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on January 22, 2018
Truly a fantastic book on the history and traditions of Yule/Christmas. Of the handful of books I've read on Christmas, this one is my personal favorite. The chapters are short and easy to digest. The writing is superb. The information is tremendous. The insights are deep. From my other reading, I find all the major points of this book to be spot on. If you're looking for a resource help you add depth and context to your Christmas celebrations, look no more. I'd recommend this book to everyone.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 18, 2011
Ace Collins has written many, many books (e.g., Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas (Stories Behind Books),More Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas,25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever, etc.).

He writes in the Introduction to this 2003 book, "Before we brood and protest too much over the ruin of what we think Christmas must have been like in generations long past, we might actually feel encouraged about the season we celebrate today when we consider what Christmas was REALLY like in the days of old."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"By the fourth century, the Roman Empire finally began to convert to Christianity. When this happened, Easter became one of the most celebrated holidays in the realm. Yet as many in the empire came to worship Jesus, the old traditions and holidays continued." (Pg. 13)
"In early sixteenth century Germany, Martin Luther embraced carols, thereby winning over many German Christians to the songs. Luther sang them with his children and encouraged his growing following to come together and sing them as a congregation." (Pg. 49)
"In an effort to bring some of the magic of the evergreen tree into their lives, Vikings would chop down a fir and place it in their homes. Having a tree in the house was said to bring the gift of strength to live through the worst stretches of winter." (Pg. 70-71)
"In Luke 2:16, it is clear that the shepherds traveled to the manger to see Jesus. Yet the Magi did not arrive in time to visit Jesus in his birthplace, nor, evidently, did they meet the shepherds." (Pg. 139)
"Most people today believe that the twelve days of Christmas start on December 12th or 13th and run through Christmas Eve or Christmas day. But in fact, the first day of Christmas is December 25th and the final day is January 5th." (Pg. 179)
"The Greek for Christ's name is Xristos (pronounced Christos). While it is well known that a fish was often used as a symbol to denote churches and Christian gathering places during the ancient days of the church, many Greeks also used the letter X .. as their symbol of faith... Therefore, the use of the letter X for Christ is one of the oldest traditions of the Christian faith." (Pg. 184)
6 people found this helpful
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on January 27, 2018
We love these stories. It is fun to understand the WHY of Christmas. This book fabulously explains a lot of the different histories surrounding different Christmas traditions.
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on February 7, 2016
It is amazing to learn how some of our Christmas traditions are fairly new. I especially enjoyed the 12 days of Christmas having a strong spiritual background and I shared it with my grandchildren.
One person found this helpful
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on January 16, 2012
I heard about this book on a 700 Club show before Christmas and decided to get it. The book is very informative and fun to read. So many of our traditions about Christmas have been lost with the commercialization of this most holy day and the book helped me to realize where I needed to get back on track.
3 people found this helpful
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on June 17, 2015
Love these stories and gives me a new perspective of the holiday and its traditions. Whether they are lore or real, my heart delights in the biblical ways I can teach my children about the birth of our savior.
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on December 29, 2017
A fantastic and informative book very useful to the preacher and the layman alike. Very impressive! I am very pleased that I purchased this book leading up to Christmas 2017!
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on December 20, 2012
I purchased this book to do some research for a youth Sunday School lesson. I learned so much! The author has done his homework. The book is easy to read. you can read just one chapter, as I did initially,or read it all the way through, which is what I am doing now. Ace Collins offers some great information behind the inspiration of many of our beloved Christmas traditions. By reading it you can be the Christmas trivia expert at all your Holiday gatherings. Or ,consider using the information you gain to start a conversation with a non believer. I definitely plan to read more of Mr. Collins books.
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on February 6, 2017
Learned a lot from this little book.
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on February 3, 2017
This too is an interesting read. I love to know about all the traditions associated with Christmas. Will reread next year when the season is in full bloom.
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