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4.2 out of 5 stars
46
4.2 out of 5 stars


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on 24 November 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What a brilliant little book. It's much more interesing that I expected; in fact, I'm not sure what I expected of a book on Christmas. I ordered it because I write for a company that makes special products for Christmas, and I've been doing a bit of research into the mythology, folklore and history. It's been far more difficult than I'd imagined. This delightful guide extends much further back than whole official Christmas thing - you know, the birth of Jesus and all that - with Norse Yule, Roman Saturnalia and the church's decision on which date to choose for Christ's official birthday. (It's a bit like the Queen's.) If you were brought up believing that Jesus was really born on 25th December, then wondered how Christmas trees, Santa Claus, stockings, reindeer and turkeys fitted into the mix, here you have all the answers. Great for atheists, agnostics, Christmas loves and Scrooges alike.
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Superb little book containing every single piece of Christmas trivia you could ever need, from "iconic Christmas films" to "top-selling toys". But that's not all. Well-written, extensively researched and classily packaged, this sweet little hardback also helps to evoke the kind of Christmas we all dream of making for our families - complete with mulled wine, carol-singing, great food and drink, traditional recipes and home-made decorations. There are Christmas legends and customs from around the world and through the ages, Victorian party games (I loved Reverend Crawley's game, a sort of ecclesiastical variant on Twister!) an excellent section on the religious significance of the whole thing and best of all, a really helpful chapter on "Tips For A Better Christmas".

Buy it now, dip into it it wisely in the run-up to December 25th and then pop it in someone's stocking on Christmas morning to make sure the holiday goes with a bang (and yes, there are instructions for making home-made crackers....!)
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on 17 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The book is interesting and readable peppered with lots of bite sized facts about all aspects of Christmas - past and present - but it tries to be too many things and some sections disappointed me as they were somewhat boring; sections sounded promising but were surprisingly theological and intellectual in parts for what I expected to be a light hearted book. The book also covers Mince Pie Recipes, and How to Cook a Roast Dinner for example. The book succeeded in making me feel Christmassy though!
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VINE VOICEon 29 November 2009
Stuck for conversation at endless Christmas parties? This handy little book is full of fun facts that will amuse guests of all ages.
It is an interesting book to pick up during the odd five minutes it clears up many myths such as whether a famous drink manufacturer really did invent Santa.

The only slight downside is that some of the lists did not add any value, such as the sections on Christmas jokes and Christmas day television. But it is a wonderful stocking filler in a handy pocket size.
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VINE VOICEon 14 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Excellent, excellent, excellent. The only book you need for Christmas. The words to all your favourite carols, the story behind all kinds of Christmas traditions and customs, trivia, lovely traditional recipes (and for vegetarians too!). Something in here for everyone, from the person in charge of cooking Christmas dinner, to the person responsible for coming up with questions for the Christmas quiz! I am really happy with this book and can heartily recommend it.
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on 26 November 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great book to dip in and out of. It has everything you ever wanted to know about Christmas such as fascinating snippets about the history of certain traditions. It even has recipes for traditional fare over the holiday period including the New Year celebrations. An indispensible guide to start planning that perfect Christmas.
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This traditional looking hardback with its muted, restrained cover is basically a textbook of all things Christmas. It includes information on the historical and social origins of Christmas, Boxing Day and their associated traditions, recipes for popular Christmas dishes, ideas for planning ahead and looking after your finances, suggestions for entertaining people and hosting parties, words to a few popular carols and some Christmas trivia.

I LOVE Christmas, so expected to enjoy this book a lot, but I wasn't impressed. The book is written in quite a dry manner so it really does come off like a textbook, rather than a light or fun read, and even when the authors are trying to make jokes, they are generally pretty lame.

The main problem, though, is that this book tries to be a jack of all trades but is unfortunately a master of none. For example, the recipes are basic, uninteresting and not accompanied by pictures, and anyone who is serious about cooking at Christmas will almost certainly have a Christmas cookbook that is much more helpful. The `making things' section which has instructions on how to make decoration, wreaths, etc is also pretty useless because even with instructions, such things are very difficult without photos or even hand drawn pictures. In fact, the lack of illustrations throughout is a great shame.

Sections like the `Thrifty Christmas' are also a bit rubbish, because they contain only common sense information that we all already know and which will be repeated in every cheap or supermarket magazine released over the season.

Really the only reason to get this book is if you are interested in the historical facts about Christmas, and how Christmas is celebrated in other countries, and you want some school-project style information. Otherwise, there are lots of far nicer, more fun and more charming books around.
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on 14 November 2009
This little book is pocket sized, but the cover is stylishly simple and wouldn't look out of place on the coffee table.
Inside,there are hints and tips on creating a perfect traditional Christmas without spending a fortune.
I particularly enjoyed the sections on making your own gifts and decorations, the party games and the Christmas lunch recipes (I certainly will be trying the nut roast this year!)
The book also contains the words to eleven traditional carols and is the ideal size for taking on any carol singing sessions!
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VINE VOICEon 8 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I loved this little book. Packed with every fact and christmas detail you could wish for.Balenced out with facts and practical ideas I found i could not put it down.
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VINE VOICEon 30 November 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you are like me and love Xmas, this book is a great little companion that is jam-packed with every aspect that makes up the festive season including recipes, history, carols, toys, songs, films etc etc. Really nice concise sections that highlight the key facts without waffle. I have high hopes for some of the other pocket bibles after reading the Xmas edition.
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