Dec 17, 2009 8:42 AM
Ever wonder why we celebrate Christmas the way we do? If you're curious about the origin of trimming trees and hanging stockings check out Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas ($12) by Ace Collins. For example - the shopping season used to be only a few weeks long - Black Friday is a recent development (Cyber Monday is clearly new to the Christmas docket as well). The extended shopping season began during World War II so families could have time to get gifts mailed out to troops abroad. That's just the tip of the reindeer antler, people - there's tons of gems of Christmas knowledge here just waiting to be mined.