Something You Should Know about Christmas

Classic Christmas Toys

December 19, 2014


Interview with David Hoffman, author of the book Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood




Mike Carruthers: 
So many of the classic toys never started out as toys. 


David Hoffman:
Lionel Trains were actually, the guy who came up with the concept of a play train did it as a store display, in a toy shop, to show off other toys.

David Hoffman

How St. Nick Became Santa Claus

December 15, 2014


Interview with Jeff Guinn, co-author of the book The Autobiography of Santa Claus




Mike Carruthers:
Have you ever wondered how St. Nicholas became Santa Claus?


Jeff Guinn:
Santa Claus is the name that he actually got in America back when we were still colonies of the British and the Dutch.

Jeff Guinn

Christmas Traditions

December 9, 2014


Interview with Louise Nayer, author of the book How to Bury a Goldfish: And Other Ceremonies & Celebrations for Everyday Life




Mike Carruthers: 
The Holidays are full of rituals, for example we bring Poinsettia plants into the house at Christmas time. There's a story behind that.

Louise Nayer:
A little boy in Mexico was too poor to put a gift in the charity box, and he cried. And when his tears fell, a scarlet flower supposedly bloomed. And he took the flower to the church, and placed it in the crib of the baby Jesus.

Louise Nayer

Facts About Famous Christmas Toys

December 25, 2013


Interview with Tim Walsh, author of the book Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them




Mike Carruthers:
When it comes to Christmas toys Nerf toys are very popular. And in fact Nerf footballs are incredibly popular.


Tim Walsh:
The Nerf football outsells Wilson or Spalding as the biggest selling football of all time.

Tim Walsh

Last Minute Gift Ideas

December 23, 2013


Interview with David Monn, author of the book 365 Ways to Prepare for Christmas




Mike Carruthers:
Well now you’re just about out of time and you still have someone on your Christmas list you need to shop for. So what do you do?

David Monn:

Take somebody who likes tea, take a simple, little, beautiful teacup you put it into a little basket, maybe even onto a pretty little tray with different kinds of exotic teas. Wrap it all up in beautiful cellophane. And you've taken something so simple and you've given somebody a personal gift.

David E. Monn

Origins Of The Christmas Tree Tradition

December 20, 2013


Interview with Kenneth C. Davis, author of the book Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned



Mike Carruthers:
The origin of the Christmas tree actually predates Christianity.

Kenneth C. Davis:

The evergreen tree was a symbol of life in the midst of winter. Almost every pagan civilization celebrated the Winter Solstice around this time of year.

Kenneth C. Davis

Santa's Story

December 25, 2012


Interview with Agatha Gilmore, author of the book Celebration: The Santa Book 




Mike Carruthers:
How did the story of Santa Claus begin?


Agatha Gilmore:
Santa really started with a legend of a real monk who was born around 200 AD in Patara, which is a region in Turkey.

Agatha Gilmore

Classic Christmas Toys

December 24, 2012


Interview with Tim Walsh, author of the book Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them




Mike Carruthers:
Of all the classic toys on the market which one has been around the longest?


Tim Walsh:
Well, Raggedy Ann is the longest continuously licensed character. She came out in 1918 and she's always been on a lunch box or as a doll or in a storybook somewhere.

Tim Walsh

Holiday Kitchen Tips

December 21, 2012


Interview with Jack Bishop, author of the book 834 Kitchen Quick Tips: Tricks, Techniques, and Shortcuts for the Curious Cook




Mike Carruthers:
If you spend a lot of time cooking around the holidays by the time you're ready to sit down and eat, your hands can smell like garlic, onions or whatever you've been cooking.


Jack Bishop:
And I've tried all of those tips: lemon, salt to get rid of them - the one that works the best..mouthwash.

Jack Bishop

Are You Going Into Debt To Buy Christmas Presents?

December 17, 2012


Interview with Mary Hunt, author of the book Debt-Proof Your Christmas: Celebrating the Holidays without Breaking the Bank




Mike Carruthers:
Spending discipline... it often flies out the window this time of year because, well, we need to buy Christmas gifts for people.


Mary Hunt:
Let me ask you a question: “Tell me what you received for Christmas last year?" Yeah, see people don't remember, so why in the world should you buy a gift now that you're going to have to pay for for the next twenty years, when the person you give it to isn't even going to remember?

Mary Hunt

Something You Should Know - Blogged