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A Christmas Cornucopia: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Yuletide Traditions (Hardback)
  • A Christmas Cornucopia: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Yuletide Traditions (Hardback)
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A Christmas Cornucopia: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Yuletide Traditions (Hardback)

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Hardback 192 Pages / Published: 03/11/2016
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The unpredictable origins and etymologies of our cracking Christmas customs

For something that happens every year of our lives, we really don't know much about Christmas.

We don't know that the date we celebrate was chosen by a madman, or that Christmas, etymologically speaking, means 'Go away, Christ'. Nor do we know that Christmas was first celebrated in 243 AD on 28 March - and only moved to 25 December in 354 AD. We're oblivious to the fact that the advent calendar was actually invented by a Munich housewife to stop her children pestering her for a Christmas countdown. And we would never have guessed that the invention of crackers was merely a way of popularizing sweet wrappers.

Luckily, like a gift from Santa himself, Mark Forsyth is here to unwrap this fundamentally funny gallimaufry of traditions and oddities, making it all finally make sense - in his wonderfully entertaining wordy way.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241267738
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 219 g
Dimensions: 187 x 120 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Witty and revelatory. Blooming brilliant -- Raymond Briggs
Everything we ever thought about Christmas is wrong! Great stuff -- Matthew Parris
Mark imparts knowledge about Christmas traditions from the essential to the (very) abstruse in wry and sardonic style. An effortless and enjoyable way to learn more about this fulcrum of our calendar -- Paul Smiddy, Former Head of pan-European retail research, HSBC
Mark Forsyth wears his considerable knowledge lightly. He also writes beautifully -- David Marsh, on 'The Elements of Eloquence' * Guardian *
This year's must-have stocking filler ... the essential addition to the library in the smallest room is Mark Forsyth's The Etymologicon. -- Ian Samson * Guardian *
With his casual elegance and melodious voice, Mark Forsyth has an anachronistic charm totally at odds with the 21st century (The Horologicon) * Sunday Times South Africa *
[The Etymologicon is] a perfect bit of stocking filler for the bookish member of the family, or just a cracking all-year-round-read. Highly recommended. * The Spectator *
As good as promised - could have been thrice as long -- Ben Schott, on 'The Elements of Eloquence'

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“A hilarious and super interesting insight into the origins of our Christmas traditions”

A Christmas Cornucopia delves into the origins and meanings behind many of the seasonal traditions and stories we've come to see as normal during the holidays. Do you know why we bring a dead tree into the house,... More

Hardback edition
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