Christmas, A Very Peculiar History written by Fiona Mc Donald, created and designed by David Salariya. From Boolino Books at £7.99.
Don’t be deceived by this little book, it is rammed full of facts and stories about Christmas. They are all in enticing little snippets so young people can learn without getting bogged down with information. It is written in different fonts and the pages are decorated with illustrations and borders and the whole book appears to be written by a very jolly man in a red suit with a big white beard….but who is he?
Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, Pere Noel, Weihnachtsmann to name a few of the present bringers on Christmas Day.
Where do we get the tradition of Yule Logs from? Why do we give presents? What is the story behind mistletoe at Christmas Time. Why is Christmas Day on 25th December? You’ll find the answers to these and many many more Christmas related questions.
There is a detailed stories of the twelve days of Christmas and the tradition of the Yule Log. It tells of the story of Jesus and of the development of the Gregorian Calendar.
You will also find fun questions and answers, strange but true lists and even a recipe for a delicious Yule Log…I have to give this a try! There are Christmas poems and songs as well as short stories.
In fact it would be difficult to find a book so packed with Christmas! It would make a lovely gift for someone who is Christmas obsessed, or any inquisitive child or adult.
Here are a few snippets;
A Christmas Riddle
When is a plum not a plum?
When it’s a sugarplum!
That was the old name for shiny little balls of transparent boiled sugar – the ancestors of today’s boiled sweeties. Shy? Perhaps because they were suspended by stalk-like threads to cool and solidify.
Advent calendars were invented in Germany. The oldest known, cut and painted by hand, was made in 1851. Before this, pious families hung up little holy pictures, day by day, or marked time from 1st to 24th December by chalking a line on the wall. By around 1903, cheap colour printing made it possible to mass-produce advent calendars, and became very popular. Opening little windows to reveal hidden pictures fascinated children and adults.
Kissing under the mistletoe was a peculiarly English tradition. But on New Year’s Eve in Austria, there was a similar custom. A mysterious masked figure, an ugly old man, sat under a pine-tree branch in dark corners of country inns. He wore a wreath of mistletoe. When a pretty girl passed, he jumped up and imprinted a rough kiss. When midnight struck, he was driven out into the snow to die (or pretend to,) as a symbol of the old year.
The book is Hardback and consists of 191 pages. It is pocket size so would make a perfect stocking filler gift.
Disclosure: I am a Boolino Book reviewer and was sent a copy of this book free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own.