Christmas: A Candid History

Front Cover
University of California Press, Oct 1, 2008 - History - 179 pages
10 Reviews
Written for everyone who loves and is simultaneously driven crazy by the holiday season, Christmas: A Candid History provides an enlightening, entertaining perspective on how the annual Yuletide celebration got to be what it is today. In a fascinating, concise tour through history, the book tells the story of Christmas--from its pre-Christian roots, through the birth of Jesus, to the holiday's spread across Europe into the Americas and beyond, and to its mind-boggling transformation through modern consumerism. Packed with intriguing stories, based on research into myriad sources, full of insights, the book explores the historical origins of traditions including Santa, the reindeer, gift giving, the Christmas tree, Christmas songs and movies, and more. The book also offers some provocative ideas for reclaiming the joy and meaning of this beloved, yet often frustrating, season amid the pressures of our fast-paced consumer culture.

DID YOU KNOW

For three centuries Christians did not celebrate Christmas?

Puritans in England and New England made Christmas observances illegal?

St. Nicholas is an elf in the famous poem "The Night Before Christmas"?

President Franklin Roosevelt changed the dateof Thanksgiving in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season?

Coca-Cola helped fashion Santa Claus's look in an advertising campaign?
 

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Review: Christmas: A Candid History

User Review  - Goodreads

This book is OK, but it suffers from a number of irritating defects. First, like many academics writing for the populist market, the author labours some points, takes some knowledge for granted and ... Read full review

Review: Christmas: A Candid History

User Review  - Goodreads

2nd reading December, 2012 Read full review

Contents

First There Was Winter
1
Christmas Comes Late
15
Christmas Is Like a Snowball
43
From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus
67
And The There Was Money
109
Wrestling with Christmas
137
Notes
155
Annotated Bibliography
163
Index
171
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Bruce David Forbes, Professor of Religious Studies at Morningside College, is coeditor, with Jeffrey Mahan of Religion and Popular Culture in America (UC Press) and coeditor, with Jeanne Halgren Kilde, of Rapture, Revelation, and the End Times: Exploring the Left Behind Series

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