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It's a Wonderful Christmas: The Best of the Holidays 1940-1965
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It's a Wonderful Christmas: The Best of the Holidays 1940-1965

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Even now that we're all grown up, we can't help but look back on our childhood holidays and hope to recapture that elusive spirit of joyful anticipation. Celebrating Christmas is so often about nostalgia. With a nod and a wink to the days of Christmas past, It's a Wonderful Christmas presents classic images of the Yuletide icons of mid-20th-century America.

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Hardcover, 104 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Stewart, Tabori and Chang
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Teresa Gibson
Dec 18, 2009 Teresa Gibson rated it liked it
I want to give this book 5 stars for the illustrations and 2 stars for the text, which I guess averages out to 3 stars. I'm disappointed that there are no credits given for these vintage illustrations from the 1940s to 1960s, many of which are from catalogs and cookbooks. The text needed major editing. So many misspellings. Laura "Ingles"?? Wilder?? And there was some repetition from one section to another. So, don't read this for the words--read it for the glorious pictures!!
Jan 17, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it
For sheer fun and enjoyment, I'd rate this five stars. It's just thorough enough to give you some fun and interesting tidbits, but brief enough that you can read through it fairy quickly and not feel like you have to read a dissertation during the busy holidays. That said, I do wish there had been a bit more back matter, some sources given or suggestions for further reading. Still, this definitely fulfilled my wishes for some vintage holiday charm :-) The pictures are great, some sections (such ...more
Steven Peterson
Apr 12, 2011 Steven Peterson rated it liked it
Quite a bit of fun! What Christmas songs were special on a year to year basis? On page 46, we get an answer. 1942, "White Christmas"; 1944, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"; 1949, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"; 1950, "Sleigh Ride." And so on. One section focuses on gifts for grown ups. 1940s? Folding card tables cost $4; Sunbeam electric razor cost $24.50; a 45 RPM record ran $.45. 1950s? Women's gloves were $2; Portable record player was $47.80. 8 mm movie projector=$75. And so on. K ...more
Jan 06, 2015 Roberta rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
Susan Waggoner has done it again. This volume is perfect for Baby Boomers who want to revisit the Christmases of their youth. The author details the history of many aspects of Christmas as we know it today: trees and decorations, including paper and lights; gifts and the shopping frenzy (which isn't as new as you might expect); Santa; and celebrations and food. This book is beautifully illustrated with nostalgic pictures that will make you feel like a kid again if you're a Boomer like I am.

Lisa N
Dec 16, 2011 Lisa N rated it it was ok
A history of the commercialization of Christmas. (I did not read this entire book, just sort of skimmed it.)

Some of the trivia I found most interesting:

Macy’s department store in NY observed its first open-until-midnight Christmas Eve in 1867.

During her eight years as First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower not only personally shopped for gifts for the White House staff but wrapped each one herself to save money. (Wow)

Little Golden Books were introduced in 1942. Green bean casserole and Chex Mix both mad
Dec 27, 2015 Keith rated it really liked it
I found this book really interesting, and I loved all the photos. Even though I only come in at the tail end of it's target years, many of my Christmas memories were shaped by the 1940s and 1950s, when my parents were raising my three sisters. There were lots of interesting little tidbits for my inner history buff, and I was surprised at how many things I could point to and say, "Yes, my mother had that."
Nov 19, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
I love the advertising, toys, culture and traditions from the past. My favorite holiday is Christmas and I loved this pretty little book. I will look at it every year. I think Christmas was more charming and special in years past. I also think the toys meant more to children and the magic of Santa was more alive back then.
Sep 22, 2011 Pam rated it it was amazing
I adore this book.Purchased it because I wanted to create a Christmas Party one year that reminded me of growing up during this time.Great ideas and choked full of ideas,history,etc.
Oct 30, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it
Illustrations are wonderful. I learned many interesting facts about Christmas during the war.
Sep 12, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it
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