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Moravian Christmas in the South Hardcover – November 1, 2007

2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"[A] lively and delightfully illustrated book. . . . An exploration of gifts, the book itself would make a remarkable one for any reader interested in Moravian history and material culture."
-Religious Studies Review

A truly impressive treat. . . . A lavishly illustrated volume full of historical detail, traditions, and more. Moravian Christmas in the South is a book the whole family can enjoy. It's the next best thing to being there.


The vividly illustrated book, [Moravian Christmas in the South], is a captivating guide to understanding and engaging in the rich celebrations of the past.

Winston-Salem Monthly

"The ultimate Moravian coffee table book! . . . This handsome edition engages the reader with sights and sounds of Moravian Christmases past and present. . . . An excellent Christmas present for any Moravian household!"
The Moravian

Nancy Smith Thomas has captured much of the Moravians' contributions to Christmas in a well-researched, clearly-written and beautifully illustrated new book. . . .

Baptists Today

About the Author

Nancy Smith Thomas is an independent scholar living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has worked at Old Salem Museums & Gardens for eighteen years, focusing on Christmas interpretation and programming, and frequently presents lectures and workshops on Christmas decorations and traditions.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807831816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807831816
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,243,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roberta on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully produced 'Christmas book', with many vintage and modern photographs related to the Moravian observance of Christmas in American South: the churches where they worshipped ,their Christmas trees, and decorations as well as photographs of secular Christmas features contemporary with the period covered; roughly 1750's - 1950. The author provides a brief history of the "Moravians in the South", proceeds to provide an interesting and entertaining description of the Moravian Christmas. One might consider this a nice Social History of the Southern Moravian Christmas experience: It is not just that these folks put up decorations and baked buns but that, those things were 'of a piece' with their Christian Faith and how it related to their church family and community. But this is NOT a religious production.

The author has taken pains - awkwardly, I believe - to glide over the seriously Christocentric mindset of the Moravians, that would have informed their celebration of Christmas. She states she is not a "theological person" or of Moravian background. This is fair enough. But Moravians did not celebrate Christmas because they were of a "whatever" "religious bent". Perhaps Ms.Smith - Thomas did not want to offend those of other faiths or of no faith. In which case, CHRISTmas is not the subject one ought to write about.

This is a popular but scholarly work. The narrative will be interesting to adults but the photographs will be appreciated by children as well. There is a substantive Bibliography, footnotes, index and photography credits.

The book is bound in a deep red cloth (real cloth not paper) with gilt printing on the spine.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This was a nice book that my grandmom had at her house. There was nothing to do because everyone was yelling about the turkey being bad and mom had too much of her medicine so I went upstairs and was reading this book. Its sad what they did to the moravians but it was interesting to learn why they got kicked out of Pennslavania and about George Washinton. The pictures were pretty too.
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