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Christmas in America

Christmas in America Author Penne L. Restad
ISBN-10 0195355091
Release 1996-12-05
Pages
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The manger or Macy's? Americans might well wonder which is the real shrine of Christmas, as they take part each year in a mix of churchgoing, shopping, and family togetherness. But the history of Christmas cannot be summed up so easily as the commercialization of a sacred day. As Penne Restad reveals in this marvelous new book, it has always been an ambiguous meld of sacred thoughts and worldly actions-- as well as a fascinating reflection of our changing society. In Christmas in America, Restad brilliantly captures the rise and transformation of our most universal national holiday. In colonial times, it was celebrated either as an utterly solemn or a wildly social event--if it was celebrated at all. Virginians hunted, danced, and feasted. City dwellers flooded the streets in raucous demonstrations. Puritan New Englanders denounced the whole affair. Restad shows that as times changed, Christmas changed--and grew in popularity. In the early 1800s, New York served as an epicenter of the newly emerging holiday, drawing on its roots as a Dutch colony (St. Nicholas was particularly popular in the Netherlands, even after the Reformation), and aided by such men as Washington Irving. In 1822, another New Yorker named Clement Clarke Moore penned a poem now known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," virtually inventing the modern Santa Claus. Well-to-do townspeople displayed a German novelty, the decorated fir tree, in their parlors; an enterprising printer discovered the money to be made from Christmas cards; and a hodgepodge of year-end celebrations began to coalesce around December 25 and the figure of Santa. The homecoming significance of the holiday increased with the Civil War, and by the end of the nineteenth century a full- fledged national holiday had materialized, forged out of borrowed and invented custom alike, and driven by a passion for gift-giving. In the twentieth century, Christmas seeped into every niche of our conscious and unconscious lives to become a festival of epic proportions. Indeed, Restad carries the story through to our own time, unwrapping the messages hidden inside countless movies, books, and television shows, revealing the inescapable presence--and ambiguous meaning--of Christmas in contemporary culture. Filled with colorful detail and shining insight, Christmas in America reveals not only much about the emergence of the holiday, but also what our celebrations tell us about ourselves. From drunken revelry along colonial curbstones to family rituals around the tree, from Thomas Nast drawing the semiofficial portrait of St. Nick to the making of the film Home Alone, Restad's sparkling account offers much to amuse and ponder.



Christmas

Christmas Author Bruce David Forbes
ISBN-10 0520258029
Release 2008-10-01
Pages 179
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"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 consumer culture."--Page 2 of cover.



The Modern Christmas in America

The Modern Christmas in America Author William Waits
ISBN-10 9780814792841
Release 1994-10-01
Pages 290
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In days of old, Christmas was defined by the custom of exchanging simple handmade gifts. Today, it has become a multi-billion industry, synonymous with commercialism and consumption. How did this transformation occur? In this incisive and engaging examination of how Christmas has evolved since 1880, Waits chronicles the history of the holiday, from its origin to its current form. The book is illustrated with dozens of historical photographs and will be of interest to cultural and social historians alike. Christmas was a relatively modest occasion in the English- speaking world, celebrated by the exchange of modest handmade gifts, until the Victorians invested the holiday with immense significance as part of a larger effort to celebrate home, family, and a mythic past of well-ordered communities. By the late 19th century, Christmas had become a major American festival. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar industry and easily the most important seasonal event of the year. In this survey of the modern American Christmas, William Waits shows us how this holiday emerged, tracing its evolution from the days prior to 1880 when people presented one another with simple crafted presents to the turn of the century when industrialization brought with it waves of inexpensive, tawdry gimcracks. In the early twentieth century, reform-minded Americans reflecting on the new Christmas prompted a backlash against this cheapening of the Yule tradition, and the Christmas card was born. Henceforth, family members and close friends exchanged useful, costly items, while cards were sent to acquaintances and distant relatives. These reformers also persuaded retail stores to keep their regular hours of business during the holiday, rather than lengthening them, to give trade workers the opportunity to join in the celebration. They also rationalized the collection and distribution of holiday charity, resulting in the Christmas celebration we have today. Waits's book clearly illustrates that the notion that Christmas is uncontrollable is simply untrue. An incisive and engaging history of giftgiving, The Modern Christmas in Americaalso examines the differing traditions of giftgiving to friends, employees, the poor, and among entire communities. Handsomely illustrated with dozens of historical photographs, this book is not only the perfect holiday gift but will also be of interest to any student of American history and culture.



Merry Christmas Celebrating America s Greatest Holiday

Merry Christmas  Celebrating America   s Greatest Holiday Author Karal Ann Marling
ISBN-10 0674040627
Release 2009-06-30
Pages 464
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It wouldn't be Christmas without the "things." How they came to mean so much, and to play such a prominent role in America's central holiday, is the tale told in this delightful and edifying book. In a style characteristically engaging and erudite, Karal Ann Marling, one of our most trenchant observers of American culture, describes the outsize spectacle that Christmas has become.



The Battle for Christmas

The Battle for Christmas Author Stephen Nissenbaum
ISBN-10 UOM:39015036064353
Release 1996
Pages 381
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Reflecting on the social and cultural forces transforming American life, a history of the celebration of Christmas in America examines the ways in which a conflict between materialism and a spiritual, family-centered celebration have shaped the holiday. 25,000 first printing.



Christmas in America

Christmas in America Author Callista Gingrich
ISBN-10 9781621574491
Release 2015-10-12
Pages 40
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A book to challenge the status quo, spark a debate, and get people talking about the issues and questions we face as a country!



Christmas in America

Christmas in America Author Rick Smolan
ISBN-10 0002179687
Release 1988-10-01
Pages 208
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A panoramic photographic tour of America during the holiday season from Thanksgiving to Epiphany features the work of one hundred top photographers as they document the Christmas preparation, celebration, and aftermath across the country



Christmas on State Street

Christmas on State Street Author Robert P. Ledermann
ISBN-10 0738519723
Release 2002
Pages 128
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"This book vividly recreates ... a Christmas holiday trip down State Street. You will visit many of the major shops and stores that existed during the 1940's and beyond, viewing old display windows and getting reacquainted with famous Christmas characters ..."--p. [4] of cover.



The Eleven Days of Christmas

The Eleven Days of Christmas Author Marshall L. Michel (III)
ISBN-10 9781893554276
Release 2002
Pages 325
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Moving from the White House to the B-52 cockpits to the missile sites and POW camps of Hanoi, The Eleven Days of Christmas is a gripping tale of heroism and incompetence in a battle whose political and military legacy is still a matter of controversy.



Hanukkah in America

Hanukkah in America Author Dianne Ashton
ISBN-10 9781479858958
Release 2013-10-14
Pages 350
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In New Orleans, Hanukkah means decorating your door with a menorah made of hominy grits. Latkes in Texas are seasoned with cilantro and cayenne pepper. Children in Cincinnati sing Hanukkah songs and eat oranges and ice cream. While each tradition springs from its own unique set of cultural references, what ties them together is that they all celebrate a holiday that is different in America than it is any place else. For the past two hundred years, American Jews have been transforming the ancient holiday of Hanukkah from a simple occasion into something grand. Each year, as they retell its story and enact its customs, they bring their ever-changing perspectives and desires to its celebration. Providing an attractive alternative to the Christian dominated December, rabbis and lay people alike have addressed contemporary hopes by fashioning an authentically Jewish festival that blossomed in their American world. The ways in which Hanukkah was reshaped by American Jews reveals the changing goals and values that emerged among different contingents each December as they confronted the reality of living as a religious minority in the United States. Bringing together clergy and laity, artists and businessmen, teachers, parents, and children, Hanukkah has been a dynamic force for both stability and change in American Jewish life. The holiday’s distinctive transformation from a minor festival to a major occasion that looms large in the American Jewish psyche is a marker of American Jewish life. Drawing on a varied archive of songs, plays, liturgy, sermons, and a range of illustrative material, as well as developing portraits of various communities, congregations, and rabbis, Hanukkah in America reveals how an almost forgotten festival became the most visible of American Jewish holidays. Instructor's Guide New Books Network interviews Dianne Ashton



Consumer Rites

Consumer Rites Author Leigh Eric Schmidt
ISBN-10 0691017212
Release 1997
Pages 363
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Slogans such as "Let's put Christ back into Christmas" or "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" hold an appeal to Christians who oppose the commercializing of events they hold sacred. However, through a close look at the rise of holidays in the United States, Leigh Schmidt show us that commercial appropriations of these occasions were as religious in form as they were secular. The rituals of America's holiday bazaar that emerged in the nineteenth century offered a luxuriant merger of the holy and the profane--a heady blend of fashion and faith, merchandising and gift-giving, profits and sentiments, all celebrations of a devout consumption. In this richly illustrated book, which captures both the blessings and ballyhoo of American holiday observances for the mid-eighteenth century through the twentieth, the author offers a reassessment of the "consumer rites" that various social critics have long decried for their spiritual emptiness and banal sentimentality. Schmidt tells the story of how holiday celebrations were almost banished by Puritans and other religious reformers in the colonies but went on to be romanticized and reinvented in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Merchants and advertisers were crucial for the reimagining of the holidays, promoting them in a grand, carnivalesque manner, which could include gargantuan fruit cakes, masked Santa Clauses, and exploding valentines. Along the way Schmidt uses everything from diaries to manuals on church decoration and window display to show in bright detail the ways in which people have prepared for and celebrated specific holidays--such as going Christmas shopping, making love tokens, choosing Easter bonnets, sending flowers to Mom, buying ties for Dad. He demonstrates in particular how women took the lead as holiday consumers, shaping warm-hearted celebrations of home and family through their intricate engagement with the marketplace. Bringing together the history of business, religion, and gender, this book offers a fascinating cultural history of an endlessly debated marvel--the commercialization of the American holidays.



Christmas

Christmas Author Judith Flanders
ISBN-10 9781250118356
Release 2017-10-24
Pages 304
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A critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author explores the Christmas holiday, from the original festival through present day traditions. Christmas has always been a magical time. Or has it? Thirty years after the first recorded Christmas, the Pope was already warning that too many people were spending the day, not in worship, but in partying and eating to excess. By 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was nostalgically remembering Christmas in the old days, certain that it had been better then. Other elements of Christmas are much newer – who would have thought gift-wrap is a novelty of the twentieth century? That the first holiday parade was neither at Macy’s, nor even in the USA? Some things, however, never change. The first known gag holiday gift book, The Boghouse Miscellany, was advertised in the 1760s ‘for gay Gallants, and good companions’, while in 1805, the leaders of the Lewis and Clark expedition exchanged – what else? – presents of underwear and socks. Christmas is all things to all people: a religious festival, a family celebration, a period of eating and drinking. In Christmas: A Biography, bestselling author and acclaimed social historian Judith Flanders casts a sharp eye on myths, legends and history, deftly moving from the origins of the holiday in the Roman empire, through Christmas trees in central Europe, to what might be the first appearance of Santa Claus – in Switzerland – to draw a picture of the season as it has never been seen before.



Midcentury Christmas Holiday Fads Fancies and Fun from 1945 to 1970

Midcentury Christmas  Holiday Fads  Fancies  and Fun from 1945 to 1970 Author Sarah Archer
ISBN-10 9781581575385
Release 2016-10-18
Pages 224
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A celebration of Christmas in the 1950s and '60s Midcentury America was a wonderland of department stores, suburban cul-de-sacs, and Tupperware parties. Every kid on the block had to have the latest cool toy, be it an Easy Bake Oven for pretend baking, a rocket ship for pretend space travel, or a Slinky, just because. At Christmastime, postwar America's dreams and desires were on full display, from shopping mall Santas to shiny aluminum Christmas trees, from the Grinch to Charlie Brown's beloved spindly Christmas tree. Now design maven Sarah Archer tells the story of how Christmastime in America rocketed from the Victorian period into Space Age, thanks to the new technologies and unprecedented prosperity that shaped the era. The book will feature iconic favorites of that time, including: • A visual feast of Christmastime eats and recipes, from magazines and food and appliance makers • Christmas cards from artists and designers of the era, featuring Henry Dreyfuss, Charles & Ray Eames, and Alexander Girard • Vintage how-to templates and instructions for holiday decor from Good Housekeeping and the 1960's craft craze • Advice from Popular Mechanics on how to glamorize your holiday dining table • Decorating advice for your new Aluminum Christmas Tree from ALCOA (the Aluminum Company of America) • The first American-made glass ornaments from Corning Glassworks Midcentury Mistletoe is sure to be on everyone’s most-wanted lists.



Christmas in America

Christmas in America Author Antonia Felix
ISBN-10 0762405945
Release 1999
Pages 80
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More than 90 full-color photos portray the different cultures and local customs that capture the spirit of American inventiveness at Christmastime.



Christmas in America

Christmas in America Author Peter Guttman
ISBN-10 9781616080969
Release 2011
Pages 176
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Provides an overview of the holiday season across the United States, from the snowy cliffs of the Grand Canyon and the pueblos of New Mexico to the plantations of Mississippi and the bonfires in Louisiana.



A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol Author Charles Dickens
ISBN-10 OXFORD:590300968
Release 1906
Pages 82
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Everyone is familiar with this classic Christmas story. Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly, unpleasant man who despises Christmas and overworks his clerk Bob Cratchit. As he prepares for another Christmas Eve without celebration, Scrooge is greeted by his dead business partner, Jacob Marley who warns him that his greed will not go unpunished. At first, Scrooge doesn't heed Marley's warning, but soon he is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Christmas Yet to Come. He is made to face his cruel nature, and to consider whether he should change his ways. This is a free digital copy of a book that has been carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online. To make this print edition available as an ebook, we have extracted the text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and submitted it to a review process to ensure its accuracy and legibility across different screen sizes and devices. Google is proud to partner with libraries to make this book available to readers everywhere.



Please Don t Wish Me a Merry Christmas

Please Don t Wish Me a Merry Christmas Author Stephen M. Feldman
ISBN-10 9780814728857
Release 1998-08-01
Pages 408
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Whether in the form of Christmas trees in town squares or prayer in school, fierce disputes over the separation of church and state have long bedeviled this country. Both decried and celebrated, this principle is considered by many, for right or wrong, a defining aspect of American national identity. Nearly all discussions regarding the role of religion in American life build on two dominant assumptions: first, the separation of church and state is a constitutional principle that promotes democracy and equally protects the religious freedom of all Americans, especially religious outgroups; and second, this principle emerges as a uniquely American contribution to political theory. In Please Don't Wish Me a Merry Christmas, Stephen M. Feldman challenges both these assumptions. He argues that the separation of church and state primarily manifests and reinforces Christian domination in American society. Furthermore, Feldman reveals that the separation of church and state did not first arise in the United States. Rather, it has slowly evolved as a political and religious development through western history, beginning with the initial appearance of Christianity as it contentiously separated from Judaism. In tracing the historical roots of the separation of church and state within the Western world, Feldman begins with the Roman Empire and names Augustine as the first political theorist to suggest the idea. Feldman next examines how the roles of church and state variously merged and divided throughout history, during the Crusades, the Italian Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, the British Civil War and Restoration, the early North American colonies, nineteenth-century America, and up to the present day. In challenging the dominant story of the separation of church and state, Feldman interprets the development of Christian social power vis--vis the state and religious minorities, particularly the prototypical religious outgroup, Jews.