When the special finally aired in 1964, it became such a hit that it has been rebroadcast every year since, making it the longest-running Christmas special in history.

The Magical Animation of 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'

The Christmas television special—the longest running in history—was groundbreaking in its use of stop-motion animation with puppets

From Christmas to Chinese New Year to San Sebastián Street Festival, here are the beverages that people around the world will be sipping on this holiday season.

Nine Delicious Holiday Drinks From Around the World

Bored of eggnog? Sick of cider? Here are nine scrumptious end-of-year beverages to sip on from across the globe

Flying Santa plane flies past Boston Light in 1947.

After 90 Years, the 'Flying Santa' Is Still Dropping Gifts From a Plane

In New England, a long-standing tradition continues with pilots delivering gifts to lighthouses and lifesaving stations

This Electric Eel Is Shocking Around the Christmas Tree

The Tennessee Aquarium's internet-famous eel, Miguel Wattson, is powering Christmas lights in the exhibit

The 1979 "Christmas Rappin'" was "so witty" says rapper Kurtis Blow (above in 2016 at the Art of Rap festival in Los Angeles). "I welcomed the opportunity to do it.”

Every Year Just 'Bout This Time, Kurtis Blow Celebrates With a Rhyme

In a salute to "Christmas Rappin,'" hip-hop chronicler Bill Adler tells the tale of how the famous rap recording came to life

Food, Glorious Food

Smithsonian magazine's coverage of food, drink and their role in our culture

Your Christmas Tree May Be Turned Into Mouthwash One Day

A new sustainable chemical process can turn pine needles into a chemical feedstock for paint, food sweeteners, mouthwash and other products

These new songs will not be performed by a children's Christmas choir.

The Titles of These AI-Generated Christmas Carols Are Pure Cinnamon Hollybells

🎶 We wish you a Merry Jinglelog 🎶

The Smithsonian's 19 museums and the National Zoo close for Christmas but will remain open with regular hours through January 1 in the event of a government shut down.

Smithsonian Museums Will Remain Open in the Event of Government Shutdown

While the museums and the National Zoo will close on Christmas Day, they will operate as usual through January 1

Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, is shown throwing three balls of gold through a window, providing the dowry of three poverty-stricken maidens in an altarpiece painted between 1433 and 1435 for a monastery in Florence. The design was based on an altarpiece by Gentile da Fabriano of 1425.

Why We Should Bring Back the Tradition of the Christmas Orange

The appeal of a last-minute stocking stuffer

Erfurt's Christmas Market

Could Erfurt Be Germany's Most Magical Christmas Town?

A Christmas pyramid, a 65-foot tree, a 14th-century bridge and a market serving mulled wine and drinking chocolates are among Erfurt's festive offerings

The Patents Behind Christmas Lights

This Christmas, take a moment to appreciate the many innovations that make holiday light displays and the strand of bulbs on your tree possible

By regrowing trees from stumps, farms can produce sustainable, pesticide-free pine trees.

Stump-Grown Christmas Trees Are the Gift That Keeps on Giving

Using the sustainable and ancient method of coppicing, evergreen Christmas trees can be regrown indefinitely

The 1938 Christmas greeting would've only held significance for those "in the know"

Christmas Card Addressed to Bletchley Codebreakers Discovered

The lost holiday message features the only known photograph of operatives’ September 1938 meeting, the enigmatic “Captain Ridley’s shooting party”

Cartoonist Thomas Nast first drew Santa Claus in January 1863, for Harper's Weekly.

A Civil War Cartoonist Created the Modern Image of Santa Claus as Union Propaganda

Thomas Nast is legendary for his political cartoons, but he’s also responsible for the jolly St. Nick we know today

 A mini-loaf of homemade panettone

A Culinary History of Panettone, the Italian and South American Christmas Treat

The holiday pastry has been a multicultural phenomenon since the very beginning

Seven Places Reinventing the Christmas Tree

From rocket gardens to tumbleweeds, here are some of the most imaginative holiday trees in the United States

View of the Silent Night Chapel

A Brief History of 'Silent Night'

The classic Christmas tune was first composed as a poem, and it was set to music for the first time in the winter of 1818

1921 Christmas greetings slide by Arthur Earland

The Nerdiest Christmas Cards Ever May Be These Microscope Slides Composed of Shells

The unusual holiday exchange, which lasted decades during the early 20th-century, hints at the drama between the two colleagues

The New York Botanical Garden in New York City is just one of many places across the country to see holiday-themed model train shows.

Eight Dazzling Toy Train Displays to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

From Dallas to New York City, these mighty miniatures will delight even the biggest Scrooge

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