Early American Christmas (An Early American Christmas)

early american christmas depaola

A new family shows the neighborhood what Christmas is all about In this small New England village, no one makes much of a fuss about Christmas—until a new family moves in, that is. The family works tirelessly to prepare for the holiday: decorating the house, hand-dipping candles, baking mounds of delicious cookies, and carving nativity pieces. In the end, these new neighbors show their small village how to celebrate the holiday in a ---from the publisher

32 pages                            978-0439156097                        Ages 4-8

Keywords:  Christmas, Christianity, new experiences, holiday, family, neighbors, Colonial times, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old

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From Publishers Weekly

DePaola begins with a historical note that surely will intrigue children: in Colonial New England, the celebration of Christmas was shunned in many villages. He depicts the arrival of a German family into one such town, showing their careful, loving preparations. Their efforts begin in autumn, when bayberries are picked and candles made; they continue throughout the fall, until apples are dried and strung, cookies and pretzels are baked, "hearts of man" and other paper ornaments are snipped and, finally, candles are lit in every window. This provides a fascinating look at Christmas as it once was: a holiday whose customs were entwined with the season's natural bounty. The emphasis is on the joys of preparation and of quiet, heartfelt observance; refreshingly, gift-giving is not a concern. This is a warm and beautifully realized tribute to the spirit and traditions of the season.

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