Wed December 23, 2009
Unwrapping "Christmas: A Candid History"
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's show, we listen back to an interview that first aired in late 2007. At that time, we spoke with the author and scholar Bruce David Forbes, a professor of religious studies at Morningside College, about his book, "Christmas: A Candid History." A work of cultural history, literary appreciation, and religious studies, this book is full of interesting and/or amusing stories on how Christmas came to be the way it is now. (It's published by the University of California Press, and is now out in paperback.) In fully tracing the development of this holiday, Forbes shares a great many facts and anecdotes. For instance, did you know...? That for 300 years (or so) Christians did not celebrate Christmas? That Puritans in England and New England made Christmas observances illegal? That St. Nicholas is actually an elf in the original "Night before Christmas"? That FDR changed the date of Thanksgiving in order to prolong the Christmas shopping season? Or that artists in the marketing department at Coca-Cola helped to fashion --- in significant detail, and over many years --- the very appearance of Santa Claus? "Christmas: A Candid History" recounts all of these strange-but-true tales, and many more.