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Christmas Memories: Gifts, Activities, Fads, and Fancies, 1920s-1960s Hardcover – October 1, 2009


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Hardcover, October 1, 2009
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Christmas Memories: Gifts, Activities, Fads, and Fancies, 1920s-1960s + It's a Wonderful Christmas: The Best of the Holidays 1940-1965 + Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas: Crafts, Decorating Tips, and Recipes, 1920s-1960s
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584797894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584797890
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Waggoner has written numerous books of fiction and nonfiction. She is the author of STC’s
It’s a Wonderful Christmas, Under the Tree, Classic Household Hints, and, with Robert Markel, Cocktail Hour, Vintage Cocktails, and Make Mine Vodka. Waggoner lives in New York City. 

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Has wonderful stories, fabulous pictures.
murphsmom
They entire family loves to pick it up and somewhere within the covers a memory of Christmas past will be triggered.
D. W. Luck
I bought this book for myself at Cracker Barrel one year and my mom saw it and absolutely loved it.
Sara G.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I thought this was probably the best of Susan Waggoner's festive season books. It's a Wonderful Christmas: The Best of the Holidays 1940-1965 looked back to the 1940s to 1960s and Under the Tree: The Toys and Treats that Made Christmas Special, 1930-1970 focused on toys from 1930 to 1970. All three books follow the same format with the words backed up plenty of Christmas photos, illustrations and graphics.

I was rather disappointed with the feel of the two previous books because I thought they looked rather scrappy and didn't display the pictures and page graphics to the best advantage but I'm happy to say that this latest edition really captures the feel of the season from page one. It starts with the 1920s and runs up to the 1960s with a mixture of reminiscences from personalities and unknown folk, details of everyday life at Christmas time over the decades, quotes from books and period magazines but I think it's the illustrations that come across best. These are taken from period ads (lots of them) catalogs, Christmas cards, photos and more (perhaps the catalog pages could have been bigger to see the prices, though). Fortunately the design of the pages pulls all this material together to make the book a pleasure to browse through.

Well worth getting if you want to relive those nostalgic Yuletide memories or maybe, if you are young enough, you just want to find out why your parents are always raving about Christmas in those simpler times.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ThePeachMartini on October 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an amazing source of all things retro and Christmas. I haven't taken the time to sit down and read it thoroughly, but flipping through and looking at the photos was incredible. Lovely examples of decorations and ads from each era, it is sure to inspire any one who loves Christmas and the Holiday season to get in the mood!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Capozzi on October 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a real fun read it brings you back to your childhood if you;er over 50 and for those younger it will show you how to really enjoy the holiday
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen on December 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. I bought it as a gift for my mother, and wanted to keep it for myself. The jacket is beautiful, the inside pages are wonderful, and overall it is full of Christmas memories from the past, many of which you will want to bring back. There is even a page comparing prices Christmas items past and what those items would cost now adjusted for inflation. I ordered more after seeing it, as I would be proud to give this as a gift, and grateful to receive it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rennie on December 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely book to read as we approach Christmas. A time so near and yet so far. Share with your children and grand children and live again the thrill of those childhood Christmas times. Love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Susan Waggoner is an author who has written many books such as It's a Wonderful Christmas: The Best of the Holidays 1940-1965, Under the Tree: The Toys and Treats That Made Christmas Special, 1930-1970, Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas: Crafts, Decorating Tips, and Recipes, 1920s-1960s, etc.

Waggoner's third book (2009) is not quite as profusely illustrated as the first two, but the information she presents is even more fascinating. For example: "Although tree lights had existed for some time, few family trees had them. For one thing, lights required electricity, something only about half the population had. And even those who had electricity often found the lights too expensive... Yet even without lights, trees glittered. Tinsel... was now affirdably mass-produced... Lametta garlands... were especially popular, and came in shades of silver and gold. Glass ornaments added sparkle... In the 1880's, Woolworth's began importing less expensive glass ornaments from Germany..." (Pg. 12)

She observes, "Two American illustrators in particular, J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell, created the forerunner of the modern Mr. Claus. Leyendecker's vision was a larger-than-life Santa, a man of large girth and undoubtedly high blood pressure, whose face was nearly as read as his suit. Rockwell... fell into step with the vision. Both men's Santas had flowing hair and beards, suits trimmed in white fur, and wide, equatorial belts...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrsmagloo on February 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love all things about secular Christmas, you won't be able to put this treasure down. Don't forget to check out Waggoner's other wonderful books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James L. Hicks on January 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a delightful book. I have packed it away with our Christmas things and will enjoy it year after year during the holidays. It brought back many wonderful memories.
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