases, check out our list of store secrets that can make your shopping experience easier.

By Laurie L. Dove

Christmas is celebrated by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Get in the spirit with these pictures of holiday baked goods, singing songs by the warm fire, giving and receiving of presents and more.

By Marie Bobel

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You can stick to a budget without skimping on Christmas decorations. Here are five ways to trim your costs while keeping the holiday trim intact.

By Maria Trimarchi

Avoid the holiday shopping rush with these tips for starting your shopping early -- preferably before Black Friday.

By Maria Trimarchi