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.
When Ellie puts on her new pyjamas, strange things start to happen. She and her little brother, Max, are whisked off to the Christmas Shop where a battle is raging between a valiant troop of toys and the scaaaarry Christmas Tree Fairy and her army of angels. Can Ellie and Max save Christmas for the world – or will they be arrested for being mince spies? This is the first book in a new series about the Cosmic Pyjamas. They're magical and they're dangerous. You have been warned!
On Christmas morning, 1944, there was little reason to celebrate.… As the Battle of the Bulge raged, a small force of American solders—including the famed 101st Airborne division, tank destroyer crews, engineers, and artillerymen—was completely surrounded by Hitler’s armies in the Belgian town of Bastogne. Taking the town was imperative to Hitler’s desperate plan to drive back the Allies and turn the tide of the war. The attack would come just before dawn. As the outnumbered, undersupplied Americans gathered in church for services or shivered in their snow-covered foxholes on the fringes of the front lines, freshly reinforced German forces of men and tanks attacked. The battle was up close and personal, with the cold, exhausted soldiers of both armies fighting for every square foot of frozen earth. In the end, the Allied forces would hold the town of Bastogne, with the hard-won victory boosting morale and sounding the death-knell for Hitler’s Third Reich. After this battle, the Nazis would never go on the offensive again. Featuring interviews with the soldiers who were there, as well as never-before-seen or translated documents, No Silent Night is a compelling chronicle of one day that changed the course of the war—and the world. INCLUDES NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOS AND MAPS
After moving to a new town days before Christmas, an adventurous boy named Eddie becomes suspicious after learning that no one in the town seems to be aware of the fact that Christmas is just around the corner. Always the curious adventurer and young spy, Eddie decides that he must investigate this suspicious situation. It doesn't take him long to stumble upon some "shady characters" and accidentally take a whirlwind ride through a portal that lands him in, of all places, the North Pole. There he learns about Santa's special task force of Elf Rangers, the protectors of Christmas. Eddie also learns of the evil Shadow Shifters who are stealing the memory of Christmas from his new town. Eddie is courageous and daring, but the danger that lies ahead may be too much. Eddie might be in over his head.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year--or at least we want it to be. Too often our celebration of Jesus' birthday is overwhelmed by bright lights and tinsel, overspending and overeating, plus constant chatter about a "war on Christmas." Can't we do better than this? There are two Christmases. One is sacred. One is secular. The two have clashed in one "culture war" or another for 1,700 years. Christmas is not (as some falsely claim) a pagan holiday, but pagan-influenced traditions are part of the seasonal clutter. Keeping Christmas is about helping you find joy in a season of excess and strife. Part survival guide, part history, part cultural commentary, and all laced with spiritual reflection, this book is about how you can celebrate in ways that are most meaningful to you and your family. It's not easy to thread your way through the Christmas maze. But if Ebenezer Scrooge could learn to keep Christmas well, so can you. Maybe it's time to reinvent Christmas. Maybe we can get it right this time.
The Surprising Story of a German Abolitionist Radical and America's Favorite Evergreen
Author: Stephen Nissenbaum
From the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Battle for Christmas, here is the story of America's first reported Christmas tree: a tale of antislavery and radical German philosophy, a popular British travel writer and Boston Brahmin elites, the education of nineteenth-century children and candles blowing in the wind. Now-forgotten chronicler Harriet Martineau immortalized what became known as the first American Christmas tree, set up in the house of her friend Charles Follen. But she neglected to explain what brought the two of them together in the first place: a passion for abolition. Martineau also failed to mention Follen's convoluted path to America, from banished German radical to Harvard professor and U.S. citizen. Stephen Nissenbaum explains all in this amusing and somewhat astonishing expose of the Christmas tree, taken from his definitive and award-winning history of Christmas in America. An eBook short.
A collection of several hundred articles and vignettes " ... not confined wholly to the achievements of cannon, musket, and sword, but many of the countless incidents and experiences prominent in soldier life, which are not only entertaining but instructive."--Preface.
Moving from the White House to the B-52 cockpits to the missile sites and POW camps of Hanoi, The Eleven Days of Christmas is a gripping tale of heroism and incompetence in a battle whose political and military legacy is still a matter of controversy.
Have you ever wondered where Father Christmas came from? And how he ended up with a factory at the North Pole full of elves to help him make toys? A beautifully illustrated and timeless story about how a toymaker and his wife became Mother and Father Christmas for children all over the world.
Offers a critique of the American Christmas from the perspectives of culture, theology, and biblical studies, arguing that icons such as Santa Claus and rituals such as gift-giving and shopping have established a new religion in America--the religion of consumer capitalism. Original.