Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Review

Just got done with the delightful little book, Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a More Joyful Christmas, by Bill McKibben, which is so delightful and so little that it’s tempting just to quote the whole book.

Despite the name, the author is not advocating a strict hundred-dollar Christmas. He traces the origins—some of them surprisingly recent—of our society’s current Christmas practices. Then he submits the radical proposal that Christmas can be what we need and want it to be...and it always has been. For instance, back in frontier times, when life was grinding and cold, and there wasn’t anything on TV, Christmas was a day for mischievous boys to set off loud explosions. It was different than every other day. All that noise and mischief were what led reformers to make Christmas into a gentler, family-centered day. Now, we have 24-hour explosions on TV, and explosions of stuff, and explosions of appointments. What a lot of us—what I—need is more peace. And Christmas is a good day for that.

It’s not a hundred-dollar Christmas this year, and I can feel the Christmas crazies reaching their tentacles after me. But we have made a family goal this year to

a) share the work of Christmas
b) eliminate the stuff we don’t really like about Christmas
c) made sure we do the Christmas things we love

What do you love about Christmas? What do you not love so much? How do you beat off the crazies?


  1. Different from? Different than?
    Oh, well.

  2. I would love to read this book. Do you have it or is it at the library?
    When you talk about eliminating the things you don't like, last year I skipped out on sending Christmas cards/newsletter. It was a freeing moment. :-)


Lee Ann Setzer's blog about books, writing, and life in general.