Christmas In America

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Christmas In America

Author : Penne L. Restad
ISBN : 0195355091
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39.67 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

Christmas In America

Author : Callista Gingrich
ISBN : 9781621574491
Genre : Juvenile Fiction
File Size : 63.4 MB
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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!
Category: Juvenile Fiction

Christmas In America

Author : Peter Guttman
ISBN : 1602390665
Genre : Photography
File Size : 31.78 MB
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Nothing reminds us of the good things in life--family, friendship, food, and good cheer--more than Christmas. With stunning images and illuminating text, award-winning photographer Peter Guttman offers a dazzling overview of the wintry landscapes, traditions, ceremonies, spectacles, and pastimes of the holiday season throughout the United States. Delve into the landscapes and streetscapes of Christmas in America and you can almost smell the frosted scent of snow-covered pines, of chestnuts roasting, and of family meals being shared. In the East, we find the spirit of the season in a cozy Vermont country inn, or an "army of elves” in a Philadelphia parade, or the sweeping grace of the sugar plum fairies in the Nutcracker Suite. In our heartland, we dogsled through a crystal wilderness in Minnesota, discover blazing bonfires in Louisiana, and explore regal plantations aglow in Mississippi. The snowy cliffs of the Grand Canyon, steam trains weaving high amongst the Rockies, the textured pueblos of New Mexico, the almost heavenly night sky of Utah’s Monument Valley, and the indescribable glazed beauty of Yosemite reflect the West. With these vistas, and more, Peter Guttman captures what is so magical about us and our land. Like the holiday season itself, Christmas in America is a treasure.
Category: Photography

The Modern Christmas In America

Author : William Waits
ISBN : 9780814792841
Genre : History
File Size : 41.71 MB
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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.
Category: History

Merry Christmas America

Author : Bruce Littlefield
ISBN : 9780061348297
Genre : House & Home
File Size : 55.63 MB
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Every town has that house that outdoes itself at Christmas. Legendary for miles around, it is the place to see dazzling holiday decorating of the eye-popping, traffic-stopping sort. This flickering showcase bedecked with tens of thousands of lights is hard to resist—and ignore—as often every square inch is caked in Christmas, from snowmen to elves, carousels to candy canes. But who lives in that house—and houses like it around the country? And what compels this Christmas-decorating fervor? Author Bruce Littlefield finds the answers on his quest to locate the most spectacular Christmas displays across America. His adventures take him to the front lawns and doors of people in cities and towns from coast to coast who have a flair and fanaticism for doing Christmas right—whose goal is giving the world an illuminated, inflated, decorated gift. Littlefield shares his firsthand encounters with people for whom Christmas is a year-round labor of love—the people who spend mind-boggling amounts of time and money transforming their houses and yards, and even those of the neighbors, into unique Christmas fantasylands that are spectacles of individual expression and must-see destinations for the rest of us. These portraits of Christmas range from tacky to refined, outlandish to poignant—and the reasons they are created vary, too—but all are dazzling in their own ways, and the passionate people who dream them up have entertaining stories and anecdotes to tell that will make this Christmas the brightest, merriest, happiest Christmas ever. Just follow the lights.
Category: House & Home

Merry Christmas Celebrating America S Greatest Holiday

Author : Karal Ann Marling
ISBN : 0674040627
Genre : History
File Size : 28.63 MB
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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.
Category: History

Dear America Christmas After All

Author : Kathryn Lasky
ISBN : 9780545469654
Genre : Juvenile Fiction
File Size : 51.71 MB
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Newbery Honor author Kathryn Lasky's CHRISTMAS AFTER ALL is back in print with a gorgeous new package! To twelve-year-old Minnie Swift, Christmas is not going to be the time of bounty she's used to. It is 1932 -- the middle of the Great Depression -- and jobs are scarce and Papa seems more worried each day. But when their orphaned cousin comes to live with them, the Swifts are quick to rearrange the beds and make room for her. Minnie, thrilled to have another youngster in the home, is resolved to make this Christmas memorable in spite of the hard times. Through her diary entries, Minnie captures the darkness of the Great Depression, the optimism of a small Midwestern family, the fortitude of the American spirit, and the magic of Christmas.
Category: Juvenile Fiction

Christmas Traditions In Latin America Tradiciones Navide As De Latinoam Rica

Author : Kerrie Logan Hollihan
ISBN : 9781435893658
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 81.64 MB
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Describes how the Christmas holiday season is celebrated in different parts of Latin America, including the pre-Christmas festivals of Las Posadas, Christmas day itself, and Three Kings Day on January 6.
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

101 Amazing Facts About Christmas

Author : Jack Goldstein
ISBN : 9781785380662
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 32.82 MB
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Did you know that an old tradition in Scandinavia tells of a Yule Goat who wanders around villages ensuring people have properly prepared for Christmas and demanding presents from everyone? Or that in 1659 it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in Massachusetts? What on earth is a Turducken? And how many Christmas tree farms are there in America? The answers to all of these questions and more can be found in this excellent quick-read guide to Christmas. Whether you’re Santa himself, or just a typical elf interested in finding out more about this fantastic time of the year, then this book containing over one hundred fascinating facts is perfect for you!
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

The Battle For Christmas

Author : Stephen Nissenbaum
ISBN : 9780307760227
Genre : History
File Size : 38.13 MB
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Anyone who laments the excesses of Christmas might consider the Puritans of colonial Massachusetts: they simply outlawed the holiday. The Puritans had their reasons, since Christmas was once an occasion for drunkenness and riot, when poor "wassailers extorted food and drink from the well-to-do. In this intriguing and innovative work of social history, Stephen Nissenbaum rediscovers Christmas's carnival origins and shows how it was transformed, during the nineteenth century, into a festival of domesticity and consumerism. Drawing on a wealth of period documents and illustrations, Nissenbaum charts the invention of our current Yuletide traditions, from St. Nicholas to the Christmas tree and, perhaps most radically, the practice of giving gifts to children. Bursting with detail, filled with subversive readings of such seasonal classics as "A Visit from St. Nicholas” and A Christmas Carol, The Battle for Christmas captures the glorious strangeness of the past even as it helps us better understand our present.
Category: History

The All American Christmas Cookbook

Author : Georgia Orcutt
ISBN : 0811861449
Genre : Cooking
File Size : 67.67 MB
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A state-by-state tour of America's favorite Christmas recipes features classic regional recipes--ranging from Alabama's Pecan Divinity to New York's Oyster Stew and Utah's Quick Peppermint Stick Cake--highlighted by vintage artwork evoking the spirit of Christmas past.
Category: Cooking

God Rest Ye Merry Soldiers

Author : James McIvor
ISBN : 9781440627316
Genre : History
File Size : 78.76 MB
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In the tradition of the bestselling Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce, the true story of a Civil War Christmas miracle In the waning days of 1862, Union and Confederate troops set up camp within earshot of one another in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Christmas had just passed, and for many of these battle-wearied young soldiers the holiday season was a melancholy reminder of the families and loved ones they’d left behind. Bands from both camps played patriotic songs in an attempt to raise spirits, a musical duel that presaged the bloody battle to come. Then, something extraordinary occurred. One of the bands began playing a popular sentimental tune called “Home Sweet Home.” Soon, bands from both sides picked up the tune, and before long thousands of Northern and Southern soldiers had joined together in song. God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers: A True Civil War Christmas Story tells the tale of this yuletide interlude, which came at a time when the early optimism of the Civil War had given way to the bitter realities of seemingly endless bloodshed. Told through soldiers’ letters and period songs, God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers is the hopeful and touching story of human compassion in the midst of unspeakable violence.
Category: History

Serial Killer Quarterly Vol 1 Christmas Issue Body Harvest Prolific American Killers

Author : Lee Mellor
ISBN : 9780993823244
Genre : True Crime
File Size : 32.33 MB
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With nearly 200 victims between them, the seven compulsive killers in Serial Killer Quarterly’s special Christmas 2014 issue, “Body Harvest: Prolific American Serial Killers,” not only destroyed countless lives and families, but Thanksgivings, Christmases, and New Year’s. Author and criminologist Judith A. Yates attributes a minimum of 20 victims to America’s first serial killers, Micajah & Wiley Harpe, who rather than bringing “peace on earth and good will to all men,” sought to exterminate the entire human race. Similarly, whenever Ted Bundy went “walking in a winter wonderland” it was in the snowy mountains of Washington or Colorado – landscapes strewn with the ravaged corpses of his 30+ female victims. Kevin M. Sullivan – author, Bundy researcher, and retired preacher – looks at arguably the most infamous serial slayer in American history, and his victims – known and potential. In her true crime debut, forensic psychologist Joan Swart goes above and beyond to tell us the tale of America’s most prolific homosexual sadist. With possibly a higher body count than Bundy and the Harpes combined, Randy Kraft may have actually rung in the New Year by torturing, killing, and mutilating several of the over 60 young men whose lives he appears to have extinguished. Lee Mellor, author, criminologist, and SKQ editor-in-chief, writes of the 22 strangulation-slayings and post-mortem rapes perpetrated across the USA and in Canada by “Gorilla Murderer” Earle Leonard Nelson during the mid-1920s, as well as 10+ cold-blooded murders linked to “Coin-Shop Killer” Charles T. Sinclair throughout the Eighties. Spokane prostitute killer Robert Lee Yates – another necrophile – has admitted to shooting 16 victims and defiling their bodies, but author and journalist Karen D. Scioscia asks: were there more? Are you full of holiday cheer yet? Well, at least we know that Christmas was truly a time for family in the Bender household – even if their feasts were purchased with the money they stole from the people rotting under their floorboards. Dane Ladwig looks at the more than 20 hammer murders believed to have been committed by The Bloody Benders in the mid-nineteenth century. Cuddle up with a nice piping mug of hot chocolate, because after reading “Body Harvest” there isn’t a blanket in the world that will stop you from getting the chills. ‘Tis the Season to be Grinning.
Category: True Crime

American Christmas

Author : Adriana Herrera
ISBN : 9781488076909
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 85.85 MB
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Denpo Myint “Yin” Thuta is living the dream. His dream. A good job, higher education, supportive community and, best of all, his live-in boyfriend, Ari. Yin has his happily-ever-after…if only he and Ari could take the time to actually enjoy it. With the holidays fast approaching, Yin’s determined to change all that and surprise Ari with an over-the-top gift that will leave him in no doubt how much he’s loved—even though they agreed to keep things simple this year. Like Yin, Aristide “Ari” Douniama worked so hard to secure his future that he may have forgotten how to enjoy his present. Despite there being plenty to be thankful for in the moment. With big plans of his own in the works to surprise Yin, Ari may or may not have gone overboard. Or forgotten to check their respective schedules. ’Tis the season of giving, and in their quest to celebrate the “perfect” American Christmas—and failing—Ari and Yin get a much-needed reminder that they already have the greatest gift of all: each other. Dreamers Book 1: American Dreamer Book 2: American Fairytale Book 3: American Love Story Book 4: American Sweethearts
Category: Fiction

Christmas Ideology And Popular Culture

Author : Sheila Whiteley
ISBN : 9780748631872
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.61 MB
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How do we understand Christmas? What does it mean? This book is a lively introduction to the study of popular culture through one central case study. It explores the cultural, social and historical contexts of Christmas in the UK, USA and Australia, covering such topics as fiction, film, television, art, newspapers and magazines, war, popular music and carols. Chapters explore the ways in which the production of meaning is mediated by the social and cultural activities surrounding Christmas (watching Christmas films, television, listening or engaging with popular music and carols), its relationship to a set of basic values (the idealised construct of the family), social relationships (community), and the ways in which ideological discourses are used and mobilised, not least in times of conflict, terrorism and war.
Category: Social Science