Christmas Curiosities

Christmas Curiosities

Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas

Book - 2008
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Oh, by gosh, by golly. It's time for . . . rowdy bands of drunkards roaming the streets, lighting firecrackers, and firing off guns? Gangs of masked youths invading people's houses, demanding food, drink, and money--and threatening to break the windows (or worse) unless they're given what they want?

 

Welcome to Christmas, circa 1800. Yes, the season of light, joy, and gift-giving was once regarded as a time of darkness, danger, and dissipation--and celebrated with all-too-public displays of noisemaking, inebriation, and gluttonous overeating. (Well, maybe not everything has changed.) And though we tend to imagine Victorian-era Christmases as sentimental gatherings around the candlelit tree, blazing hearth, and festive punchbowl, the 19th-century evidence tells us quite otherwise.

 

Drawing from his extensive collection of antique postcards, greeting cards, advertising giveaways, and other ephemera, author John Grossman presents a picture of Christmas past that, frankly, looks a lot more like Halloween. Broomstick-riding witches and vampire bat-borne cupids deliver New Year's greetings. Fur-clad fairies gather 'round a campfire to roast their Christmas dinner--a huge dead rat. And Saint Nicholas? He's that skinny guy in the bishop robes who arrives with his dark companion, the Devil-like Krampus brandishing switches to punish the badly behaved.

 

With Christmas Curiosities , STC wishes you a very merry, very scary Christmas.

Publisher: New York : Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008.
ISBN: 9781584796992
1584796995
Branch Call Number: 394.2663 GROSSMAN
Characteristics: 223 pages : color illustrations ; 18 cm.

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