Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For A More Joyful Christmas and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$12.42
Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.99
  • Save: $1.57 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 14 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For A More Joyful Christmas Paperback – June 29, 2013


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.42
$1.99 $6.99


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476754799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476754796
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This brief, eloquently presented book offers a simple and inviting strategy for handling the most complicated holiday of our times--Christmas. Reacting to the commercialization and overspending that has come to define it, author Bill McKibben (The End of Nature) argues in favor of only spending a hundred dollars at Christmas. Rather than grousing about the deterioration of Christmas, McKibben matter-of-factly explains that there was a time that giving extravagant presents may have been a satisfying and meaningful ritual. "The Christmas we now celebrate grew up at a time when Americans were mostly poor ... mostly working with their hands and backs," he writes. If we now feel burdened and unsatisfied by the piles of gifts and overconsuming, it is not because Christmas has changed all that much, he adds, "It's because we have."

What we need and long for now are the gifts of time, meaningful family connections, periods of silence, a relationship with the divine, McKibben writes. How to give and receive the Christmas gifts that matters? Make homemade presents (he even offers a chapter's worth of great ideas). Give children coupons for zoo visits or an evening devoted to playing board games. It's likely that McKibben, a former staff writer for The New Yorker, could launch a national movement with this inviting and sensible concept. But no matter how many dollars you spend, factor the cost of this book into your Christmas budget! --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Environmental author McKibben (Maybe One; The End of Nature, etc.) makes an impassioned plea for a less consumer-oriented, more meaningful Christmas celebration. But this book is more than just an echo of the recent vogue for simplicity. Tracing the history of American observance of the holiday season, McKibben discusses both the needs such festivities have filled and the excesses and problems they have created. McKibben avoids the trap of nostalgia for a nonexistent time when Christmas was free of commercialism or drunken reveling, but he recognizes the current holiday frenzy, dread and depression as symptomatic of "the underlying discontent in our lives." He offers thoughtful "new forms of celebration" to fill the cravings for "silence and solitude," "connection with each other and the natural world" and "some relationship with the divine" that plague these times. McKibben also blasts "those relentless commercial forces" that lead Americans to annual overspending. Instead, he suggests making the holidays as much fun as possible, filled with song and food, creativity and connection. One hundred dollars, McKibben says, is not a magic number or even the point, but rather a simple reminder "to give things that matter." Begun as a project for the author's rural Methodist church, this slim book offers us tips on giving one another the priceless Christmas gifts of time, attention and fellowship. Agent, Gloria Loomis.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, Deep Economy, and numerous other books. He is the founder of the environmental organizations Step It Up and 350.org, and was among the first to warn of the dangers of global warming. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, and their daughter.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
13
4 star
4
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 18 customer reviews
The history of Christmas is well researched and interesting.
Jo Anne Edwards
This short book is both charming and persuasive in its quiet argument; this is a "must read" for anyone rethinking their way of celebrating Christmas.
Steven H. Propp
He reminds us that the tradition of massive gift-giving at Christmas time is only a very recent one in this country.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
There's a lot in this little book. Christmas is a time of celebration. It is a time of giving. We must steal it back and "selfishly" give. Mr. McKibben just asks one thing. Try to only spend approximately $100 on gifts. There is nothing "cheap" about this. It's a simple monetary limit on tension, selfishness & joylessness. It proposes that we give of our most valuable commodity--time. Make things, take kids to a museum or on a nature walk and give that extra cash you have to charity or church as a gift. Food and time are two of the greatest and most appreciated gifts. A great quote: "Market capitalism, if it is as rational as its proponents always insist, cannot actually depend for its strength on the absurdly lavish celebration of the birth of a man who told us to give away everything that we have." How true. Thanks Bill. You speak for many who want a true Christmas of family love, joyfulness and spirit back.
p.s. He doesn't step on any toes--shop locally for presents if they are to be purchased he suggests. It keeps the local economy healthy and supports friends and family businesses that depend on Christmas for their income. Especially small bookstores where they know your face and maybe your name. Go pick up a copy now and make contact with a living human being. A true Christmas takes time--not money.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Gift-giving is a good thing, but our gifts can be less about monetary value and more about reaching out to one another. The idea is to give more of our time and care and less of extra stuff that most of us don't need. I gave the book four stars instead of five because it is too short! I would have liked to read more about alternative ideas for celebrating and making gifts. The description of how Christmas has evolved, while pertinent, was my least favorite part of the book. I truly enjoyed reading about how the author's family and friends celebrate Christmas with a minimum of materialism. This is a great book to start of the holidays by remembering what really matters.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a call to reconsider our Christmas traditions, where they came from, and what we want from them. The book is extremely short, and can be read in only an hour or two, but the ideas in it are profound. McKibben begins by describing some of the details of how the American commercialization of Christmas came about in the early 1800s. At that time, wassailing was getting a bit out of hand, so some upper-class New Yorkers decided to reinvent the holiday around some more wholesome traditions of family celebrations and gift giving. As part of this movement, in 1818 Clement Moore brought St. Nicholas into the picture complete with reindeer on the roof with his famous "Twas the Night before Christmas". From there, the idea of centering the holiday on gift-giving grew and grew, much to the delight of department store owners, who were eager to add their own contributions to the holiday pantheon (such as Rudolph, courtesy Montgomery Wards).

McKibben asks us "Are you having fun? Are you enjoying your family's holiday traditions?" Or do you find yourself stressed out with all the competitive shopping and endless wrapping? Do the holidays leave your credit cards maxed out? He reminds us that the tradition of massive gift-giving at Christmas time is only a very recent one in this country. If it's not fun, if it doesn't fill your life with wonder and holiday spirit, why continue with it all?

Instead, McKibben suggests examining your own family traditions. Stop and think- -do you even remember what gifts you received for Christmas last year, or the Christmas before that? On the other hand, what elements of the Christmas celebrations of years past stand out most clearly in your memory?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
i pray that this book is not overlooked in the mad holiday shopping rush. that's exactly what it struggles against. to read mckibben's plan for a more peaceful and joyful holiday is like taking a warm bath--suddenly it all seems manageable again. my family and i will try to implement a variation of his plan (hundred dollar chanuka). i especially like the practical ideas, the how-to tips he gives for pulling it off.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JHAT on November 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked this book. I really enjoyed reading about the history of Christmas, especially in the United States. Though I knew some hazy details, like the invention of Santa Claus as roly-poly from "The Night Before Christmas," I did not know that so many of our traditions are fairly recent. Since I already like Bill McKibben's book, THE COMFORTING WHIRLWIND: GOD, JOB, AND THE SCALE OF CREATION, I was well disposed for another book by him. Here, at the end of November, I am glad to have a renewed focus on Christmas in our cultural setting, so that I will choose how to participate, instead of merely falling into it and being carried along with the season.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Rollandini on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
For any spiritual person looking to simplify life and get back to God, this is worth a read. It is only a start, however. I would recommend reading it along with Unplug the Christmas Machine for a more thorough overview of how to simplify Christmas.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search