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Christmas in Pennsylvania Hardcover – October 1, 1999


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Hardcover, October 1, 1999
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 40 Anv edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811703282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811703284
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,252,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alfred L. Shoemaker and Don Yoder were founders of the Pennsylvania Folklife Society and both served as editor of its serial, Pennsylvania Folklife. Shoemaker wrote several groundbreaking books and pamphlets on Pennsylvania folklife. Yoder, who lives in Devon, Pennsylvania, was Professor of Folklife Studies at the University of Pennsylvania from 1956 to 1992 and is an acclaimed author of countless books and articles on Pennsylvania-German folk culture.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. M Young VINE VOICE on February 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's Christmas Eve and there's a knock on the door. It's opened to admit a hideous, furred creature, the Pelznichol or Belsnickel, who quizzes the children of the household if they have been good. He seems to know who has been bad and chastises them with a smart stroke or two with his whip. To the good children he gives candy and nuts. At bedtime the children put out dinner plates to hold their gifts, and during the night the Christkindl visits the home and leaves them a small toy or a book, an orange and an apple, perhaps some more candy--store-bought to boot!

In the 19th century Pennsylvania "Dutch" home, this was the normal way to celebrate Christmas. Stockings were not the custom and no one had heard of Santa Claus, except perhaps in the big city. Shoemaker's book, first printed in 1959, was the first to detail these "folklife" customs about Christmas, using diaries and newspaper and magazine accounts of celebrations. Along with the Belsnickel custom and using plates as receptacles for gifts, the book covers Christmas mumming, the various churches' objections to the newfangled "Santa Claus" custom, Christmas tree trimming, Christmas cookies and the detailed "putz" (nativity) displays (the forerunner of today's "Christmas village" displays) under the tree...just for starters.

Especially check out this new edition with color plates. Great, great reading if you love learning about old Christmas customs!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Christmas in Pennyslvania" is the best kind of research book! There are many lively and vivid newspaper accounts and diary exerpts combined with Shoemaker's research. The result is charming. I think that anyone interested in general history, Christmas customs, or Pennsylvania would love this book. I did. (Guess what people on my Christmas list are going to receive?)
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By Francis Harnett on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a Christmas afficiando, this volume is most intereesting from a historical standpoint. Pennsylvania was my state, and since I have begun doing putz houses for under the tree, the info is ionvaluable. Arrived in timely manner and excellent packaging.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I knew the content of the book because I have owned it for several years. I had it sent to a friend, not as a Christmas present, but the seller sent it so quickly that she got it before Christmas anyway. She is very happy with the book, she is of German descent, raised in Germany, and enjoyed reading about the German traditions that used to be and some that still are still practiced in Pennsylvania. I have kept my copy to re-read from time to time as well as having purchased additional copies for other friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everyone I gave this book to for Christmas just loved it. Our family is from a strong Pennsylvania Dutch background. The illustrations are beautiful, the folk tales illuminating and it even has a few recipes!
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