World’s Strangest

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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 [...]

More Not-So-Famous Christmas Firsts

We featured a few holiday firsts last year, and have since dug up a few more to further clutter your mind in between shopping trips. First Rockefeller Center Tree In New York City, the holiday season officially kicks off each year with the ceremonial lighting of a towering Norway spruce in Rockefeller Plaza. Decked out with some [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Strange Christmas Songs

It won’t be long before you’re totally sick of jingling bells, angels on high and drummer boys. But how about Wookiees? There’s a bunch of Christmas songs out there that don’t get ridiculously overplayed at the holidays – here are a few of the stranger ones. I’m sure you have your own favorite weirdo holiday [...]

6 Christmas Episodes Worth Mentioning

Holiday episodes tend to be a bit generic. How many times can you rework A Christmas Carol or The Gift of the Magi into a sitcom plot? Here are a smattering of episodes worth mentioning either because they’re rare, different or doggone it, because I just like ‘em. 1. Bewitched Bewitched had many traditional Christmas episodes during [...]

9 Holiday Characters From Around the World

Most American four-year-olds can tell you all about beloved Christmas characters like Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. But in other countries, talking about Rudolph and his ilk might earn you little more than a blank stare. Here’s a look at some holiday characters who might not be familiar to Americans, but play a big [...]

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 [...]