While billions of people celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, this annual festival has spread further, wider, and deeper into society. Even those who do not celebrate this annual festival know about the traditions that mark the season: Santa Claus, Christmas trees, lights and decorations, bells, and kissing under the mistletoe. Where did these customs originate? Some are as old of time, and many are more modern inventions.
Niall Edworthy, author of "The Curious World of Christmas," has written 21 books as a ghostwriter and under his own name on a wide range of different subjects. Living today in southern England with his wife and two children, he grew to love Christmas when, as a young child, he and his family moved to the United States for three years.