Shabby Sunday: The Book of Christmas (The Enchanted World)

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Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s Shabby Share is:

The Book of Christmas (The Enchanted World)

by Brendan Lehane

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I started collecting the books in this series early last year and I still have four more to collect. I’ve enjoyed a few while others weren’t favorites. I wanted to review this volume at Christmastime, but didn’t get around to it. I finally finished it last night. 

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My copy is in excellent condition. When I opened it–it was like it had never been read. The pages are perfect and cover is intact. The only issue is some fading on the spine. This book was published in 1986.

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The book opens and ends with the story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. I was instantly captivated by the exquisite artwork right away, which has been my reaction on every volume I’ve read in the series thus far.

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There are many tales and legends to enjoy with origins from different places like Norway and Scotland to name a few. I especially enjoyed learning about the multiple festivities and holidays celebrated in the winter including Saint Andrew’s Day, Saint Lucia’s Day, Saint Nicholas’ Day, and Brigit’s Day.

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“The British of ancient times had a goddess of youth and fertility named Bride; Christians called her Saint Brigit and celebrated her feast on February 1st. But the celebrations were far older than Christianity. Bride, the folk said, was held prisoner during the dark months in the mountain of the goddess of winter, who used a silver hammer to cover the earth with ice. At the beginning of February, the young goddess was released. On the eve of the feast day in Ireland and Scotland, people set candles burning to summon  the returning light of spring, which followed in Bride’s footsteps. They then placed a bed on the threshold and called a welcome into the darkness. When morning came, they examined the ashes in the hearth. Signs of disturbance there were a good omen: They meant that Bride was once more abroad in the land and that winter had been drivin away.”

“The Nutcracker” is one of my favorite Christmas stories and it’s included with many illustrations.

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It was interesting to discover how decorated trees became signs of Christmas and about all the different Christmas spirits leading up to the Santa widely known today.

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There are many gift-bringing legends shared including, but not limited to: Befana (an old woman who gave presents to Italian children), Christkndl (an angel that visited German families on Christmas Eve), and The Julnissen (household elves in Norway and Denmark that hide presents on Christmas Eve).

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Most of the volumes I’ve read in this series contain some fairly dark artwork and this book includes a few as well. The one you see above is St. Andrew’s Day, which was celebrated on November 30th in Scotland, Central Europe and Greece. Squirrels were hunted in Scotland, while in Rumania, the dead were said to be freed and vampires would haunt the villages.

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“Old gods haunted the winter skies of Europe, terrifying men and women. In Germany, the hearth goddess Berchta rode the clouds, leading a train of elves and fairies, cradling the ghosts of the infant dead.”

I loved the song section which includes various Christmas songs, one of my favorites being “Good King Wenceslas”. I’ve shared a video below of this song sang by Loreena McKennitt, one of my favorite singers.

Overall, there’s so much to learn in this book. I have to say that there’s a little bit of everything and it’s a nice all-around collection of legends, myths, songs and folk tales from different parts of the world that anyone can enjoy. I’ll be rating this one 4-stars.

Find this on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Series: Enchanted World
  • Hardcover: 141 pages
  • Publisher: Time Life Education; 1st edition (June 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809452618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809452613


Other blogs who have participated in Shabby Sunday:

Nicky@ An Introverted Bookworm

TheOrangutanLibrarian

Claire@ Brizzle Lass Books

Author Didi Oviatt


 Thanks for visiting Shabby Sunday! Do you have any favorite vintage books you’d like to share? Please feel free to comment below or participate in Shabby Sunday if you’d like to! ❤

16 thoughts on “Shabby Sunday: The Book of Christmas (The Enchanted World)

  1. David R. Dowdy

    Love the illustrations, especially the one of the hearth goddess Berchta. I admire the legends, beliefs, and myths of the old world. Here in the new world, we are mostly bereft of that legacy, not counting the lore of native Americans. It’s no wonder we are such free spirits and independent-minded (possibly too much for our own good).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too! The illustrations are amazing. I ended up looking up some of the other works by these artists on Google. You could get stuck for hours. Just awesome. I agree and admire them too. 💜 Happy to have them to read!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I think so too, Nina. It’s a nice compilation. The plan was to review at Christmas, but I didn’t get to it. 😁 Sometimes I think I could read Christmas books all year, but so much better during the season! 💙❤💙

      Liked by 2 people

  2. starjustin

    Thanks for sharing this particular book Jen. I don’t think we touch enough on the different traditions and folklore involved in the history of Christmas. The pics in the book look like watercolors. I wonder? The video is beautiful too! So peaceful. I know you got your love for Christmas from your grandmother. She loved it too and in those days, the idea was more to celebrate the holiday together than it was to receive gifts etc. I can remember, growing up in a family of 5 kids, there were times when it was just family and no gifts. I can remember also receiving a Bible as the only gift one Christmas holiday. I think a book like this one you’ve featured can bring back important Christmas values. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for checking it out! There are so many interesting pieces of art shared throughout this entire series. So much of it is breathtaking. The back of the book explains who the artists are and I’ve looked up some on Google. Very interesting!

      I do believe that’s where my love for Christmas came from and thanks for sharing your story. This is definitely one to check out! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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