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Inventing the Christmas Tree by Bernd Brunner

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In his tiny, brief book, Inventing the Christmas Tree, Bernd Brunner looks at the roots of the European Christmas tree tradition. He starts with some Medieval local traditions, and looks at the various kinds of decorations and how they changed over time. Brunner also touches upon the history of Christmas trees in America and around the world – including the world’s most expensive tree, worth $11 million, that was erected in Abu Dhabi in 2010.
Brunner uses mostly German sources, and many of the illustrations in the book come from Northern Europe (Germany or Scandinavia). As such, the book offers a rare point of view for American readers. Footnotes would have been helpful. A selected bibliography is included, however. A quick, informative read.
EJ 01/2013
  PeskyLibrary | Jan 6, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300186525, Hardcover)

A colorfully decorated Christmas tree, lit with twinkling lights, provokes awe and delight. We understand the lighted tree as a central symbol of the Christmas season, but what are the roots of the tradition? Who first thought to bedeck a tree, to bring it inside? How and where did the local activity grow into a widespread tradition, and how has the Christmas tree traveled across time and continents? Bernd Brunner's brief history—enriched by a selection of delightful and unusual historical illustrations—spans many centuries and cultures to illuminate the mysteries of the Christmas tree and its enduring hold on the human imagination.

Tracing various European traditions from the Middle Ages forward, Brunner finds that only in the nineteenth century did Christmas trees become common in European family homes. In North America, the imported custom soon fascinated, though some found the tree not quite compatible with a Puritan mindset. Brunner explores how the Christmas tree entered mainstream American culture and how in recent times it has become globally popular. He introduces Jacqueline Kennedy's Nutcracker Tree in the White House, trees used to celebrate the New Year in Turkey, and the world's most expensive Christmas tree, erected in Abu Dhabi. The author also considers the place of the artificial tree and the ecological dimensions of the Christmas tree trade. A book rich with anecdote and insight, Inventing the Christmas Tree will enchant a wide audience.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:45 -0400)

A colorfully decorated Christmas tree, lit with twinkling lights, provokes awe and delight. We understand the lighted tree as a central symbol of the Christmas season, but what are the roots of the tradition? Who first thought to bedeck a tree, to bring it inside? How and where did the local activity grow into a widespread tradition, and how has the Christmas tree traveled across time and continents? This brief history, enriched by a selection of historical illustrations spans many centuries and cultures to illuminate the mysteries of the Christmas tree and its enduring hold on the human imagination. Tracing various European traditions from the Middle Ages forward, the author finds that only in the nineteenth century did Christmas trees become common in European family homes. In North America, the imported custom soon fascinated, though some found the tree not quite compatible with a Puritan mindset. He explores how the Christmas tree entered mainstream American culture and how in recent times it has become globally popular. He introduces Jacqueline Kennedy's Nutcracker Tree in the White House, trees used to celebrate the New Year in Turkey, and the world's most expensive Christmas tree, erected in Abu Dhabi. The author also considers the place of the artificial tree and the ecological dimensions of the Christmas tree trade.… (more)

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