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The Myths that Stole Christmas: Seven Misconceptions that Hijacked the Holiday (and How We Can Take It Back)
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The Myths that Stole Christmas: Seven Misconceptions that Hijacked the Holiday (and How We Can Take It Back)

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Humanist Press is pleased to announce the forthcoming November 20, 2015, publication of Dr. David Kyle Johnson’s The Myths That Stole Christmas: Seven Misconceptions That Hijacked the Holiday (And How We Can Take It Back). In a tone that is both critical and conversational, Johnson critiques the frivolous consumerism, religious extremism and the “Santa Claus lie” that char ...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published November 20th 2015 by Humanist Press
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4.17  · 
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 ·  46 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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Bob Lennon
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Johnson intelligently guides us through the myths of Christmas:
the history of the holiday, the misconceptions of its meaning
and the misused context of it.
He carefully walks us through the elements of the contrived
"War on Christmas" showing not only there is no war but how this
bogus war was manufactured.
These pages are not merely dry myth-busting facts as they contain much
humor and wit. In the chapter on the myth of St. Nick, Kyle Johnson
reveals some of the charming conceptions of the chubby a
...more
John Duff
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A light and compelling elaboration, discrediting common misconceptions of Christmas’ origins, traditions, social impact, and economic influence. Johnson’s minimalist approach offers accessibility to thorough arguments for a popular audience. I was mostly intrigued by the chapters on Christmas commercialism and the Santa Claus lie, where Johnson advances a compelling, seemingly counter-intuitive, argument for not lying to children about Santa. A succinct and entertaining read, ‘The Myths That Sto ...more
Brian
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: secularism
This is a far-ranging and impeccably researched book focused on Christmas, but touching on many other topics, including separation of church and state, economics, history of religion, language, and sociology. Parts of it were detailed rehashes of information I'd read many times before, but parts were quite new to me and interesting. The chapter on the origins of the Santa Claus myth was particularly informative; the author makes the case that Santa Claus is not at all based on St Nicholas.

The au
...more
Nick Gotch
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As an atheist who still enjoys Christmas I wanted to learn more about the secular and pagan roots of the holiday and this book hit it dead on the nail. It's full of historical references, with plenty of citations. It covers things ranging from the Ancient Roman celebrations and Yule, the "Christianizing" of Christmas, and the more recent developments often falsely attributed to much older times.
Beyond the origins the book does s great job tackling other Christmas myths, like the need to spend an
...more
C. Varn
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read with quite a few interesting facts, and a perhaps a little bit too much speculation. The history around Christmas and its relationship to pre-Christian traditions is fascinating as well as the fact most Christmas traditions are less 150 years-old. There are several interesting historical facts in the book that I was unaware of, and the gentle but lightly sarcastic tone Johnson employs makes it highly enjoyable. I do think he may over-conclude in the "Santa Claus" origins sectio ...more
Eliana
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book belongs in the home of every family who loves to celebrate Christmas traditions - whatever their background or religious beliefs (or lack thereof). The book invites readers to do away with the more counterproductive aspects of our holiday traditions (e.g., our propensity to overspend), and most importantly, invites an opportunity to use Christmas as a unifying force in our society. It is meticulously researched but written in an accessible style. I can see it appealing to hard core his ...more
Scott Humphries
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
With some spell-checking and a more expanded historical analysis, this could be a great book. Johnson tries to make the work both a historical review and a sociological primer. A little more of the former and a little less of the latter would, I think, greatly improve it. That said, props for having taken on the unpopular task in the first place. I enjoyed reading this.
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“Pope Gregory I (in 601) laid the church’s strategy out quite plainly. As he wrote to Mellitus, his missionary in England, “[Do] not…stop such ancient pagan festivities…adapt them to the rites of the Church, only changing the reason of them from a heathen to a Christian impulse.” 3 likes
“Some songs from the era prove this, like a couple of little-known verses of Yankee Doodle: Two and two may go to Bed, Two and Two together; And if there is not room enough, Lie one a top o’to’ther Christmas is a coming Boys, We’ll go to Mother Chase’s And there we’ll get a sugar dram [i.e., rum] Sweetened with Melasses [molasses]. Heigh Ho for our Cape Cod, Heigh ho Nantasket, Do not let the Boston wags Feel your Oyster Basket.9 Yes, “Oyster Basket” means exactly what you think it means.” 0 likes
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