Posted On November 13, 2018

Great Traditions of Christmas – Book Review

by | Nov 13, 2018 | Theology

I do not know much about author Ace Collins but I picked up a free copy of his Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas for free from BookLookBloggers in an exchange for an honest review.

Summary

Collins takes us on a journey of 26 various Christmas Traditions and their origin. Some you’ll recognize like Christmas Cards, exchanging gifts, and Mistletoe. Others I didn’t even know existed like baking a birthday cake for Jesus.

Collins point is to show his readers that much of what we consider as “old-fashioned” Christmas is relatively newer compared to the history of Christianity.

Me and Christmas

Theologically, I love Christmas because of the beauty of the hypostatic union. The wonders of God becoming man are beyond the full scope of human comprehension. I love to celebrate God incarnate and don’t tell me I have to wait until after Thanksgiving to do it!

But there are other things I love about Christmas too! Cookies (and here!), Christmas Trees, and Caroling are some traditions in our family. I like the colder weather, the shorter days, and the various holiday get together. And I love Christmas music. I stop listening to Christmas music somewhere around Valentine’s Day and like to pick it back up somewhere around March 25.

So, when I had the opportunity to get a free book on the history of Christmas traditions, I jumped at it.

Review

Overall, I would give Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas 2.8 out of 5 stars. I think it would be an interesting piece to set out on your coffee table during the Christmas season for someone to flip through. There were some engaging portions like chapter 14 on Handel’s Messiah but for the most part, I found it less engaging.

Now, mind you, I really enjoy history and so it’s possible that people who aren’t into that so much might actually enjoy this book better than I did. There were also a few things I wondered about on factual accuracy. In a book this small it’s difficult to weigh in from every side I know. But an example would be in his discussion of Santa Claus. He mentions St. Nicholas as the archbishop of Myra but fails to say anything about Arius and my favorite story of Saint Nick punching him in the face!

There was also a factual error in Chapter 6 when he says the Catholic and Anglican Church controlled Christmas music for 1800 years. The Anglican Church did not exist until 1534.

Also, there were a few times that you could tell the author tried not to take sides in the Roman Catholic vs. Protestant divide. I obviously wish he would have been a little stronger in that area. But, overall, it’s an ok book.

BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Related Posts

Have You Learned Christ?

Have You Learned Christ?

In Ephesians 4:20, Paul says the Christians at Ephesus had "learned" Christ. By that, Paul means, the Messiah. What Christians have learned is that Jesus is the true God of the universe. He is the 2nd person of the Trinity who is the fulfillment of all the OT...

Parable of the Talents: It’s Not About the Talents

Parable of the Talents: It’s Not About the Talents

The Parable of the Talents is more than just about "talents." A lot more! But how are these talents typically portrayed? Money, time, power, resources? So often we hear sermons on this text, and so much time and ink are spent describing what the talents symbolically...

Ep. 049 | Conley Owens and The Dorean Principle — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 049 | Conley Owens and The Dorean Principle — TAU Roundtable

It gives us great joy to return to a roundtable episode with an interview with Conley Owens, author of The Dorean Principle. You can read or order the book at https://thedoreanprinciple.org What are your thoughts about money and ministry? Do you see a problem with the...

Family Camp – (guest) Movie Review

Family Camp – (guest) Movie Review

Family Camp I’ve been on every major production company’s list of “Christian” bloggers for over a decade so when I heard about Family Camp, I was interested because the Skit Guys had made some good content years ago. But when I watched the trailer I was annoyed within...

Reformed Systematic Theology – Vol 3: Spirit and Salvation (book review)

Reformed Systematic Theology – Vol 3: Spirit and Salvation (book review)

Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley’s Reformed Systematic Theology Vol. 3: Spirit and Salvation is another theologically rich entry in what has already become a modern classic series. As with the previous volumes, the authors effectively balance academic theological precision with pastoral and devotional care.

Book Review: How Can We Rescue Those Being Taken Away to Death?

Book Review: How Can We Rescue Those Being Taken Away to Death?

Brett A. Baggett, Dusty Deevers, and James Silberman: Rescue Those: How Can We Rescue Those Being Taken Away to Death? Copyright 2021  Rescue Those INC. You can order copies here. These booklets are given away for free. I suggest Christians who benefit from this work...

0 Comments