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The Trouble with Christmas Paperback – March 1, 1992

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (March 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879758481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879758486
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,691,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Santa Claus and his reindeer, Christmas trees and cards, exchanging presents and so on and on. It is good to have in one place a history of all of these diverse elements of the Christmas tradition. Tom Flynn covers a lot of ground and he writes well so this is a fun book to read.

The book is even better in presenting the argument against the holiday and describing the "Trouble With Christmas." He demoans the arrogance of adopting a holiday of one religion as a secular holiday in a country that is home to people who have many different religions.

Last week when I was watching television I saw the ad the Hallmark Company ran urging people to buy their Christmas tree ornaments. And as I write this review the middle of August has not even come so I know the Christmas season will be in full swing soon. I suggest to others that indeed it is not too early to start preparing for the Christmas season by getting this book.

The author presents a good case for having a Christmas free end of the year.
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Format: Paperback
Flynn's book "The Trouble with Christmas" is a very well-research and informative work that presents an intelligent investigation into the celebration of the Christmas holiday. Mr. Flynn is not a "bah, humbug" as the previous reviewer noted; he is a rational, intelligent individual who asks important questions about the yuletide holiday. His inquiry explores the supposed "historical" roots (pointing out that most of what we celebrate originated in the middle-to-late 1800's, not antiquity). He examines the origins of many xmas symbols (the yule log, Santa, the tree) and relays a wealth of information on about them.

Plus, he is sympathetic to those who may not be of Christian origin and asks his reader to consider what it must be like for say, a Jew or a Muslim or an atheist, to have to endure another's holiday and to have to endure scorn and negativity from those (probably like the previous reviewer) who cannot understand why everyone just doesn't celebrate Christmas too.
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Format: Paperback
Just as the old ad slogan goes, You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Levy's Rye Bread . . . I say: You don't have to be atheist to enjoy this wonderful diatribe against the hokum that had grown clogged and weedy around what was once a simple, reflective religious day of remembrance. Christians are enriched by reading of the non-Christian origins of modern Christmas customs. I for one am fed up with the glut of consumerism that has buried the holiday and if Flynn served only as a whistleblower to the holiday's excess, this book would be good enough. But Flynn also writes from the atheists point of view, an amiable atheist at that, and he has this practicing Catholic on his side as one who decries those condescing, oppressing people who poo-poo anyone who doesn't get all visions-of-sugarplumsy at the thought of Christmas. I read this year (2002) that Christmas is catching fire in China with nary a mention of Christ. They just dig the gift giving and the clown in the red suit and if Americans were more honest, we'd happily echo the words of Bart Simpson, who said something like: "Let's remember the true meaning of Christmas...the birthday of Santa Claus."
Flynn reminds us that our egotistical view of the holiday -- that it "our" Christmas was the way it always was -- is a myth. In just a blip of history ago, Christmas was a holy day and a humbler day. I long for a return in that direction, and Flynn's book refreshes my overview of the holiday. It consoles me that much of it is hogwash and that I oughtn't feel to glum about feeling glum about it.
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By A Customer on December 13, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I couldn't believe how entertaining this book was. I was really just expecting a book full of putative facts, sleeping material. Not so! As cliche as it sounds: "I couldn't put the book down." I was really impressed with all of the resources that were used in compiling this book. One phrase that sticks in my head even after reading this was the "controversial," mantra : "Keep Christ in Christmas," to which he commented to the effect, "They were having a hard enough time keeping Christmas in the first place." I recommend this book to anyone who "insists" on putting up Christmas lights in the middle of October, and, "Mary Xmas!"
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading Tom Flynn's The Trouble With Christmas! He concisely debunks the myth of Jesus and all the cute little fairy tales invented by the writers of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Flynn also explains how Christmas was celebrated in the UK and the US many years ago and where modern Christmas pasttimes and decorations come from.

Next, we learn about where the story of Santa and Rudolph originated. He gives many references, most of them quite old, of psychologists and others who believe telling your children there's a Santa Claus is lying to children and not moral. The last segment of the book deals with how we should face Christmas today. I sincerely agree with his stance on keeping Christmas and all religious symbols out of public schools. Keeping trees, red bows, stockings, and other such paraphernalia in schools is a silent endorsement of Christianity, and this is inappropriate. I also think that the government and major corporations giving employees these days off is a silent endorsement of Christianity and should cease.

Flynn goes to work on Christmas and treats it as any other day, and I really admire him for doing this. He encourages other freethinkers to do this as well, and no doubt many more should. In the real world, however, many of us can't do this. Clients would be offended, even though we all know they shouldn't care whether or not a business they patronize doesn't believe a baby with magical powers was born on exactly the same day the Sun God was purportedly born. Mr. Flynn works for an atheist publication; his job by its very nature will not be in jeopardy because he doesn't buy in to silly superstitions.

I think we should, as in many instances, follow Richard Dawkins.
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