I have always been fascinated by trivia. I love to discover an obscure detail of history which explains why things are the way they are, or an odd fact that seems so counter-intuitive that it’s often met with incredulity. Trivia, by definition, is information that is not inherently important. The value of such information rests not in its importance or degree of relevance, but in the sheer pleasure of its discovery.
The incarnation of God is not a trivial matter. The manner in which we observe and celebrate the birth of God’s Son, however, is an entirely human enterprise. As such, it is a season filled with history, customs, artistry, and intriguing facts. In his book, Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas (Zondervan, $14.99), Ace Collins reveals the source behind many of our Christmas traditions. From the origins of Advent and Epiphany to the use of poinsettias and Christmas ornaments, Collins explores how the customs which we take for granted came into being.
How is Prince Albert largely responsible for the use of Christmas trees in England and America? Where is the symbolic reference to Jesus in the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and why do we stand during the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah? How did an act of kindness by a 4th century priest toward a peasant girl lead to eight stockings hanging on my fireplace mantle?
Discover the answers to these and many other fascinating questions in Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas.
-Darrel Holcombe, Owner
Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts
Colonial Promenade, Alabaster