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The Heathen's Guide to Christmas Paperback – September 6, 2011
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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.Read more ›
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.
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The ultimate crash course in the history behind the most popular holiday to date. I like his fun writing style.Published 3 months ago by Patrick Ethen
Everybody should read this. I hate Christmas, always have. Good book to give to Christian friends. If you can get them to read it.Published on August 5, 2013 by Linda Wagner