Santa is hemmed in by the laws of physics, including one that says he can’t travel faster than the speed of light. Photograph: Per Breiehagen/Photographer’s Choice via Getty Images

Children have an insatiable curiosity, even to the point of driving their parents distracted with repeated questions that usually start with “why” or(...)

Greg Hayes, chorister in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, with his parents Lorraine and Tony and sister Holly in advance of the Nine Lessons and Carols performance on Christmas Eve .Photograph: Alan Betson

When you are a child Christmas Eve is the longest day of the year. With time hanging so heavily, it’s no wonder we remember long into adulthood what w(...)

What does the festive season mean to followers of Karl Marx? Image: Imagno/Getty Images

An anthropologist studying the celebration of Christmas in Ireland would be forgiven for thinking it is principally a festival of consumption. Accordi(...)