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Christmas Memories: Gifts, Activities, Fads, and Fancies, 1920s-1960s Hardcover – October 1, 2009
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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.Read more ›
I'm still a junkie for Christmas books but Waggoner's previous books did have much larger but not as many pictures.
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...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
best book I have read or seen about how christmas got to be Christmas and the salad years" 30's thru most of 60's. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dr R. J. Lofaro
I was really expecting a lot of pictures from Christmases past, but it's mostly text and the photos are (I think they're called) "thumbnail". Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jill P. Kight
I bought to bring out some of my very happy memories. I've shared it with my brother and sister as well as my mother...we've all enjoyed this book.Published 7 months ago by LCBrowning
Very nice quality and full of fun facts from Christmases past!Published 7 months ago by Pameladeville
The book was really easy reading and filled with lovely color pictures. Liked the old adds and the run down of costs each decade. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sam's girl