Secret History of Christmas, The

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Secret History of Christmas, The

Secret History of Christmas, The

By: Bill Bryson

audio performed by: Bill Bryson
genre: Non-Fiction - Nonfiction
publication date:03/07/2023
Sample not available


A cornucopia of Christmas delights from the bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything and Notes from a Small Island.

Christmas is the single biggest annual event on the planet, a time for merry-making, over-indulgence, peace, goodwill, and the occasional family row. It’s as comfortable and familiar as a pair of old shoes and yet still glittery and exciting. But what do you really know about it? It’s stuffed full of traditions and rituals that most of us have been observing all our lives without having the slightest idea of where they come from.

Why is it called Boxing Day, for example? Why do we sing about Good King Wenceslas – who wasn’t a king and possibly not even good? What’s the story behind Christmas crackers? Who would have guessed that one of our most popular Christmas carols began as a kind of semi-pornographic Welsh folksong? And how did St Nicholas, a bishop from the dawn of Christianity, turn into the plump and jolly figure of Santa Claus with a flying sleigh and a home at the North Pole?

Christmas, and how it got that way, is full of surprises. Join Bill Bryson to reach into this Christmas stocking and pull them out – along with the inevitable tangerine.

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Unabridged 3 hours


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