Slideshow Iconslideshows MORE


Ho! Ho! Ho! The History of Christmas

5 of 11

Yule Log

The custom of the Yule log was noted in France and Italy as far back as the 1200s. It later spread throughout Europe. On Christmas Eve, an enormous log would be cut and placed in the hearth. The log would be sprinkled with salt, oil, and mulled wine, and prayers said to protect the house from the devil and lightning.

Fun Fact: As iron stoves replaced giant hearths in the 1800s, Yule logs became decorative, often being used as Christmas centerpieces and decorated with evergreens and candles.

Photo source:

Next: Candy Cane

More on: Christmas


Provided by Infoplease—an authoritative, comprehensive reference website that offers an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs. Visit to find more resources endorsed by teachers and librarians.


Where Should Newborns Sleep?
We've rounded up all the alternatives and considerations to make a safe choice for your new addition.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

5 Tips to Help Make Your Child Self-Sufficient
Follow these tips to help your child become self-sufficient, and help him learn the skills he'll need to take care of himself.

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks