By Judith Flanders
Christmas has been all issues to everyone: a spiritual competition, a kin get together, a time of consuming and consuming. but the origins of the customs which signify the festive season are wreathed in myth.
When did turkeys turn into the plat du jour? Is the commercialization of Christmas a up to date phenomenon, or has the emphasis continuously been on spending? simply who's, or was once, Santa Claus? And for the way lengthy have we been changing offers of lingerie and socks?
Food, drink and nostalgia for Christmases previous appear to be nearly as previous because the vacation itself, way more significant to the tale of Christmas than non secular worship. Thirty years after the 1st recorded Christmas, within the fourth century, the Archbishop of Constantinople was once already caution that too many of us have been spending the day now not in worship, yet dancing and consuming to extra. through 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was once nostalgically recalling the Christmases of yesteryear, convinced they had been greater then.
In Christmas: A Biography, acclaimed social historian and best-selling writer Judith Flanders casts a pointy and revealing eye at the myths, legends and background of the season, from the origins of the vacation within the Roman empire to the emergence of Christmas timber in principal Europe, to what may possibly simply in all probability be the 1st visual appeal of Santa Claus – in Switzerland! – to attract an image of the season because it hasn't ever been visible before.
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