William D. Crump The Christmas Encyclopedia

ISBN 13: 9780786410347

The Christmas Encyclopedia

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9780786410347: The Christmas Encyclopedia

Christmas is special for many people around the world, and over the many centuries that people have been celebrating the holiday, it has changed with the times. This reference work presents a tremendous amount of information about the Christmas holiday from its inception around A.D. 350 to the present day. Covering not only Christmas day but the entire season from Advent through Epiphany, over 340 entries provide details on historical events that have shaped Christmas; St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, and other mythical beings that spread gifts around the world; symbols such as the Yule log, Christmas tree, holly, and mistletoe; sacred and popular carols and other music; and customs in the United States and around the world. Unique to this work is its emphasis on Christmas as depicted in the popular media, with entries on literary works, motion pictures, and television specials expressing holiday themes.

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About the Author:

William D. Crump is a retired physician. He lives in Madison, Tennessee.

From Booklist:

This work contains a wealth of information about the Christmas holiday, from its inception around A.D. 350 to the present day. The entire Christmas season from Advent through Epiphany is covered in more than 340 entries. Both religious and secular observances; Santa Claus and other mythical beings who bring gifts; Christmas symbols (Christmas tree, Poinsettia, Yule log); sacred and popular carols and music; and Christmas customs in the U.S and around the world are well covered in detailed articles. Many countries that celebrate the holiday extensively have their own articles (France, Czech Republic, Mexico ); others have a subsection under regional groupings like Africa and Asia and the South Pacific. There are also many articles on Christmas as portrayed in the popular media--literary works, motion pictures, and television specials. Examples of entries include A Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas seals, Christmas stamps, Eggnog, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Miracle on 34th Street, New Year's Day, Salvation Army, and Winter solstice. See references, an index, and a list of references are well done. There are many interesting historical illustrations in black and white.

Other recent Christmas titles are Encyclopedia of Christmas (Omnigraphics, 2000) and The World Encyclopedia of Christmas (McClelland & Stewart, 2000). The former has 186 entries; the latter has more than 1,000 entries and a section of color plates, though it suffers somewhat from the lack of an index. It seems a library can never have too many Christmas books around holiday time, so public libraries, in particular, that already own one of the other titles should consider adding The Christmas Encyclopedia. With its festive subject, extensive information, and exuberant spirit, the book would be an asset to any collection. RBB
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Crump, William D.
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