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Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

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Bonus December Featured Holiday Anthologies

Christmas at The New Yorker  

From the pages of America’s most influential magazine come eight decades of holiday cheer—plus the occasional comical coal in the stocking—in one incomparable collection. Sublime and ridiculous, sentimental and searing, Christmas at The New Yorker is a gift of great writing and drawing by literary legends and laugh-out-loud cartoonists.

Here are seasonal stories, poems, memoirs, and more, including such classics as John Cheever’s 1949 story "Christmas Is a Sad Season for the Poor," about an elevator operator in a Park Avenue apartment building who experiences the Fikle power of charity; John Updike’s "The Carol Sing," in which a group of small-town carolers remember an exceptionally enthusiastic fellow singer ("How he would jubilate, how he would God-rest those merry gentlemen, how he would boom out when the male voices became King Wenceslas"); and Richard Ford’s acerbic and elegiac 1998 story "Crèche," in which an unmarried Hollywood lawyer spends an unsettling holiday with her sister’s estranged husband and kids.

Here, too, are S. J. Perelman’s 1936 "Waiting for Santy," a playlet in the style of Clifford Odets labor drama (the setting: "The sweatshop of Santa Claus, North Pole"), and Vladimir Nabokov’s heartbreaking 1975 story "Christ-mas," in which a father grieving for his lost son in a world "ghastly with sadness" sees a tiny miracle on Christmas Eve.

And it wouldn’t be Christmas—or The New Yorker—without dozens of covers and cartoons by Addams, Arno, Chast, and others, or the mischievous verse of Roger Angell, Calvin Trillin, and Ogden Nash ("Do you know Mrs. Millard Fillmore Revere?/On her calendar, Christmas comes three hundred and sixty-five times a year").

From Jazz Age to New Age, E. B. White to Garrison Keillor, these works represent eighty years of wonderful keepsakes for Christmas, from The New Yorker to you.

 

   
Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas 

The fascinating stories and origins behind Christmas traditions such as the colors of red and green, the Christmas tree, caroling, nativity scenes, the Yule log, gift-giving, stockings, advent wreaths, mistletoe, and holly.

The cheer of a crackling hearth fire. Colorful cards from friends and loved ones. An evergreen tree festooned with ornaments.

The golden traditions of Christmas—gifts, wreaths, stockings, carols, mistletoe, and more—infuse our celebration of the season with meaning and glowing memories. And, in ways you may not realize, they point us to the birth of Christ.

Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas reveals the people, places, and events that shaped the best-loved customs of this merriest of holidays. Here are spiritual insights, true-life tales, and captivating legends to intrigue you and your family and bring new luster and depth to your celebration of Jesus’ birth. Discover how

• after eighteen centuries of all but ignoring the event, churches began to open the door for believers to commemorate Jesus’ incarnation. • the evergreen tree, once a central theme in the worship practices of pagan cultures, came to represent the everlasting love of God. • the magi’s three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh—are filled with spiritual symbolism.

The traditions of Christmas lend beauty, awe, and hope to the holiday, causing people all over the world to anticipate it with joy. The stories in this book will warm your heart as you rediscover the true and eternal significance of Christmas.

 

   
  Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas
 

These true, fascinating stories of the inspiration, heartache, trials, and faith that inspired some of the greatest Christmas carols, hymns, and popular songs will enrich the joy and celebration of the Christmas season.

Ace Collins is the author of two previous Zondervan titles, Turn Your Radio On and The Cathedrals, both celebrating the tremendous power of music to touch and change lives. An award-winning author with over fifty books to his credit, Ace specializes in biographies and, during his many book tours, has appeared on scores of television shows including CBS This Morning, The NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC and Entertainment Tonight.

 
           
 

Not a holiday collection, but a collection about one of the worlds most common and least understood religions.  In the spirit of the Holidays--reaching out to understand seems to make it fit in this collection.

One Thousand Roads to Mecca is a collection of more than 20 accounts of the Hajj spanning ten centuries. The writers collected in this anthology reflect the geographic diversity of Islam. These pilgrims come from all over the world: Morocco, India, Persia, England, Italy, and the United States. They travel by boat and camel, on foot and horseback and, most recently, by airplane; many suffered all the hardships and dangers attached to a long pilgrimage of months or even years through deserts and over mountains, across lands populated by brigands and thieves. But along with the hazards are descriptions of of Cairo and Damascus at the height of their glory during the medieval period and anecdotes and observations that render the cosmopolitan nature of the pilgrims. In addition to the writings of Muslim pilgrims, there are also several accounts by non-Muslim westerners who, by hook or by crook, gained access to the forbidden city of Mecca and then wrote about it. One Thousand Roads to Mecca is both classic travel literature at its best and a wonderful introduction to the tenets and practices of a frequently misunderstood religion.

 
Also see

Holiday Anthologies

 

 

For a literary holiday

 

 

The Annotated Christmas Carol

For the feel good holiday

 

 

Best Price $0.20

For the crafty

 holiday

 

 

 

Best Price $4.00

For the Well Fed

Holiday