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Christmas is nearly everyone's favorite time of the year because it is adorned with so many special celebrations, happy memories, delightful stories, wonderful songs, and rich recipes. A season of selfless giving and expressive love, it is a time for family togetherness, for snuggling up to the hearthside, for recalling the legends and fables, and for celebrating the things that matter most. As a result, Christmas has been the focus of some of the greatest art, music, literature, and ideas of all time. Christmas Spirit captures the essence of the Yuletide season by gathering in one place all of those elements that contribute to the joyous spirit of Christmas. From the origins of our most cherished holiday traditions and rituals to the insights of the wisest men and women of the ages on their essential meaning and significance, Christmas Spirit emphasizes and underscores the best moments of the season. Here are the whys and wherefores of mistletoe, plum pudding, holly and ivy, Advent wreaths, nativity scenes, caroling, sleigh rides, Christmas trees, jingle bells, wassailing, Twelfth night, twinkling lights, gift giving, and Saint Nicholas. In short, here is the joy of the season - the Christmas Spirit.
Joy to the World tells the stories behind some of the most wonderful and best-loved songs of the season that express the spiritual sentiments of Christmas. While many other Christmas songs celebrate home and family, romance, and winter weather, the songs whose stories are told here express the underlying reality of the Christmas season between Advent and Epiphany -- the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
The songs in Joy to the World are among the most enduring and permanent of the season's musical traditions. They have stood the test of time and express the many moods and emotions that evoke the spiritual significance of Christmas. Reflecting many eras and different cultures, Joy to the World reveals their origins, the reasons why they were written, and why they are so beloved. The book is organized into six sections of Christmas songs and carols from the Americas, England and Ireland, France and Spain, Germany and Austria, and Greece and Rome, and classical Christmas music.
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