Book Reviews of The Battle for Christmas

The Battle for Christmas
The Battle for Christmas
Author: Stephen Nissenbaum
ISBN-13: 9780679740384
ISBN-10: 0679740384
Publication Date: 10/28/1997
Pages: 400
Rating:
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1

5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Battle for Christmas on
Helpful Score: 4
A historical account of how the holiday came to be, and where it got its start in the west. The fact that its such a recent development is facinating - as are the reasons for its having been created to reinterpret (at least 5) previous holidays celebrated on or near the 25th of December - ones deemed by christians to be inappropriate, yet mostly predating christianity itself. It looked a lot more like Halloween than Christmas, just a few generations ago - with wassailing really being almost identical to trick-or-treating, lots of cross dressing and role reversal within social classes (still represented with the gift of a turkey many business offer their employees).

Its especially good if you want to know the actual 'reason for the season' that many people falsely claim to be of christian origin. I'm not knocking the christian traditions that started to grow out of the pagan ones, in fact - its the whole mishmash that I love about the holiday(s). Its a kind of grand secular free-for-all involving elements of dozens of incompatible belief systems somehow harmonizing into something we all can enjoy - if we don't take ourselves too seriously.

The information age can not help but increase understanding about the origins of beliefs and traditions - and this is a good book to educate oneself with, if your interests include pursuit of objective knowledge. Who the heck ever heard of traditions of chocolate cockroaches and internal organs - or the stories of the devil that walked hand in hand with St. Nick, ready to flay the naughty children.

Christmas is not celebrated by fundamentalist christian groups for good reason.
reviewed The Battle for Christmas on
Helpful Score: 3
A historical account of how the holiday came to be, and where it got its start in the west. The fact that its such a recent development is facinating - as are the reasons for its having been created to reinterpret (at least 5) previous holidays celebrated on or near the 25th of December - ones deemed by christians to be inappropriate, yet mostly predating christianity itself. It looked a lot more like Halloween than Christmas, just a few generations ago - with wassailing really being almost identical to trick-or-treating, lots of cross dressing and role reversal within social classes (still represented with the gift of a turkey many business offer their employees).

Its especially good if you want to know the actual 'reason for the season' that many people falsely claim to be of christian origin. I'm not knocking the christian traditions that started to grow out of the pagan ones, in fact - its the whole mishmash that I love about the holiday(s). Its a kind of grand secular free-for-all involving elements of dozens of incompatible belief systems somehow harmonizing into something we all can enjoy - if we don't take ourselves too seriously.

The information age can not help but increase understanding about the origins of beliefs and traditions - and this is a good book to educate oneself with, if your interests include pursuit of objective knowledge. Who the heck ever heard of traditions of chocolate cockroaches and internal organs - or the stories of the devil that walked hand in hand with St. Nick, ready to flay the naughty children.

Christmas is not celebrated by fundamentalist christian groups for good reason.