Christmas: season of goodwill, celebrations and - of course - gifts. For many in the Western world it's the happiest time of year. Whether you see Christmas as a religious celebration, an excuse for conspicuous consumption or simply a great family holiday it can be a truly magical time for those of all religions and none. There's nothing better than the excitement of children on Christmas Eve as they anticipate the arrival of Santa.

Christmastry is a celebration of all the good things about the Christmas holiday - history, myths and traditions. I'll be examining many of the customs we take for granted and looking at where and why they originated as well as what they mean. You might be surprised at how much of our modern Christmas is actually rather recent - the Victorians invented much of it!

Of course, you don't need to know any of this information to enjoy Christmas Day, but hopefully this site will give you some interesting facts to share with friends and family.

Speaking of family, I've tried to make sure that this site is kid friendly, especially the pages about Santa.

Have a very merry Christmas, 2013 and always.