By Judith Flanders
Christmas has been all issues to everyone: a spiritual competition, a relations social gathering, a time of consuming and ingesting. but the origins of the customs which signify the festive season are wreathed in myth.
When did turkeys develop into the plat du jour? Is the commercialization of Christmas a contemporary phenomenon, or has the emphasis continually been on spending? simply who's, or used to be, Santa Claus? And for a way lengthy have we been replacing provides of lingerie and socks?
Food, drink and nostalgia for Christmases earlier appear to be virtually as outdated because the vacation itself, way more important to the tale of Christmas than non secular worship.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 folks have been spending the day now not in worship, yet dancing and consuming to extra. by way of 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was once nostalgically recalling the Christmases of yesteryear, convinced they'd been higher 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 historical past of the season, from the origins of the vacation within the Roman empire to the emergence of Christmas timber in imperative Europe, to what may possibly simply almost certainly be the 1st visual appeal of Santa Claus – in Switzerland! – to attract an image of the season because it hasn't ever been noticeable before.
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