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Bites and Bits of History: Yuletide Gift Givers and Punishers
December 15, 2022 @ 12:00 pm EST
Mahoning Valley Historical Society announces its December Bites and Bits of History lunchtime program at Tyler History Center. “Yuletide Gift Givers and Punishers” is the title of the free presentation at noon on Thursday, December 15, 2022. The program will be presented by Christmas historian Dr. George Johnson.
This presentation will highlight the history of Yuletide gift givers and their punishing counterparts, like Krampus. Several cultures will be explored including pre-Christian figures, Norse, Roman, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, and English.
Dr. Johnson has been a Christmas historian and collector since he ran an advertisement in the local newspaper in 1971, asking the community for old bubble lights. Today, he has one of the most recognized Christmas collections in the country. His collection has been featured in national magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, and Country Living, and specialty publications such as Old Stuff, The Old Times, Cotton and Quail Antiques, and Antique and Auction News.
Professionally, Dr. Johnson is a retired Director of Gifted Education and Adjunct Professor of Education. He has also authored four Christmas collectors’ books: Christmas Ornaments, Lights and Decorations (volumes I, II, and III) and A Pictorial Guide to Christmas Ornaments and Collectibles. His love of learning and his love of Christmas have taken him around America and Europe in search of rare and intriguing collectibles.
Johnson’s collection includes two angels from a church in Germany dating back to the late 1700s, Spanish nativity pieces also from the 1700s, and a 15th century Bible page that describes the three wise men coming to the manger to see the Baby Jesus. Additionally, Johnson collects hundreds of chromolithographs created in Germany during the 1870s-1920s.
Bites and Bits of History lunchtime programs are presented by the John and Loretta Hynes Foundation.