World’s Strangest

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Religious Icon Macrame Art

St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker by Denshchikov Vladimir (Images: Art Hit Gallery) This ain’t your grandma’s macrame! Ukrainian artist Vladimir Denshchikov turned the knotting craft into epic works of religious art: Only the faces and [...]

The Evolution of Santa Claus

The following article is reprinted from The Best of Uncle John’ Bathroom Reader. Ever wonder how the Santa Claus of 21st-century Christmas lore came about? Here’s the story of how an almost completely unknown bishop became the most recognized holiday character in Western civilization. A MAN NAMED NICHOLAS In the fourth century A.D., a man named Nicholas [...]

Who Really Wrote “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”?

Call it a literary mystery – nearly 190 years after “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published in New York’s Troy Sentinel, we still don’t know who really wrote the classic poem. When it was first appeared in the newspaper on December 23, 1823, there was no name attached to it. It wasn’t until 13 [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Alternate Versions of “A Visit from St. Nicholas”

“A Visit from St. Nicholas” is one of the most parodied pieces ever written – more than 1,000 versions have been penned by professional writers and amateurs alike. Here are a few of them, but rest assured there’s a version out there for just about any profession or interest you can think of. 1. My personal [...]

Werner Herzog Reads "Twas The Night Before Christmas"

(YouTube link) From Ryan Iverson, who brought us a few similar readings, comes the Clement C. Moore classic “A Visit from St. Nicholas” as interpreted by his impression of Werner Herzog. -Thanks, Ryan!

The Late Movies: Vintage Christmas

Christmas has been the subject of film ever since film was invented. Some of those early shows survive, although you may not have seen them. Here’s your chance to watch some rarely-seen Christmas cheer, spanning from 1898 to 1969. Santa Claus A visit from St. Nicholas is caught on film by G.A. Smith in 1898. Smith [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Archaic Christmas Carol Words Explained

Many of us – me included – sing Christmas songs without giving a second thought to the lyrics. If you’re paying attention, though, there are some pretty ancient terms mixed in with all of the Fa-La-La-La-La-ing. Here’s the meaning of 10 of them – feel free to impress your friends and family with trivia as [...]

Father Christmas ‘buried in Ireland’

Historians believe that the remains of the man who inspired Father Christmas, St Nicholas, are buried in Ireland. He lived during the 4th century …

9 Obscure Holidays in December (Besides Christmas)

There are obscure holidays, and then there are really obscure holidays. I used to think Canadian Boxing Day and Three Kings’ Day were weird; in reality, there are so many holidays stuffed into our calendar that you could spend the whole year observing them and still miss a few. Here are a few of my [...]