For something that happens every year of our lives, we really don't know much about Christmas. We don't know that the date we celebrate was chosen by a madman, or that Christmas, etymologically speaking, means "Go away, Christ." Nor do we know that Christmas was first celebrated in 243 AD on March 28—and only moved to December 25 in 354 AD. We're oblivious to the fact that the advent calendar was actually invented by a Munich housewife to stop her children pestering her for a Christmas countdown. And we would never have guessed that the invention of Christmas crackers was merely a way of popularizing sweet wrappers. Luckily, Mark Forsyth is here to unwrap this fundamentally funny gallimaufry of traditions and oddities, making it all finally make sense—in his wonderfully entertaining wordy way.