Mary D. Lankford & Karen Dugan
Collins, 2006 (2006)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ary Lankford tells us in her Introduction that while '
You may think that celebrations of Christmas are the same across the United States
' and there are many similarities, she also found '
cultural traditions rich with meaning
'. She reminisces about her own childhood (and recent) Yuletide festivities in Texas, and presents a regional variety of approaches to the holiday. Karen Dugan's colorful illustrations emphasize the historical and regional contexts.
earn about how cranberries grew into the holiday in the
, and about
pageants including sugarcane fires in Louisiana and
Christmas on the River
in Alabama. Read about the big business of Christmas trees in the
region, the import of the caroling tradition to the
by immigrants from Cornwall, and taking elk sleigh rides in Wyoming. Did you know that German immigrants brought their customs of tree ornaments and holiday treats to the
? Read about Christmas dances and ubiquitous
(festival lights) in the pueblos of the
, and about the 1900s popularity of model trains in the
, where '
the aroma of hot Mexican chocolate, spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, mingles with the scent of herbs at Christmastime.
here's a section on
Christmas at the White House
. I learned that President Jefferson chose the goose for Christmas dinner, President Andrew Jackson's children played with cotton snowballs in the East Room, President Lincoln gave a turkey a Presidential pardon, President Benjamin Harrison dressed as Santa ... and much more. On to
Christmas at the Post Office
- the Pony Express, the first American Christmas card in the 1850s, and the heritage of Christmas stamps. Lanford suggests
Fun Things to Do
for the holidays (like learning a Christmas song in another language and keeping a
) and gives directions for all kinds of crafts, from a
Christmas Tree Decorations
. Yummy recipes include
Colonists' Scripture Cake
his informative Yuletide book ends with a
Time Line of Toys
for further exploration. Read
along with kids at home and school, and learn history and geography together, while exploring past and present U.S. holiday traditions.
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