KNOXVILLE, Tennessee - This Holiday Season, the Knoxville History Project has the ultimate “local” gift for those on your Christmas shopping list: a new book by Knoxville’s renowned author and historian, Jack Neely.

A Knoxville Christmas is a collection of remarkable stories documenting Knoxville’s celebration of the Christmas season since the 1800s. From Dickens to dolls, parades and pageants, from glittering lights and dragon balloons, to the first municipal Christmas tree. Knoxville’s rich and often surprising Christmas history is here.

A Knoxville Christmas is the perfect gift for that somebody who already has everything. And priced at just $10.95 it might also be a delightful stocking-stuffer!

A Knoxville Christmas is available directly online from the Knoxville History Project as well as select Knoxville stores, including Union Avenue Books, East Tennessee Historical Society, Rala in the Old City, and Visit Knoxville. 

The 68-page book features approximately 30 vintage photographs and illustrations courtesy of the McClung Historical Collection, Tennessee Archive Moving Image & Sound, Ijams family collection, and the Knoxville History Project collection.


Chapter Listing:

​1. Did Charles Dickens Inspire a Knoxville Holiday?​

2. The Saturnalia of 1893

​3. The First Municipal Christmas Tree: A Knoxville Christmas, 1914

4. Christmas in 1915: The Garden of Allah, Creeping Babies, and the Blue Rabbit

​5. Magnificent Distractions: Christmas, 1916, Saw a Promenade of American Show Biz 

​6. Knoxville Christmas Parades 

7. Christmas vs. the Holidays: A Little Perspective on Our Favorite Schism 

​8. Local Holidays: Some Noteworthy Local Knoxville Birthdays

A special program tie-in is also scheduled for Sunday, December 10, when KHP will team up with Knox County Public Library’s Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound for an incredible afternoon taking a look back at how Knoxville and its residents have celebrated the Christmas holiday.

WHAT:                  Knoxville Christmas in Print, Photo & Film

WHEN:                 Sunday, December 10 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm

WHERE:               East Tennessee Historical Society, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37901            

HOW MUCH:        Free.


About the Knoxville History Project: The Knoxville History Project (KHP) is an educational nonprofit with a mission to research and promote the history and culture of Knoxville. KHP is the only city-centered historical organization covering downtown and all points north, south, east, and west throughout the suburbs. KHP’s work features colorful characters, bizarre tales, interesting buildings, curious traditions, as well as seriously influential local events. KHP provides history talks and tours, conducts research for fee-for-service clients; and engages in community-wide history projects.


A Knoxville Christmas is available online at: