The Myths That Stole Christmas

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Humanist Press, Nov 20, 2015 - Philosophy - 196 pages
In The Myths that Stole Christmas, Johnson argues that Christmas has been hijacked by seven different myths-seven myths that control how people conceive of and celebrate the holiday. Myth #1: Jesus Is the Reason for the Season Myth #2: There Is a War on Christmas Myth #3: Our Christmas Traditions Are Old-Fashioned Myth #4: Christmas Spending Is Good for the Economy Myth #5: Santa Claus Is Saint Nicholas Myth #6: The Santa Claus Lie Is Harmless Myth #7: Christmas Can't Change Historically, holiday celebrations served useful social functions; they smoothed tension between social classes; they helped us prepare for the long hard winter; they turned the literal darkest days into the "hap-happiest season of all." Modern Christmas celebrations, however, serve as a source of conflict-and can make us anxious, stressed, fat, poor and stupid. Christmas owns us; we do what it wants, when it wants. But, Johnson argues, taking a close look at the history of the holiday, and the social, political and economic issues that surround it, can turn the tables and allow us to own Christmas once again. Christmas is not a Christians-only holiday that can only be properly celebrated a certain way. Christmas belongs to us all and we can each simply make it what we need it to be.

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User Review  - vasquirrel - LibraryThing

I quit reading this book after a few pages -- I was expecting an easier read -- a social sciences or pop culture perspective on Christmas. It was far too academic and just not interesting enough to continue. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - buchowl - LibraryThing

An interesting counterpoint to the traditional Christmas fah la la. David Kyle Johnson has some issues with Christmas; he feels the holiday has been highjacked by religious and commerical interests ... Read full review

About the author (2015)

DAVID KYLE JOHNSON is an associate professor of philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA where he teaches (among many others) a course entitled "Myth Busters: Christmas, Santa, and Other Weird Things." He also lectures and speaks publicly on topics surrounding the Christmas holiday (including on Huffington Post Live and for the American Humanists Association) and has published extensively on Christmas--including for the London School of Economics, The Daily Show and Philosophy, the journal Think, and his blogs for Psychology Today (Plato on Pop and A Logical Take). His other books include Introducing Philosophy through Pop Culture and Inception and Philosophy; and he has written extensively for Wiley-Blackwell's series Philosophy and Pop Culture. His academic work includes articles in Religious Studies, Sophia, Philo, Think, and Science, Religion and Culture and is all available on Lastly, he has recorded two courses for The Great Courses: Exploring Metaphysics and The Big Questions of Philosophy.

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