Originally published in 1959 and written by one of the seminal figures in American folklife studies, this classic work examines the folk origins of Christmas in the Keystone State. Composed of interviews and contemporary newspaper reports, it records holiday traditions from the eighteenth century through the early twentieth century, including mummers, Christ-Kindel and Kriss Kringle, Christmas trees and trimming, Belsnickels, the Philadelphia carnival of horns, Moravian pyramids and putzes, Pittsburgh firecracker celebrations, and holiday treats. Now with full-color images, this edition includes Don Yoder's new expanded afterword on recent research of Christmas customs and a selection of traditional recipes.
Alfred L. Shoemaker and Don Yoder were founders of the Pennsylvania Folklife Society and both served as editor of its serial, Pennsylvania Folklife. The late Shoemaker wrote several ground-breaking books on the Pennsylvania Dutch. Don Yoder was cofounder of the Pennsylvania Folklife Society, longtime editor of its journal Pennsylvania Folklife, and Professor of Folklife Studies at the University of Pennsylvania from 1956 to 1996. He currently resides in Devon, Pennsylvania.