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Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas
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Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  69 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Oh, by gosh, by golly. It’s time for . . . rowdy bands of drunkards roaming the streets, lighting firecrackers, and firing off guns? Gangs of masked youths invading people’s houses, demanding food, drink, and money—and threatening to break the windows (or worse) unless they’re given what they want?



Welcome to Christmas, circa 1800. Yes, the season of light, joy, and gift-gi
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Stewart, Tabori and Chang (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Eris
Nov 24, 2012 Eris rated it it was amazing
The next person who complains about wanting a "traditional Christmas" is getting a copy of this book. Full of great snippets of history regarding the western celebration of Christmas, mostly in the last two to three hundred years. The bizarre imagery presented within is all historical, traditional Christmas paraphrenalia - from the beloved evil Krampus to the strange Victorian dead bird greeting cards. A great coffee table mini book to keep laying around during the holiday season, sure to ...more
Amanda
Dec 26, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Interesting little book. While I wish there were more information regarding the history and evolution of our current Christmas time practices, the brief introductions and artwork were really interesting. Though our modern version of Christmas and Santa Claus was developed with the help of large companies and commercialism, I really think the beginnings of Christmas as we know it should make a comeback with switches, Krampus, and fabulously unique artwork.
Bev
Dec 18, 2012 Bev rated it liked it
Using antique postcards, greeting cards and advertising giveaways, John Grossman illustrates and explains many Christmas traditions which surround us. He also shows the evolution of our current images of Santa Claus and other seasonal cliches and tales, both American and European. Very interesting, and more than a little strange at times.
Chris
Jan 18, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History and art lovers
Recommended to Chris by: Purchased for sibling gifts xmas 2009
A very interesting look at the cultural history of Christmas in America and Europe through the artwork of Victorian era postcards. The symbolism and stories behind popular images was fascinating as was the history of forgotten images. The Victorian popularity of many of the darker images is perplexing.
Sharon
Nov 23, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It's definitely not for young children, with all the weird old stages Santa went through, and the downright darkness of the Dutch Santa's "helper". But the illustrations were delightful, the facts amusing, and all of it well researched and written.
Vanessa
Dec 28, 2009 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
The author's collection of old-fashioned Christmas imagery and the historical and cultural background behind it is both fascinating and entertaining. It's one of those books I shared with others as I was reading it.
Erinn Leach
Nov 29, 2015 Erinn Leach rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own, read-2015
This book was full of fantastical photos and scans of old Christmas cards. The stories attached were very interesting!
Lisa
Dec 17, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
this is damn funny. learn about the origins of santa and his story through these funny postcards. turns out I even have one of these in my coll2. no Krampus though.
Chris
Dec 02, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing
This was a cute little book. A nice balance of history, with art reproductions of some truly head-scratching holiday imagery. A great way to pass an afternoon.
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Feb 14, 2013
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Andrew
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Jan 04, 2011
Alison
Jun 28, 2009 Alison rated it liked it
Very interesting images: various Santas, witches, devils, dead birds and so much more. :-)
Lauren
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Jan 18, 2011
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Feb 02, 2010
James Daniels
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Dec 30, 2014
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