Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Christmas Encyclopedia, 3rd edition by William D. Crump

The Christmas Encyclopedia, 3rd edition by William D. Crump
2013, McFarland & Company


Synopsis: First published in 2001, this considerably expanded third edition of The Christmas Encyclopedia adds 281 new entries, bringing the total number of Christmas topics to more than 760. Continuing in the format of the previous editions, a wide variety of subjects are included: individual carols and songs; historical events at Christmastime; popular Christmas symbols; Christmas plants, place names, and stamps; and celebrations in countries around the world, including the origins of some of the most cherished traditions in the United States. Unique to this work is its emphasis on Christmas as depicted in the popular media, with entries covering literary works such as Call Me Mrs. Miracle and Silver Bells, classic television series such as Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie, motion pictures such as Arthur Christmas and Santa Clause 3, and television specials expressing holiday themes.

The Good: This is an extensive book on Christmas. If you can think of anything Christmas related, it will be in this encyclopedia.

The Bad: This book is hard to read. The text is small. The pages cramped. I would have much rather a larger book than the small print, but the price is astronomical as it stands. In an effort to create a complete compendium of Christmas topics, this book verges on overkill. You have to sift through a lot of dreck to get to anything you actually want to learn about.

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