By Stephen Nissenbaum
An individual who laments the excesses of Christmas may perhaps examine the Puritans of colonial Massachusetts: they just outlawed the vacation. The Puritans had their purposes, considering that Christmas was an social gathering for drunkenness and rebel, whilst negative "wassailers extorted food and drinks from the well-to-do. during this fascinating and cutting edge paintings of social historical past, Stephen Nissenbaum rediscovers Christmas's carnival origins and exhibits the way it used to be remodeled, through the 19th century, right into a pageant of domesticity and consumerism.
Drawing on a wealth of interval records and illustrations, Nissenbaum charts the discovery of our present xmas traditions, from St. Nicholas to the Christmas tree and, probably such a lot considerably, the perform of giving presents to young children. Bursting with aspect, choked with subversive readings of such seasonal classics as "A stopover at from St. Nicholas and A Christmas Carol, The conflict for Christmas captures the wonderful strangeness of the earlier whilst it is helping us greater comprehend our present.
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