The Christmas Book by Andy Thomas

“Mistletoe,” said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry’s head. He jumped out from under it.

“Good thinking,” said Luna seriously. “It’s often infested with nargles.”

J.K. Rowling , Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This book was kindly provided to my by Netgalley and Ivy Press in exchange for an honest review.

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Synopsis: Covering ancient ceremonies, mythology, the gospels, and traditions from around the world, this book uncovers the fascinating background to one of the biggest festive seasons—Christmas.

Have you ever wondered where Christmas comes from? Or why and how it has been celebrated throughout the centuries? This book takes you on an intriguing and entertaining journey through its social history.

Learn about the: astrological associations, Nativity, excesses of the Roman festival of Saturnalia, Puritan ban of Christmas, introduction and rise of gift-giving, origins and developments of Santa Claus, food and traditions from around the world, history of its stories, songs and symbols.


For a non-fiction Christmas book, this one contains a clear and broad view of the history of Christmas. The main Christmas traditions are discussed, and there are comparisons of how specific traditions are celebrated over the world.

Every chapter and sub-chapters are short, making this book readable and keeping me interested. The subjects are explained clearly and not too excessive to make it boring.

Old Father Christmas Riding a Goat. (The Father Christmas character started from such illustrations as this of ‘Old Christmas’, from...)

The book has an overflow of pictures, which are fun too look at. Seeing how Christmas was celebrated a long, long time ago is fascinating. It’s special how Christmas has changed over the years, though it also stayed the same as well.

I gave this book 4/5 stars. When looking for background information on Christmas, this book is a great choice.

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