A Brief History of Sending a Letter to Santa

Dating back more than 150 years, the practice of writing to St. Nick tells a broader history of America itself

Best Gifts of 2015 for Museum Lovers

A host of gifts inspired by the Smithsonian collections, its scientists, curators, historians, photographers and gardeners

The Stockholm Guild, which runs the market, was founded in 1914 to bring the tradition of a Christmas market back to Stockholm (there was a Christmas market here as early as 1523).

Christmas Markets Might Be the Best Reason to Spend the Holidays in Europe

From mulled wine to intricate ornaments, Europe's Christmas markets are a mix of food, goods and holiday cheer

That's it. Next year, everyone's getting coal.

Americans 'Returned' Around $3.6 Billion Worth of Stolen Goods This Holiday Season

Billions of dollars worth of "gift returns" are actually stolen goods

Knott's Merry Farm Snoopy's Merriest Tree Lighting held at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA.

CBS Executives Thought 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' Would Fail

There wasn't much CBS executives liked about the Christmas special

There’s More to Frankincense and Myrrh Than Meets the Eye

Frankincense and myrrh have interesting medicinal properties

A Christmas tree decorated with iconic spacecraft is on view on the first floor of the Air and Space Museum

Christmas Day is the Only Day of the Year You Can't Go to the Smithsonian

For those missing your Smithsonian fix, here's some holiday cheer until the doors open on December 26

The French often make a bûche de Noël, a chocolate cake baked to look like a Yule log, at Christmastime.

A Christmas Feast, Experienced With Dishes From Around the World

Experience an international Christmas without any travel by preparing these traditional foods

Irving Berlin and wife Ellen MacKay

"White Christmas" Is Actually the Saddest Christmas Song

The season would have reminded composer Irving Berlin of his young son who died Christmas Day in 1928

Get Set Up With a Family in NYC for Christmas

Don’t be sad at the prospect of spending the holiday alone, a popular photoblog will match you up with a family

NASA is using nighttime pictures of Earth to track energy use during cultural holidays.

NASA Can See Your Holiday Lights From Space

Scientists can use holiday lights during Christmas and Rammadan as a proxy for overall energy use in urban areas

Experience the magic of the holiday season on a historic train.

Six Historic Trains That Embody the Holiday Spirit

Trains have always been a part of holiday celebrations—so why not hop aboard this season? Here are six seasonally appropriate rides to consider

Mid-century Santa and Mrs. Claus on candy canes skis.

The Evolving Face of Santa, As Seen in the Smithsonian's Vast Collections

A look into Smithsonian's vast archives reveals that Father Christmas tends to get a makeover with every generation that embraces him

Show Us the Holiday Decorations in Your Neighborhood

What does the holiday season look like in your community? Upload a photo of the best light displays, Christmas trees, menorahs and other festive scenes

The White House Is Going Digital With Its Holiday Decorations

Robot dogs, an interactive holiday card and crowd-sourced light shows are a few of the new additions

After Bing Cros­by turned down “Rudolph,” Gene Autry’s recording became an all-time best seller.

It Could Have Been Reginald the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Inside the very shiny life of a marketing gimmick from 1939

The JFK Christmas Card That Was Never Sent

A rare White House card from 1963 evokes one of the nation’s darkest holiday seasons

Decorations in Thailand.

Christmas Is Huge in Asia

From India to Thailand to China, even non-Christians are getting into the holiday spirit

How the North American Aerospace Defense Command Got Into the Business of Tracking Santa

It all began in 1955 with Sears, a wrong number and a very confused Colonel


See Every One of Santa's International Guises

An entrepreneurial kid could potentially rack up on the gifts by traveling around the world, hitting three Christmas jackpots in one short month

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