A Christmas quiz at an office Christmas party changed the research path for one historian.

Dr. Gerry Bowler was interested in making the quiz both challenging and intriguing for his colleagues, so he started researching the different facts and myths surrounding Christmas.

Dr. Bowler says this lead him down a 30-year path of researching everything Christmas until he decided to write a book about it.

He spent 10 years researching his first book, The World Encyclopedia of Christmas, and that journey continued for 20 more years and several other books.

In his books he discusses everything from the origin of the Christmas tree to the story behind St. Nicholas. He also talks about folklore and facts related to the festive holiday.

He is also the author of Europe in the Sixteenth Century, Santa Claus: A Biography, Christmas in the Crosshairs, The Kindly Curmudgeon, and True Obedience: Tudor Protestants and Resistance to Tyranny, as well as countless newspaper and magazine articles, encyclopedia entries, op-eds and academic papers. He also edited Music from Within: A Biography of Sophie Eckhardt-Gramatté and The World’s Greatest Christmas Stories. His books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Romanian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Today on Connections, Dr. Bowler shares the myths and facts of Christmas.