Ever wondered about the history of Christmas? Well, Heather LeFebvre researched it and has compiled a book with stories, activities and traditional recipes.
Black Dog Books in Zionsville hosted LeFebvre for a book signing last weekend.
Subtitled “2,000 years of faith, fable and festivity,” “The History of Christmas” spans the years through stories and facts. It reveals that the evolution of the holiday wasn’t always Christian based.
“Everybody needs to know what the real history is,” LeFebvre, the wife of a Christian pastor, of Brownsburg, said. “It was a secular holiday, then the Christians put a new wallpaper over it, and now the secular people want it back again.”
The book tells how the holiday evolved from a Roman, pagan, week-long festival to a religious holiday. However, Dec. 25 almost certainly isn’t the birth day of Jesus, she said. There is no date, or even a time of the year, given in the Bible.
“People can try to work it out to 6 B.C., but, obviously, no time of year,” LeFebvre said. “They can’t peg it down to any certain time of year.”
Published by Christian Focus Publications in Scotland, the book also has a message of salvation and includes several Scripture readings. There are many stories including the time Christmas was canceled. It even includes The Gospel of Luke’s version of the birth. The festive-looking book is filled with illustrations drawn by LeFebvre’s mother, Laura Winslow.
Still, LeFebvre says she is offering the information so people can make up their own mind. There’s no wrong way, she says.
“The Scriptures don’t command us to celebrate Christ’s birth,” she said. “God wants us to have joy in our hearts and (Christmas) is something we can do to foster that.”
The recipes and activities transport readers to different eras, from Roman honey-sesame cookies to Victorian Christmas decorations. Each chapter has questions to ask the family, making it interactive, too.
In the end, LeFebvre provides families a fun way to learn about Christmas history and to consider the future of it.
“For me personally, it set me free from thinking that I had to carry on all these traditions to keep Christmas alive,” she said. “Christmas has been changing all the time.”