Christmas is a complex issue. Some people hate it, most people endure it, the young and young at heart adore it. The trouble with it is, it gets complicated, busy and expensive (will I get the turquoise tie or the purple socks for the neighbour I lived next door to twenty years ago and haven't seen since?) Everyone could do with cutting back, but no two people agree how. This book encourages you to look at your own images of Christmas and to isolate the things you do that give you pleasure and those which cause major headaches. It has useful chapters on examining roles within Christmas (how many men do sign any Christmas cards and wrap presents?) and a comprehensive appendix to help with ideas and resources. Each chapter has questions to work through to help you plan a Christmas that you will enjoy and afford. It encourages you to think for yourself rather than handing out answers that are 'one size fits all'.
The spiritual element of Christmas is well covered, and the authors speak from experience as parents and Christmas celebrators. I found the book interesting reading in May, when I bought it, and useful in simplifying a celebration I love and want to celebrate more meaningfully.
on 13 November 1998
Since reading Unplug the Christmas Machine when it was first published several years ago, my family and I have scaled way back materially at Christmastime. As a result, we're less stressed and have more time to spend together doing the things we really enjoy, such as going to holiday concerts, singing carols, baking goodies, reading in front of the fire, writing letters, etc. This book will help your whole family "unplug" from the out-of-control juggernaut that is Christmas in the U.S. It also makes a great gift for friends and family who might need permission to simplify their lives during the holidays.
on 5 December 1998
While I felt overwhelmed with the Christmas machine, I didn't want to give up everything. This book helped me identify what mattered to me and my family. I especially liked the ideas on how to pace the holiday. This suited me much better than the "Simplify Christmas" book which seemed to me to consist more of reasons not to have a tree, send cards etc. than identify what to keep and what to change.
on 19 May 1998
Simplifying the holidays.... Adding joy to a season of intense busy-ness.... Bringing the spiritual aspects of Christmas into clearer focus.... These are all topics covered in this wonderful book---plus much more! Don't wait until December to order this book. The sooner you read it, the easier it will be to make any necessary changes to your personal holiday celebrations.