Christmas historian Bruce Forbes on 'Merry Christmas' vs. 'Happy holidays' and our many reasons for the season

“Santa Baby” is a Christmas song. And so is “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” (More precisely, it’s a Christmas carol.)  Somehow, we have gotten used to hearing “war” and “Christmas” used in the same sentence. But a Methodist minister who wrote a book all about the real Christmas — in point of fact, our many Christmases — thinks there’s a path to a peace treaty for all parties. Here is your Christmas gift from Bruce Forbes, who also heads the philosophy and religion department at Morningside College in Iowa: the real history of the commercial, cultural and spiritual holiday that has given us both “O Holy Night” and “ho ho ho.”

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