Articles on Christmas

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This undated score, written by Joseph Mohr and titled ‘Weynachts Lied’ (‘Christmas Carol’), is the earliest known surviving copy of ‘Silent Night.’ Salzburg Museum

The humble origins of ‘Silent Night’

Two hundred years ago, an Austrian priest teamed up with a schoolteacher to perform the first rendition of 'Silent Night.' Little did they know that it would one day be sung in over 300 languages.
Research suggests that family approval has a significant impact on relationship stability. (Shutterstock)

When you have two lovers, the holidays can be tricky

Many people are 'polyamorous' -- they have two or more romantic partners. Often this is challenging to disclose to family.
Catnip induces changes in cat behavior. Anna Hoychuk

Is it unethical to give your cat catnip?

Catnip can induce changes in cat behavior. An expert argues that giving it to cats raises questions about human power and animal autonomy.
Adults under 40 years have surprised many with their preference for retro technologies such as beautiful pens and paper books. Rawpixel/Unsplash

Greeting cards make a comeback

With the rise of digital communication, large greeting card companies have seen revenue declines. However, a smaller, vibrant craft industry in cards has emerged with a new younger customer.
Don’t fret if your kids are starting to doubt Santa’s magic. Coming to disbelieve is not particularly distressing for them and most come to their own conclusions.

The science of saying goodbye to Santa

When your kids stop believing, it's probably harder on you than on them.
Paper not plastic. Adina Habich/Shutterstock.com

How to have yourself a plastic-free Christmas

Christmas is hectic, and it can be easy just to go with the flow and vow to cut your plastic use in the new year. But here are some easy steps you can take now to make your Christmas plastic-free.
The practise of ‘mindful eating’ can help you maximize the pleasure from rich holiday foods, without eating too much. (Shutterstock)

Ten ways to indulge and stay healthy this holiday season

From going out dancing to choosing smaller plates, two nutrition researchers offer some tips for reaping the fun of the holidays without destroying your health.
Research shows that a parent’s level of generosity and charitable behaviour is linked with their child’s display of the same behaviours. (Shutterstock)

How to infuse your family with the spirit of generosity this Christmas

Children start developing empathy and compassion as toddlers and should have a good understanding of generosity by age nine. Here are five thoughtful ways parents can help foster these behaviours.
The Blackfeet always faced their tipis towards the rising sun, including on winter solstice. Beinecke Library via Wikimedia Commons

What winter solstice rituals tell us about indigenous people

For indigenous peoples, winter solstice has been a time to honor their ancient sun deity. Their rituals reveal a deep understanding of the natural world.
A person dressed as Santa Claus waves as part of the festivities, during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Andrew Kelly/Reuters

This Christmas tell your children the real Santa Claus story

Behind today's mythical Santa Claus from the North Pole, is a real saint – St. Nicholas. How he came to be today's gift-giving jolly figure from the North Pole is a fascinating story by itself.

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