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Merry Christmas!: Celebrating America's Greatest Holiday
Christmas wouldn't be the same without the things. This book examines why the trees, cards, wrapping paper, toy villages and Macy's holiday parade play such an important role in the festivities. Through the medium of mass culture, Christmas is here primarily defined as a secular celebration.
Paperback, 442 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Harvard University Press
(first published 2000)
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Karal Ann Marling is an art historian at the University of Minnesota whose specialty is American visual culture. (She has also written a book on the Minnesota State Fair.) Merry Christmas is thus a book which delves deeply into the history of the Christmas tree, Santa Claus, the Christmas card and wrapping paper, among other manifestations of the secular side of American Christmas. It must have been fun to research and write this book -- poring over old issues of Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie ...more
I asked my Professor to recommend his favorite cultural history of Christmas, and this was his choice. I can see why. This book is both heavily researched and really readable. I thought the tone of the last Marling book I read was a bit odd, but this one was pitch perfect. Each chapter is devoted to a history of a different aspect of Christmas celebrating, the evolution of Santa, the style of tree and gift wrapping, Christmas cards, etc. Funny and poignant. Informative and really interesting. Hi ...more
Fascinating history of how we celebrate Christmas including the evolution of the icons associated with the yuletide. Dr. Marling is a renowned history professor who specializes in popular culture. Although this is a work of considerable scholastic discipline, it is a fun read.