Ms. Graham-Barber digs into the history of mistletoe, reindeer, yuletide, and their ilk. She's also turned her investigative skills to words related to Independence Day in Doodle Dandy!, Valentine's Day in Mushy!, and Thanksgiving Day in Gobble!
As she has done with Halloween, Valentine's Day, and Thanksgiving, Graham-Barber has collected and defined the words associated with Christmas, offering insight into their origins. Unlike the other holidays, Christmas has a religious aspect, but except for the introduction (which explains how December 25 came to be Jesus' birth date), the author focuses almost exclusively on the secular. Holly, plum pudding, and even chestnuts get an entry, but creche and angel don't. In some cases Graham-Barber seems to be stretching a bit on definitions, too. In the "egg nog" entry, does a discussion of eggs in general and the fact that Adlai Stevenson was called an egghead really apply? Still, there never seems to be enough books on holiday shelves, and this does have some good information, including a section about how Christmas is celebrated around the world. Illustrated with thick line drawings.