CHRISTMAS: A Short History from Solstice to Santa

By Andy Thomas [signed copy]

144 pages, hardback
Illustrated in full colour

ISBN 978-1-78240-780-5
Ivy Press 2019

£11 (UK delivery)
£14 (EU delivery)
£18 (Rest of world)

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A Short History from Solstice to Santa

by Andy Thomas

This sumptuously illustrated, insightful and entertaining full colour hardback uncovers the fascinating background to the biggest festive season. From ancient ceremonies and Victorian rituals, to raucous festivals and Christmas dinner traditions, the time around the solstice has long been an opportunity for people to come together and rejoice. 

Despite a Puritan ban in the 1600s and all the modern commercialisation, Christmas has survived and this book shows why it still holds meaning for us today, revealing the fuller story behind the merriment. 

Developed from Andy Thomas’s popular seasonal lectures, which he tours across the UK each November and December, and originally published by Vital Signs Publishing in a limited run in 2017, this global edition of Christmas is essential for anyone wanting to understand the deeper layers to this extraordinary annual event. It traces the festival’s evolution from spontaneously emerging Solstice celebrations in ancient times, with astronomical and astrological connotations, to its Christian transformation and the many different expressions it has given rise to in the two thousand years since. 



“‘Christmas: A Short History from Solstice to Santa reveals that the impulse for a winter solstice celebration is just about as old as humanity itself. No matter what form it takes, people tend to find a way to come together to splurge a little and ward off the encroaching darkness …  They’re all here, in a parade of Christmas cheer that spans millennia. In the end, Thomas has a reassuring message: however you do your holidays, don’t worry that you’re doing it wrong. Christmas can be what you want it to be, wherever you are, and whether your celebration is grand or modest.” (The Tangenital)




1 – Ancient Christmas

2 – The Beginnings of Christmas

3 – Christmas Under Threat

4 – The Season’s Return

5 – The Victorian Revival

6 – Santa Claus

7 – The Modern Christmas

Further Reading

About the Author



Additional information


European Postage, ROW World Postage, UK Postage (free)