Christmas: A Candid History by Bruce David Forbes

By Bruce David Forbes

Written for everybody who loves and is at the same time pushed loopy via the vacation season, Christmas: A Candid background provides an enlightening, wonderful standpoint on how the yearly yule social gathering received to be what it's at the present time. In a desirable, concise journey via heritage, the publication tells the tale of Christmas—from its pre-Christian roots, throughout the start of Jesus, to the holiday's unfold throughout Europe into the Americas and past, and to its mind-boggling transformation via smooth consumerism. filled with interesting tales, in response to study into myriad resources, choked with insights, the publication explores the historic origins of traditions together with Santa, the reindeer, present giving, the Christmas tree, Christmas songs and flicks, and extra. The publication additionally bargains a few provocative principles for reclaiming the enjoyment and that means of this loved, but usually problematic, season amid the pressures of our fast paced buyer culture.


For 3 centuries Christians didn't have a good time Christmas?

Puritans in England and New England made Christmas observances illegal?

St. Nicholas is an elf in the well-known poem "The evening ahead of Christmas"?

President Franklin Roosevelt replaced the dateof Thanksgiving so as to prolong the Christmas purchasing season?

Coca-Cola helped model Santa Claus's glance in an advertisements campaign?

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Additional info for Christmas: A Candid History

Sample text

An ancient Roman mosaic depicts Dionysius carrying a thin, tapered fir tree, as well as a laurel wreath. The Roman Saturnalia and Kalends both featured greenery, including evergreens. Medieval legends told of magical flowering trees.

The houses were decorated with lights and greenery,” tables overflowed with food, and people exchanged gifts. Here is how Libanius, a fourth-century writer, described some features of the celebration: Everywhere may be seen carousals and well-laden tables; luxurious abundance is found in the houses of the rich, but also in the houses of the poor better food than usual is put upon the table. The impulse to spend seizes everyone. He who the whole year through has taken pleasure in saving and piling up his pence, becomes suddenly extravagant.

Thus, when Christians picked up symbols and practices of a newly encountered culture it was not necessarily accidental; as exemplified in Pope Gregory’s letter, it was sometimes a conscious strategy to co-opt local customs and use them ∂                         to advance Christian meanings. Whether the Christians knew it or not, they also were influenced in return. Christianity expanded throughout the world, carrying Christmas with it. In the early medieval period Christianity spread into most of Europe, especially through the influence of missionary monks and coercion exerted by converted rulers.

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