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Library News

By: Andrea Lhotka
For: Red Rock News
Date: December 24
, 2010

Sedona Public Library in the Village is moving!

SPL in the Village will be closing the 56 W Cortez Drive location at 1:00 p.m. on January 22.  We will open at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1 at C102 Tequa Plaza.  The bookdrop will be available at W Cortez through January 29 and be available at Tequa Plaza on January 31.  Thank you for your support and donations to continue library services in the Village.

Christmas in American History

Contrary to popular wisdom, Christmas has not always been the most popular and beloved U.S. holiday as it is known today.  The celebration of Christmas was a criminal offense in colonial New England.  The Puritans declared a so-called war on Christmas, distributing fliers to announce Christmas celebrations forbidden, punishable by a fine of 5 shillings. 

Among the accusations directed towards Christmas, the Puritans cited suspicious “pagan” origins.  According to the New Statesman, the Puritans identified the timing of the Nativity in December as a political move by the early Church to discourage pagan Saturnalia celebrations by the Romans (Vol. 129 Issue 4518). The Puritans also disagreed with the holiday’s basis in Celtic and Germanic Winter Solstice festivities.  These events in their view did not coincide with the birth of Jesus and therefore contaminated Christmas.  The sensibilities of the time were such that good Protestants celebrated Christmas at their peril.

Over the years we have incorporated many customs from many different countries to arrive at the Christmas celebration we know today.  One theory gives credit for our current sensibility toward Christmas to a familiar little potboiler written by Charles Dickens called A Christmas Carol

In 1843 at the age of 32, Charles Dickens’ career was on the decline and financially he was on the edge of bankruptcy.  No longer at the zenith of his popularity, mired with issues with his publisher, Charles Dickens needed a miracle... so why not write one?  With seven children and a bank account in the negative, Charles Dickens created a richly illustrated A Christmas Carol in six weeks.  According to Les Standiford in The Man Who Invented Christmas, Anglo-American culture was never the same.  To learn more about Charles Dickens’ lasting contribution to American culture come check this book out. 

Take a look at some new Christmas titles we have to enhance your holiday enjoyment.

Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke brings another set of cozy holiday murder mystery short stories.  With a wry tone, amateur detectives follow the cookie crumbs to locate the holiday killers.      

In An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller, Meg Hobart’s life is fantastic until the bottom drops out due to financial ruin.  When her family becomes homeless, they seek refuge with an Amish family in Pennsylvania.  There they get a lesson on hard work and simple living. 

Cool HolidayTreats: Easy Recipes for Kids to Bake by Pamela Price provides a simple and cool introduction to baking for kids.  For your little ones with a sweet tooth and culinary ambitions be sure to check this out.   

The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir by Kenneth Harmon depicts a disgruntled elf by the name Gumdrop Coal framed for murder and fired from his job as Captain of the Coal Patrol.  Eccentric holiday characters live complex lives and play dangerous reindeer games in a fictional North Pole world.

For those of you ready to incorporate a new holiday film into your holiday traditions be sure to check out Disney’s A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey. 

From Sedona Public Library’s Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers, have a happy holiday!.

Andrea Lhotka
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Andrea Lhotka is Public Services Librarian of the Sedona Public Library.