Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holidays - Christmas Books (non-crafting variety)

Hello! You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, the one photo I have today proves that a picture is worth more than a thousand words!

Above I have a pile of Christmas-themed books. These are all of the non-crafting variety (I have many of the crafting variety!), meaning that they're all related to decor, history or customs. 

From the bottom of the pile to the top:

Christmas in America - this must have been a popular book when it came out in 1988, for I've seen several copies of it showing up at thrift stores in the last year or two, selling for between $5.00-$15.00. I won't sell my copy, for I still enjoy leafing through the variety of photos therein. Purchased new at a store in Stevens Point, WI.

O Christmas Tree - purchased new in 1989 at Water Tower Place, Chicago, IL. Good example of 80's excess - lots of swank trees shown, but also some unusual and clever ones as well. Definitely not a Norman Rockwell view of Christmas trees, but still fun to look at. 

The Christmases We Used To Know - this is a compilation of stories sent in by the readers of Reminisce magazine. It was published in 1996 but I got it at a thrift store a couple of years ago for a dollar. I love all the stories and photos of, well, the Christmases folks had known in decades past. I never pass up a compilation from the series this magazine has put out over the years - they're usually a dollar at thrift stores but the information and entertainment I've gotten from them has been priceless!

Recreating Yuletides Past - from the Winterthur bookstore. Winterthur is a glorious house museum near Wilmington, DE and was originally a home for the DuPont family. It has absolutely wonderful interiors, top-notch antiques and beautiful gardens. We used to live about an hour north of Winterthur, so we went there often.

The subtitle of this volume is "Celebrations of Yuletide in America before 1860". The annual Yuletide tour, on which the book is based, depicts various customs as followed by the original colonies and the young United States of America. We attended the Yuletide tour several times and really enjoyed it. 

Merry Christmas America - A Front Yard View Of The Holidays - purchased several years ago at the late, great Afterwords, a remaindered bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI. I love this book! It was produced by a photographer who'd traveled all around the country to take pictures of outdoor Christmas displays. As one might expect, there are many photos of expensive homes decked out with thousands of lights, but I find myself drawn to the much humbler homes that were decorated with much more modest displays. I find these expressions of holiday spirit to be much more charming than the lavish spectacles. 

Christmas In The Midwest - Purchased earlier this year at the city library's used book sale; chosen for historical interest and the book's focus on ethnic customs from the immigrants who'd settled in the Midwest. As a bonus, it includes dozens of holiday cookie recipes from these ethnic groups.

Christmas Songs Made In America - also purchased at the Winterthur bookstore. Lyrics and the stories behind Christmas songs written by Americans. I always enjoy hearing the stories behind how songs came to be, so I knew I wanted this book when I spied it. Also lists the various artists who have recorded the songs (at least as of 1999, when this book was published) and when they charted. 

American Country Christmas - purchased at the library used sale cited above. A slim volume that's a bit dated now, for it was published in 1989 and the country look is much different now (currently lighter in color and feel.) Still has some sweet photos and so was worth the fifty cents that I paid for it. 

Well, that's all for now - man can't live by bread alone, it's said - but it's now lunchtime!


  1. You should've mentioned some of the kids' books!

  2. Sure - if you unpack them from your closet!