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Charting Christmas

Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25? How did Saint Nicholas become Santa Claus? Why do we have Christmas trees? Charting Christmas provides answers to these questions and many more as it explores the history of Christmas.

  • Item 501542D
  • Region: All
  • Media Type: DVD
  • Running Time: 41 mins.

Alternate formats: Digital Video - $4.99

Retail: $19.99
Price: $7.99
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Description

Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25? How did Saint Nicholas become Santa Claus? Why do we have Christmas trees? Charting Christmas provides answers to these questions and many more as it explores the history of Christmas.

Filmed on location in the Holy Land and the United Kingdom, this documentary traces the origins of Christmas traditions beginning with the biblical prophecies concerning the Messiah and the New Testament accounts of His birth. See how Christmas celebrations evolved through the ages and were influenced by notable figures and entities including Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Boniface, Charles Dickens, and even the Coca-Cola Corporation. Included are interviews with biblical scholars and historians, such as author and Bible teacher Lance Lambert and Canon Jim Rosenthal, Founder of the St. Nicholas Society. Their commentaries illuminate the origins of Christmas and tell us why we celebrate Christmas as we do today. Widescreen

Editorial Reviews

Charting Christmas begins with biblical prophecies related to the Messiah and the New Testament accounts of the birth of Jesus, and then looks into the origins of various traditions associated with Christmas, including Santa Claus, mistletoe, and Christmas trees. Filmed in the Holy Land and Great Britain, this documentary hosted by actor Levi James incorporates commentary from biblical scholars and historians who explain how a wide range of people and entities—including St. Nicholas, Charles Dickens, and the Coca-Cola Company—contributed to the development of yuletide customs. For example, the roots of Santa Claus (also known as St. Nick) are traced to St. Nicolas, a 3rd-century bishop in what is now Turkey. Tales of his legendary generosity (which supposedly even included delivering bags of gold via a chimney) would evolve over time, eventually reaching the New World through Dutch immigrants, who would refer to him as "Sinterklaas." Clement C. Moore's poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (later known as "The Night Before Christmas") and Dickens' A Christmas Carol captured the seasonal feelings of good tidings and joy, transforming Christmas from a religious holiday into a secular family festivity featuring the modern image of the red-clad, white-fur-collared, jolly old elf—which came from the advertising world by way of Coca-Cola. Other interesting tidbits are explored here as well, including the "pub song" origin of many Christmas carols and why the holiday is celebrated on December 25. Recommended.

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