Highlighting the Holidays: Under the Mistletoe

The holidays are full of many traditions – gift giving, sending cards, singing and cooking. Also kissing. If ever there was a time to pucker up, it’s in December, underneath the mistletoe. Washington Irving wrote in the 1800s, “young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under [mistletoe], plucking each time a berry from […]

Highlighting the Holidays: An Armenian “Three Magi” at the Library of Congress

(The following is a guest post by Levon Avdoyan, Armenian and Georgian area specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division.) When I began working at the Library of Congress in 1992 as the Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist to the Near East Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division, it was as if […]

Highlighting the Holidays: A Visit From St. Nick

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there…” reads the familiar poem most of us know as “The Night Before Christmas.” However, that title isn’t really correct. Clement Moore first penned the poem in 1822, under the title “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” Moore is thought […]

Highlighting the Holidays: Home for the Holidays

(The following is a guest post by Monica Mohindra of the Veterans History Project.) “Home for the holidays”- it’s a sentiment that can cut across lines we might otherwise let divide us. For my dad, it means a longing to be with his family in India for Diwali, a multi-day festival of light that falls […]

Highlighting the Holidays: Happy Hanukkah

In 2014, December 16 marked the first day of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the forces of Antiochus IV. Also referred to as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah recalls the event. According to the Talmud, a central text of Rabbinic Judaism, at the re-dedication […]

Highlighting the Holidays: Window Dressing

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I spent several days in New York City. The holiday season was in full swing, with several holiday markets around town, lights and decorations adorning street posts and buildings and Rockefeller Center nearly completely decked out – the Christmas tree was up but not yet decorated. One of the things I […]