Christmas

Christmas tree cured fish was one well-received recipe Julia Georgallis included in her new cookbook.

You Can Eat Your Christmas Tree. Here's How to Do It

Turn your once-ornamented tree into something scrumptious

Children cluster around Santa in this 1903 illustration.

Christmas Wasn't Always the Kid-Friendly Gift Extravaganza We Know Today

How a once-raucous holiday became a time of childlike wonder and beribboned consumerism

Mistletoe is best known for its role in holiday festivities, as seen on this Christmas card from 1886, and it features in ancient lore of many cultures, whether Celtic druids or Scandinavian gods.

The Biology of Mistletoe

Best known as a holiday trimming, the parasitic plant is a botanical luminary in its own right

Bright lights and large crowds were ever-present at the Weihnachtsmarkt in Dresden, Germany, 2014.

Smithsonian Voices

A Taste of the German Christmas Market at Home

Normally. the German-speaking lands of Central Europe would be bustling filled with food, drink, good cheer, and other longstanding traditional activities

“Hogan in the Snow,” ca. 1985. Painted by Robert Draper (Diné [Navajo], 1938–2000). Chinle, Navajo Nation, Arizona. 26/6481

Smithsonian Voices

Christmas Across Indian Country, During the Pandemic and Before

This extraordinary year, we asked how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting people’s families and communities

Steam hides a vendor stirring mulled wine with sea buckthorns at a Christmas market in Svobody Square, Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine.

Virtual Travel

This Holiday Season, Travel With Your Nose

The scents that you find most comforting can help you feel like you're on the road, even when you're not

Many U.S. grocery stores carry marinades and seasonings from Jamaican companies.

A Brief History of Jamaican Jerk

It's more than just a seasoning or a flavor. Jerk is a whole culture worthy of celebrating, especially at Christmastime

Gen. Glen VanHerck, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command talks on the phone as part of a video celebrating the NORAD Santa Tracker's 65th year.

Smithsonian Voices

Why NORAD Tracks Santa Claus

How did a misdialed phone number lead to a holiday tradition.

The original photos from late 1800s by famous snowflake photographer Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, are stored in the Smithsonian Archives. His pictures were instrumental in helping scientists examine snow’s crystalline properties.

Smithsonian Voices

Why Scientists Find Snowflakes Cool

Mineralogists study snowflakes to learn more about how water in its solid phase behaves

Will Cotton, Molasses Swamp II, 1999, oil on linen

Smithsonian Voices

Top Ten Favorite Holiday Movies as Seen in American Art

What is cozier than watching old holiday movies on a chilly winter’s night? Pairing them up with favorite artworks from SAAM's collection, that’s what

A young girl lightly pats the backs of others with a survachka on Christmas Day in Bulgaria.

A Globe-Trotter's Guide to Holiday Games

Staying home for Christmas and New Year's? Try one of these festive traditions from around the world

Often overshadowed by more famous jets in World War II, the Ar 234 B-2—known as the Blitz, or Lightning—had caught the Allies by surprise when the nine soared through the skies on December 24, 1944.

With Lightning Speed and Agility, Germany's Ar 234 Blitz Jet Bomber Was a Success That Ultimately Failed

Only one is known to survive today and it is in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

PEZ has designed about 1,400 different character heads and innumerable variations.

How PEZ Evolved From an Anti-Smoking Tool to a Beloved Collector's Item

Early in its history, the candy company made a strategic move to find its most successful market

As municipalities determined what public activities should or shouldn’t be permitted, people were puzzling through their own choices about how to celebrate the holidays.

What the Pandemic Christmas of 1918 Looked Like

Concerns about the safety of gift shopping, family gatherings and church services were on Americans' minds then, too

On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 launched from Kennedy Space Center at 7:51 a.m. EST with Frank Borman in command. His crew became the first humans to ride the mighty Saturn V rocket, breaking the bonds of Earth’s physical pull and entering the gravitational field of another celestial body.

How Apollo 8 Delivered Christmas Eve Peace and Understanding to the World

In a new book, Smithsonian curator Teasel Muir-Harmony examines the geopolitics during NASA’s space flight program

Dr. Seuss works on an early drawing of the Grinch.

The Grinch That Keeps on Grinching

A new television special hearkens back to the nearly 50 years of Christmas thievery from the Dr. Seuss classic

Jack Yoast, Ambler, Pennsylvania

Eight Elaborate Christmas Displays Across America—and the People Behind Them

In her new book, photographer Danelle Manthey captures a distinct type of American folk art: Christmas light decoration

The Temperance Society objected to the card's inclusion of a child sipping wine.

The First Commercially Printed Christmas Card Scandalized Victorian England

Two rare copies of the 1843 greeting card, which depicts a child sipping from a glass of wine, are now up for auction

Each year, Purdue University’s INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering turns into a toy testing laboratory.

The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2020

Tested and reviewed by engineers, these top picks make coding, robotics and engineering more accessible than ever

Grounded travelers, be thankful for these travel books released in 2020.

Holiday Gift Guide

The Ten Best Books About Travel of 2020

In a year of travel restrictions, these titles helped us channel our wanderlust

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