A Biography

Book - 2017
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"Nearly everything you know about Christmas is wrong. Do you think the proclaimed war on Christmas is a recent occurrence? Do you think Santa is Dutch, or that his red suit was brought to you courtesy of Coca-Cola? Or are you merely dreaming of a Christmas like the one you used to know? You aren't alone: thirty years after the first recorded Christmas, a fourth-century archbishop was already complaining that his flock was spending the day dancing and feasting, not in religious observance. By 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was nostalgically reminiscing about the vastly better Christmases in the old days. Some traditions of Christmas are relatively new--who would have thought gift-wrap was a novelty of the twentieth century? That the first holiday parade was neither at Macy's, nor even in the United States? Other elements, however, have been around for a surprisingly long time. The first known gag holiday giftbook, The Boghouse Miscellany, was advertised in the 1760s, while in 1805, the leaders of the Lewis and Clark expedition exchanged--what else?--presents of underwear and socks. Christmas is different things to different people: a religious festival for some, a family celebration for others, or perhaps simply a time of seasonal eating and drinking. In Christmas: A Biography, acclaimed historian Judith Flanders casts a sharp eye over the myths, legends, and history that make up the holiday to show us the season as it really is, but rarely how it is understood."--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York N.Y. :, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press,, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781250118349
Call Number: 394.2663 F6138c 2017
Characteristics: vii, 245 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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CircMary Jan 05, 2018

Interesting overview of the whole Christmas thing - what we think it is, what we want it to be, and what it really is.

Jan 02, 2018

I enjoyed this book and learned a lot about how the celebrations of Christmas evolved over time. You can read the whole book or just the chapters you are interested in. I would highly recommended to a casual reader or someone interested in authenticated history.

Dec 27, 2017

Wanted to like this more but it came down to Christmas is banned, no, it's not, yes, it is, etc. Wish there were a lot more tidbits.

Nov 07, 2017

A little disorganized, and I don't know that anyone would read all the quoted old poems, but full of interesting tidbits about the history of Christmas.


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