December 27, 2011 In Russia, New Year's reigns supreme as the food holiday, even though Christmas returned with the end of the Soviet Union. Russian immigrants in the United States continue the tradition, which demands a nightlong feast of herring, caviar, pickles, salami, and — well, that's just for starters.
A gift card display at a Target store in Mayfield Hts., Ohio., last month.
December 27, 2011 They're enormously popular — an estimated $27.8 billion worth have been given this holiday season. But many also never get fully used. What to do? Swap them. Regift them. Invest them. Or, perhaps, give them to charity.
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Many Americans are familiar with cornhusk-wrapped tamales. But those aren't my favorite.
Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images
December 24, 2011 Latin America has hundreds of interpretations of this Christmas Eve treat – tamales vary not just by country but often by region. So whose version is best? That's a question likely to elicit a fiercely partisan response.
December 23, 2011 The Two-Way will be back on Tuesday.
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Tourtiere is "one of Canada's better contributions to the culinary world," says Thomas Naylor, executive chef to the Canadian ambassador to the U.S.
December 23, 2011 This Christmas Eve, many French-Canadian families will gather after midnight Mass for reveillon, a lavish dinner party that lasts into the wee hours. The traditional centerpiece is a savory, spiced meat pie called tourtiere. Thomas Naylor, executive chef to the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., teaches Lynn Neary how to make this delicious holiday dish.
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Students show off the results of their trades.
December 23, 2011 And how seventh graders solved the problem.
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They'll see him when he's flying.
December 22, 2011 Assuming his elves haven't come up with some sort of stealth technology to cloak his movements, it's almost time again for children of all ages to follow the jolly guy's travels thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
The pudding's dark glossy dome is flamed with brandy and carried to the table before the shimmering blue aura dies away.
December 21, 2011 My mother always made Christmas puddings. Nowadays, my sister and brother-in-law send me one every year from England. They use a mid-Victorian recipe handed down from a Quaker. Unlike other Christmas treats, a well-made, properly sealed Christmas pudding will keep for a year, or more.
December 21, 2011 Christmas, with flying reindeer and a bright shining star announcing the coming of Jesus is a time when myth and science intersect. Can science explain some of the Christmas myths?
If the Post Office is part of the "war on Christmas," someone should tell him: Doug Fischer, a letter carrier in Aurora, Colo., during the 2008 holiday season.
December 14, 2011 When a trio of carolers were asked to leave a post office in Maryland, the whole "war on Christmas" debate had another flashpoint. But USPS isn't exactly anti-Christmas, as its annual holiday stamps show.
Buy more, or buy less, this holiday season; the choice is yours.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
November 29, 2011 As we head into the holiday season this might be a good moment to reflect on the roots of our collective consumer delusion.
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December 27, 2010 Dad recorded every year as the kids came down the stairs on Christmas morning. Now the family's tradition is condensed into one much-watched video.
December 24, 2010 If "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" wasn't sung so cheerfully, the lyrics might be interpreted as kind of creepy: "He sees you when you're sleeping." That's what some of the kids in these photos must have been thinking about that bearded man in red.
December 22, 2010 There is a surprising number of grown-ups that believe we never landed on the moon. Maybe they should believe in Santa Claus as well.
Newgrange: A monument to the winter solstice.
German Poo-Caamano/via Flickr
December 21, 2010 Why do we celebrate Christmas just a few days after the winter solstice when almost no one thinks Jesus was born on December 25th?
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