Christmas is a time of celebration, rich with ritual and detail. In this book of fifty questions about Christmas, Joseph Walsh gives us the details behind such Christmas traditions as the Nativity, Santa Claus, Rudolph, holiday decorations and greenery, Christmas tales, celebrations and rituals, the giving of gifts, and the sending of cards. In this delightfully illustrated book, readers will find answers to the questions they've often asked and some they've never thought of. A perfect book for reading to children, and generating many holiday conversations and memories.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1 (4)
Who was the original St. Nick? 5 (2)
Why does Santa Claus wear that peculiar 7 (2)
Where did Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer come 9 (1)
Who wrote ``A Visit from St. Nicholas''? 10 (3)
Why does Santa travel by sleigh and reindeer? 13 (2)
Is Santa Claus the true founder of New York 15 (2)
Who wrote Santa's biography? 17 (2)
Why does Santa come down the chimney? 19 (4)
Deck the Halls
Where does the Christmas tree come from? 23 (2)
Why do holly and ivy appear at Christmas? 25 (2)
Why is mistletoe so potent? 27 (2)
Whose idea was it to display Christmas 29 (2)
Why are candles so much a part of Christmas? 31 (4)
Where does the traditional Christmas 35 (3)
narrative come from?
Were they wise men or kings? 38 (2)
Have modern astronomers identified the Star 40 (2)
What are frankincense and myrrh, anyway? 42 (2)
Who was Herod? 44 (2)
When was Jesus born? 46 (2)
What do the ox and ass have to do with Jesus' 48 (5)
The Arts and Senses
Why did Charles Dickens write A Christmas 53 (3)
Was Ebenezer Scrooge based on anyone in 56 (2)
Where did the idea for the movie It's a 58 (2)
Wonderful Life come from?
What is the origin of the Christmas carol? 60 (2)
What does Bilbo Baggins have to do with 62 (2)
What is the Magnificat? 64 (5)
Why do we celebrate Jesus' birth on December 69 (2)
What is the Epiphany? 71 (2)
What were the Saturnalia, and what do they 73 (3)
have to do with Christmas?
What does Yule mean? 76 (2)
What's a wassail? 78 (5)
Naughty or Nice Christmas
Had children ``Better watch out''? 83 (2)
Has Christmas ever been suppressed in a 85 (2)
Has children's anticipation of Christmas ever 87 (3)
Is Christmas commercialism new? 90 (2)
Is Christmas dangerous to your health? 92 (2)
How do savvy merchants convince us to spend 94 (5)
so much at Christmas?
What are the Twelve Days of Christmas? 99 (2)
What's Victorian about a ``Victorian 101(2)
Why do we give gifts at Christmas? 103(2)
Where does the custom of hanging a stocking 105(1)
Why, long ago, were children allowed to be 106(2)
``Bishop for a Day'' in the Christmas season?
Who invented the Christmas card? 108(2)
Why is Christmas the most important holiday 110(5)
in our professedly secular country?
Peace on Earth
How did Christmas become a time for 115(3)
When did Christmas cause an improbable truce 118(2)
in the midst of a savage war?
Have guns ever been part of Christmas 120(2)
What do Hanukkah and Christmas have to do 122(2)
with each other?
Does Kwanzaa have anything to do with 124(2)
Where can I learn more about Christmas? 126