Christmas Traditions: A Celebration of Festive Lore (Hardcover)
A stocking-filler-sized compilation of Christmas lore, revealing the intriguing origins of the traditional festivities. Forty short pieces on individual traditions are each accompanied by charming vintage illustrations from the British Library's collection of Christmas books, cards, and ephemera. Origins of the Feast at Christmas; the decision to celebrate Christ's birthday on 25 December; the Yuletide festival of Anglo-Saxon England; Saturnalia; evergreens taken inside in midwinter; the original Captain Christmas 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' - Christmas in and out of Church Holly symbolizing Christ's crown of thorns; the role of Midnight Mass; European celebrations of Epiphany and the importance of the Three Kings Christmas down the Ages Mistletoe and kissing; the Puritan ban on Christmas; the Twelve Days of Christmas; Dickens's recipe for Twelfth Night cake The Transatlantic 'Victorian' Christmas Nineteenth-century romanticization of Christmas and invented traditions; goose clubs; advent calendars; Christmas cards and gift-giving Modern Traditions Individual, sometimes outlandish traditions from around the world
George Goodwin is a historian whose previous books include Benjamin Franklin in London, the British Life of America's Founding Father; Fatal Colours, Towton 1461; and Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513.