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Pondering the Meaning and History of Christmas


Aired 4/19/09

tom Fudge: The most popular and most widely-observed holiday of the year is just 14 shopping days away. Christmas sounds like a Christian holiday. And it was created to observe the birth of Christ. But, like it or not, it's meaning in America goes way beyond that. It's a time of celebration, of parties, of stress and spending. It's a time of profound loneliness for some people, and a time that people of different faiths have to come to terms with. We're going to talk about the meaning of Christmas; the ways that it is observed and the emotions that can result from it. And we're going to start by talking about what Christmas used to be, and what it has become.


Bruce Forbes, professor of religious studies at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. He's is author of the book, Christmas: A Candid History.

David Peters , a licensed family therapist with a private practice in San Diego.

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