Annual Christmas Number.
Fruitcake. In the days before the idea of minted coinage penetrated the Germanic forests of western Europe, fruitcakes were a handy and durable medium of exchange.
Santa Claus. The figure of “Santa Claus” in American popular culture is actually conflated from two traditional figures of European folklore. St. Nicholas of Myra was traditionally said to bring good children fruits, confections, and baked treats on Christmas Eve. Santa Clausewitz brought them toy machine guns, tanks, and remote-controlled fighter planes.
Saturnalia. Before Christianity, the ancient Romans celebrated the midwinter festival of Saturnalia to mark the point in the year when retail sales traditionally began to pick up again.
Season, Reason for the. A campaign by French Catholics to keep the “Christ” in “Noël” inexplicably never caught on.
Tinsel. Overharvesting has led to a drastic decline in the natural tinsel forests of the Amazon, leading some environmentalists to predict that tinsel will be entirely extinct by 2050.