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17 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
A fascinating and enjoyable book, but for me it lost it's way a little towards the end. I had hoped for some information on Christmas laws which have not been repealed (or have they?) For instance the Elizabethan law which stated that you could only travel to church on Christmas day on foot.
The origins of some of the Christmas traditions were glossed over rather...
Published on 8 Nov 2012 by Helen

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok.
Book arrived very timely but wasn't quite what was expected the explanation very long winded and not many subjects relevant or interesting.
Published 23 months ago by Simon


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, 8 Nov 2012
By 
Helen (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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A fascinating and enjoyable book, but for me it lost it's way a little towards the end. I had hoped for some information on Christmas laws which have not been repealed (or have they?) For instance the Elizabethan law which stated that you could only travel to church on Christmas day on foot.
The origins of some of the Christmas traditions were glossed over rather than looked at in depth.
This said it made a very enjoyable read and I shall probably dip into it again and again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another look at Christmas and its history, 22 Dec 2012
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
After Can Reindeer Fly?: The Science of Christmas and The Christmas Book: A Treasury of Festive Facts, this is the third book I've bought, read and reviewed on the subject, but there have been plenty of others. Some aspects of Christmas history are not clear, so various opinions exist, and it is good to read about it from different authors. Those authors also bring different perspectives to the subject, so while they discuss a lot of the same things, they do so in different ways and with different priorities. Thus, although I haven't dug out the other two books to compare with this one in detail, I suspect that all three contain information not in the other two.

This book contains practical information such as how to make a snowman and a sledge, how to look after your Christmas tree, what to plant in your garden to attract birds during the winter, and a selection of recipes. In particular, the author discusses how to roast chestnuts (but NOT horse chestnuts - they are good for games of conkers, but not for eating) on an open fire, or in an oven if you haven't got an open fire. The recipes include some from Scotland, including bannocks, haggis and cloutie (or clootie) dumpling. I love cloutie dumpling, but only get a chance to eat it when visiting Montrose, and only then if my aunt opts to make some during my visit. As the author notes, it isn't just eaten at Christmas, but it is for special occasions, so I think it deserves its place here. If you want to try some, a recipe is in this book. (When I'm on my own, I buy ready-made food that I can shove in a microwave or conventional oven, or food that I can just boil or grill. Any other cookery is beyond me.)

The practical advice is only a small part of the book overall, but I enjoyed reading about it, even though I won't be making use of it. Almost inevitably for a book discussing historical food, Mrs Beeton gets a couple of mentions.

I was particularly interested to see what the author said about Christmas music. Her focus is on the history, beginning with the almost extinct tradition of wassailing and ends with the story of Good King Wenceslas, which I already knew from a study of ancestry. Wenceslas' evil brother Boleslav is the ancestor via European and British royalty of millions of. people who are alive today.

Scattered through the book, but particularly in a few pages (beginning p240) about Christmas Eve, are customs based on superstitions, some of which seem very odd. My only concession to superstition is to walk round ladders rather than under them, but this makes sense anyway. Still, it is amusing to read such stuff.

While some things are central to Christmas and inevitably covered, the book also covers such things as Christmas weather, Christmas during the two world wars of the 20th century, The book concludes with a chapter on writings - a Shakespeare poem followed by some articles and diary entries.

Many aspects of the origins of the modern Christmas that I can think of (and some I didn't think of) are discussed, some briefly, others at greater length, in this excellent book. There is, of course, no limit to what could be discussed, but all the essentials are covered and much else besides.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 24 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
This book is very enjoyable and informative, with loads of interesting facts about the history if Christmas. A great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Christmas book ever., 13 Oct 2014
By 
T. Hatchman "tina-Niko-Hatchman" (Kent UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
I will keep this short and sweet. This wonderful book was a joy to pick up and put down. I have read every page of it! INow im going to start it again. Sad to some, but i really enjoyed reading about Christmas and all the trimmings. Im in the UK and this book evoked many happy memories. I love it! Im about to start on the Authors other book. Thank you for writing a book that is full of everything there is to know about Christmas. Ive learnt so much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting homely book, 4 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
An interesting mix of history and tradition.
A good book to pick a page or two to read while you're having a coffee.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little festive book, 2 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
This is a lovely little book to dip in and out of, especially in the run up to Christmas. If you're a fan of the Edwardian or Victorian Christmas farms (as I am) then this is propbably right up your street. Excellent condition and delivery again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas secrets, magic and traditions..., 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
No sooner had I hit the payment button and the product was pushed through the letterbox, it made the perfect surprise Christmas stocking filler and made great reading...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas book, 21 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
Every year I purchase a Christimas book. This book is full of information and has given us loads of facts about the season that we did not know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok., 17 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
Book arrived very timely but wasn't quite what was expected the explanation very long winded and not many subjects relevant or interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars xmas facts, 10 Feb 2013
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Top reader (south east coast UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Christmas (Hardcover)
this is a good book for everyoine to read , covering all facts and figures about christmas.. traditions customs , etc. can recommend
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The Book of Christmas
The Book of Christmas by Jane Struthers (Hardcover - 4 Oct 2012)
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