BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

Descriptive Of The Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling,
And Festivities Of The Christmas Season.
By Thomas K. Hervey Published By George P. Putnam, & Co New York, Circa 1848.

Share page  


Amongst the number of elegant publications which issue from the press, at this festival period of the year,—and are prepared for the express amusement of this particular season, it is matter of some surprise that no one of them should have undertaken to illustrate the festival itself, and give some account of the season which they are so design­ed to embellish. The number of popular observances by which this time is marked, and the peculiar character of the revels which enliven it—with the fact that their prac­tice is known to almost all, and their full meaning and origin to comparatively few—might, naturally, have sug­gested to the literary purveyors for the period that a work which should give a full, detailed, and connected history of this festival, its ceremonies and traditions, would form as agreeable a literary gift as could be planned for this epoch of gifts,—and would, besides, have a permanent and useful interest, which should take it out of the class of ephemera, and give it a value, at all seasons. It is under this impression that the present work has been undertaken by its publisher ;—and the editor has availed himself of every source of information which oc­curred to him, as likely to aid him in rendering it complete. In order to give anything like an entire view of the subject, it was necessary, at times, to go more into antiquarian details than may be approved of by the whilst the wish to preserve a popular tone, induced the editor occasionally to restrict himself in those more elabo­rate inquiries, into which another class of readers would willingly have followed him. It has, of course, been his object to steer as fair a middle course between these ex­tremes as he could ;—sacrificing nothing that was essential to the full elucidation of the subject,—and not dwelling unnecessarily, after that object was attained, on any of the dryer details, which might have failed to interest the gene­ral reader.