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The Heathen's Guide to Christmas Paperback – September 6, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449912583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449912581
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,790,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Atheist readers may enjoy the sneering tone which Mr Hooper employs against religion and the world's favourite holiday but they will learn little that is actually true by reading this book. It is by far the most inaccurate piece of history writing I have ever encountered with blunders and errors on almost every page. Here are a few of the whopping mistakes "The Heathen's Guide" presents:

1. The X in Xmas is really a Catholic invention to remind people of the cross. Nope, the X is really the Greek letter "chi", the first letter in "Cristos" or "Christ".
2. He gives two different ranges of dates for the rule of Constantine. Both are wrong.
3. The name "Santa Claus" became popular "about 1910". No, the name was in wide use since the 1820s.
4. Clement Clarke Moore's Santa in "The Night Before Christmas" was dressed in "rags and heavy furs". Sorry, no mention of rags in the poem.
5. A poem by William Gilley describing Santa pulled in a one-reindeer sleigh appeared in 1823 to cash in on the popularity of the Moore poem. No. It appeared in 1821, before Moore's poem, and was anonymous. Gilley was only the publisher.
6. Shrove Tuesday is the first day of Lent. No. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Carnival; Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.
7. The Romans collected all the gods and goddesses together in "one big religion called Hellenism". No. Hellenism is the term for the Mediterranean civilization after the death of Alexander the Great and does not refer to any syncretic religion.
8. Stonehenge was Celtic. No. Stonehenge predated the Celts by 1,500 to 2,000 years.
9. Mistletoe was banned from the Roman empire. No. Romans never banned mistletoe; he is confusing it with an aversion to the shrub by some churches in the Middle Ages.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not necessarily a follow up to Hopper's "Heathen's Guide to World Religions". It is an irreverent and occasionally sardonic essay on the pagan origins on the myths of the Christmas season. It gives a reasonable accounting of the rituals associated with the celebration of the Christmas holiday, from mistletoe to the addition (and evolution) of everyone's favorite fat jolly elf.

While this sort of sounds like a "how-to" guide for wanna-be Grinches, it is actually a lively read. (Even Grinches are mentioned in the book) Some of the origins of the myths you've probably heard before but more than a few times I found myself tapping my lower lip in thought and thinking: "So THAT'S where that came from!"

I thoroughly enjoy the Christmas holiday, giving gifts and spending time with those I love, and the book didn't change that. But learning the history behind it, where the rituals came from and why we do them was fascinating.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After "the Heathen's guide to World Religions" you know what to expect from Hopper's book ; the rational , historical view of our current Christmas holiday , how it started and what it has become now. Higly recommended for anyone curious about Christmas and for everybody interested in knowing what started it all .
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By JR on November 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is pretty good, gives some great history of Christmas and much of what it
purports to be. Really good this time of year when the myth believers come
out of the woodwork and push their arrogance of "Truth" without credible
evidence.
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