This book was soooooo full of information and certainly was an education!
The read was amazing and it read really fast, big chunks of information regarding christmas and traditions from all over the world, I love reading about differing traditions that happen around the world during this time of the year, whether they are modern or more traditional/ historical.
The cover is very appealing, as you can see, I love the icicles hanging 🙂
It is plain that Flanders has worked really hard on gathering information and has successfully crammed a lot of christmassy factoids in there, for example, we read about why 25th December, it discusses other potential dates, and goes into detail from the very beginning – biblical times – and works the way through the ages.
I will say that the UK, USA, Netherlands, some Scandinavian and Germanic traditions are the main sources for the bulk of the reading.
For instance, Wassailing was a ritual, that in the British Isles, in the 15th and 16th Centuries, this was a tradition where, carrying a wassail cup around a village to offer toasts in exchange for money or food, I can remember signing a carol with ‘wassail’ in and wondered what it meant, I have included the ‘song’ I remember, just to give you a feeling of the sentiment of wassailing.
Another interesting part is that Fletcher talks about a precursor to the christmas tree that we know and love today and soooooooo much more, this is defiantly a super book and I just loved reading it. Food, gifts and also religious and ‘political’ issues are discussed.
This has been a difficult review to write, because I just wanted to pull chunks of text out of the book and plop it right here, to show you how beautifully this is written.
I loved reading all the Tudor Christmas lore, especially being fascinated with this time period, I lapped it up!
I am a sucker for christmas time and I do get a sentimental, my daughter was born this time of the year and when I was heavy with child, we were treated to carols and they were beautiful, I blubbed and I am not ashamed to say it.
Above all the festivities, I still keep the message of christmas in my heart, that a baby boy was born, this for me, is the best story of all.
Whatever, your views and beliefs, this IS THE CHRISTMAS BOOK that you need to read, you will be entertained and educated at the same time… a win win situation!
I just want to close with an excerpt –
….The Rituals of Christmas allow us to beleive, if for only for one day per year, that the world exsists. And the real magic? By repeating the rituals, we can go back there every year. Christmas nostalgia is not only for the christmassas of our childhoods, or those we have read about, or seen on films and television…. it is a pick and mix collection of traditions, emotions and rituals… a good time a kind, forgiving charitable, pleasant time….
Have a great blogmas and keep on being booktastic!