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The Surprising Origins of Christmas Traditions

During Christmas, we hang socks, decorate dead trees, and leave snacks for home intruders. Get a good look at the history and context for all this weirdness of the season.
The Surprising Origins of Christmas Traditions is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 12.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Thanks for this. Simple enough, well-narrated two episodes or Christmas traditions. These are great viewing for holiday season and easily binge in 1 hour. I'd not think more episodes needed for this topic and this is perfect!
Date published: 2023-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Professor A. Is always a wealth of information! Enjoyable, very surprising information especially the episode about America. Well done and fun
Date published: 2022-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beginner Friendly I'm just shook that plum pudding doesn't contain plums. And, yes, we will be playing snap dragon this Christmas.
Date published: 2022-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great video to watch before christmas! I really like professor Allit and really thought he did a " superb" ( say in British accent!) job! It is really interesting to learn about the orgins of Santa Clause. Also, I really liked him putting in the quotes from the people from the past on how they celebrated Christmas. Nice touch!
Date published: 2021-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More of these please! If Wondrium could do a full series in depth on Christmas I would be so happy. These two episodes were a great thrill for my loved ones.
Date published: 2021-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved This! Give Us More Episodes! There is so much that could be said on this topic, so please give us more episodes if you can. Loved the presenter. Thank you!
Date published: 2021-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative course on how various Christmas traditions evolved during Victorian England and the United States. Hope more lectures are added in the future.
Date published: 2020-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! Great speaker, and a very informative course. I will certainly recommend it to others.
Date published: 2020-12-14
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Overview

Celebrate Christmas by learning about the fascinating and often unknown roots of many of our most beloved traditions.

About

Patrick N. Allitt

We live in a world that has created many new incentives for us to become lifelong learners. Luckily, lifelong learning is a pleasure.

INSTITUTION

Emory University

Patrick N. Allitt is Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University, where he has taught since 1988. He received his PhD in American History from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Divinity School and Princeton University. He is a widely published author whose books include A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism; The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History; and Religion in America since 1945: A History.

By This Professor

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The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator
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How Railways Transformed the World
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America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years
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Christmas in Victorian Britain

01: Christmas in Victorian Britain

Many of the elements of Christmas that we take for granted today were not associated with the holiday until the Victorian era. For example: gift giving, trees, singing carols, Christmas dinner, and sending Christmas cards all came from Victorian Britain. This period also brought some unusual practices that we no longer partake in, such as a (surprisingly often violent) game school children would play, in which they would lock their teachers outside. Dive into the traditions we kept and those that fell to the wayside over the years.

25 min
Christmas in Victorian America

02: Christmas in Victorian America

If some of the Christmas traditions during the Victorian period seem unusual, then shift your attention to early America. From noisy, rancorous, and dangerous parades held in Philadelphia and New York to a tradition that involved cracking whips at children while they tried to collect candy and nuts, Christmas practices in America have undergone several evolutions. Uncover some of the most unusual traditions and learn how retail holiday windows, Christmas bonuses, and a jolly, friendly version of Santa Claus all grew from the American melting pot.

28 min