The Magic and Legends of Old Christmas, a video history of Christmas by Benito Cereno

I’ve said many times that I’m in awe of Benito Cereno’s knowledge of Christmas history. And while I do say that to keep him coming on the podcast so I don’t have to do research, I also mean it sincerely.

Benito’s written plenty about Christmas history, from essays to comics, and even some longer works that will eventually make it to print. But he also made something for which I am eternally grateful: a video history of Christmas. This was initially for a class he was teaching. Then he was graced with covid quarantine, which almost cost him his sanity but provided us with these videos he made for his students.

He’s given us a thematically organized series of lectures that cover everything from church history to local lore to those fun tidbits of “and this, children, is why no one in their right mind ever put a pickle on a tree.” Each one runs a half hour to 45ish minutes. He’d be mad if I claimed that this was an exhaustive history, but for a one-man project made while stuck at home during quarantine, it’s seriously close.

The least I could do was give him a landing page for all of these wonderful videos as a way to say thanks.

So please subscribe to his YouTube channel. Or you can see the range of topics and pick and choose here. And remember that these are fun, informal lectures rather than polished made-for-public-TV documentaries, a bit more like a podcast with images.

The Magic and Legends of Old Christmas

There. I just wanted an excuse to have all these links in one place.


If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at

Or please leave a weird review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app! Send me a note that you did (, and I’ll mail you a sticker!

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