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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2011
this is packed with tons of information, poems, stories, recipes, and even fun quizzes. It is easy to read and well organized. There is an exaustive list of holiday movies, that is most helpful. Cant imagine anything that is not in here!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"The Everything Christmas Book" is a trip down memory lane and a good place to pick up some holiday traditions. This book reminded me of Christmas hymns we sung as children and also reminded me of Christmas traditions I've participated in over the years. We used to play Secret Santa and it was always fun. I also remember pulling crackers when I lived in Africa. We had some English traditions.

Some of the most interesting sections of this book are the chapters on the history of Christmas and how Christmas is celebrated around the world. You may be surprised by the many pagan origins of your favorite Christmas traditions. You may be surprised that the Yule Log Cake you love was actually inspired by real logs that were burned in celebration of the sun. I was also surprised that Christmas was outlawed in some countries in the past. Other things I found interesting was the story about why we hang up stockings on the fireplace.

Christmas is the main theme of this book but the author also briefly discusses the eight days of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali and Ramadan.

There are also several stories and poems that can be read at Christmas time. I especially enjoyed reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" which is perfect to read to kids.

Some of the fun things about this book are the craft projects. And let's not forget all the lovely recipes! If you have never made a fruitcake this book has three recipes. There is also a recipe for Fudge, Wassail and Gingerbread Men.

A special section explains how to prepare for guests to make their visit comfortable. There are also some safety tips and decorating tips to make the holiday season safe.

This book is especially well researched and perfect to read a few weeks before Christmas, preferably while Christmas music is playing.

~The Rebecca Review
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
This is just what I was looking for this year. It contains a wealth on knowledge. And yes it has a table of contents which makes it very easy to scroll to the chapter I want. I found a few ideas that I plan on starting with my family!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
The first sections of this book describing the history of holiday and its various traditions were the most interesting parts. It starts to feel like it's merely skimming the surface though, and that problem becomes more prevalent the deeper you get into the book. For instance, a chapter on "Christmas on the Silver Screen" only covers one movie (a very in-depth essay on the history of "It's a Wonderful Life"), then switches to Christmas TV specials, which it covers by giving a one or two sentence description of three randomly selected Christmas-themed programs that aired on TV each Christmas Eve from 1962 to 2006. No analysis, no commentary, no data like what network a show aired on or when it was made. For example, the famous Charlie Brown Christmas special debuted in 1965, but not on Christmas Eve, so this section of the book lists that show under 1999 because that year it aired on some channel on Christmas Eve. I would have loved it if they gave some of the staples (Grinch, Miracle on 34th Street, Rankin/Bass, Elf, etc.) the same treatment they gave "It's a Wonderful Life." The way it came out, I'm not really sure what the point of this list is. Similarly there's a chapter that describes what Christmas was like in each decade starting from 1900 to present, but again the information included seems random and lacks a strong sense of context.

A chapter on non-Christian holiday celebrations during the same season gives a lot of interesting details I'd never heard before about Hanukkah, but then slips back into just thumbnails on Kwanzaa, Diwali, Ramadan, and others. The whole book could have been a fantastic resource if it had applied a more consistent level of thoroughness throughout.

Also, a lot of the book's length is padded with the inclusion of numerous Christmas-related public domain works, such as The Little Match Girl, Dickens' A Christmas Carol, O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, poems and traditional Christmas carols. It's nice to have them all in one bundle, but the initial chapters of the book that delved so deep into the roots of the holiday led me to expect the chapter on "The Stories of Christmas" would equally explore the background of the famous Christmas material rather than just dump the material itself, in its entirety, into the middle of the book.
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Christmas 'KABOOM!' is what I found when I picked up The Everything Family Christmas Book on Kindle. This book is for those who want a little bit of everything: history, stories, traditions, poems, carols, trivia, how different countries celebrate the holiday, multicultural celebrations (Kwanzaa,Hanukkah...12 in all), with some recipes for desserts, baked goods and beverages.

I remember a similar book my mother had while we were growing up (we're in our 40's now and the book is in my box of Christmas decorations to be unearthed next week...), which we looked at each holiday for favorite recipes and carols. This book is even better than that one in terms of content, but it does suffer a tad from the way it's been translated by Kindle Publishing into the Kindle format. There are no photos of recipes (always helpful to me...), and while the sheet music is there for the carols, it's a tad tough to read. You have the option to open up the photo of the music and then turn your device (Kindle Fire or iPad for me) get a good look at the music, but then you lose the words. A small issue and again, probably due to format more than content of the book.

This book is packed with lots of great information. I could see it being used as a resource for a school paper regarding the history of Christmas in the US from the 1900s to present day, or as a go-to book for inspired Christmas spirit. No, it's not a bunch of recipes or crafts, but it is fun and chalk full of a lot of things families will enjoy during the Christmas season.
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on December 24, 2011
I bought this book expecting to skim through for a few possible useful tips in a book that wasn't really written for me. I ended up finding way more than I expected. If you are Christian, you will enjoy the paragraphs that describe the religious origins of Christmas, even broken down by gospel. You will enjoy reading about the history of the holiday as the Christian religion progressed and changed throughout the ages. However, this book also has great information for everyone, including well-researched information of how secular and pagan traditions merged with the holiday through time.

I did wish there had been a table of contents, but if you want to read it linearly, it is entirely possible to do so. You can skip chapters that don't hold your interest and read the rest.

Also, this book seems to be for families of all kinds, not just those with kids! There is plenty of information for us adult families of two, and even single folks.
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on December 21, 2011
I have the kindle version and I must agree with the other reviewer that it isn't great as an ebook. I think it would probably be much better to have in hardcopy. I spent quite some time with it last night trying to find activities and recipes but came up short. I was hoping to find more about Christmas crafts (or cooking) to do with kids but I didn't find as much as you'd expect with a title like "The Everything Family Christmas Book." Maybe it is trying to do too much and cover so much ground that, while it has a little of everything...it only has a little bit of lots of things.
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on January 6, 2012
-Read on Kindle-
I got this for free at Christmas time. I wouldn't pay for it though. It's info and ideas you can find online easy enough. It's handy to have it all in one place, so if that's important for you, go for it. It's your usual format for an "Everything" book. They do a good job. I just wouldn't pay for it myself. I think I would prefer it as a normal book so I could flip through it more since it's not a novel and not always ready straight through.
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The product works as expected and I would purchase the item again.

Thank you all for taken the time to post a review .

I purchased this item based from information on Amazon so I will be going back to all the items I purchased and leaving a review.

I usually only purchase items online or in the store if I am able to get real reviews from Amazon.com

No I do not work for Amazon
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on January 8, 2014
I sent these to the little ones in my life and had a note saying Merry Christmas from Santa and Mrs. Claus the North Pole.
It was sent and received in one day. Incredible. The little ones loved it and it came early enough so the parents could spend
time with their children doing and reading activities during the Holidays. Thank you Amazon for sending this in less than 24 Hours,
Janet West
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