Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: A Catholic Christmas

Occasionally I will pick up a book and within the first few pages I'll stumble across something that sticks out as inaccurate and I either fixate on it or have a very difficult time getting past it.  This was and has been the case for me with regards to A Catholic Christmas.The book claims that Advent is part of the Christmas season.  Based on every other book I've read regarding Advent and Christmas as well as the curriculum I teach and have taught from over the past four years, Advent and Christmas are their own seasons in the liturgical calendar.

If you can get past the claims that Advent is part of Christmas (which it isn't despite whether you are looking at the ordinary or extraordinary Church calendars) then you'll find a nice little book that takes you on the highlight tour of feast days during Advent and Christmas.  There's also a chapter on the origins of Christmas and another on the liturgical year.  The chapter on the liturgical year irritated me with it's claims that Lent/Easter were a season, but admitted later that the Triduum was also a season on it's own.  Personally, I'd skip that chapter if you pick up this book.

Based on the explanations of the feast days in the chapters that follow, I would say this book is best suited to someone who is unfamiliar with the more popular feast days during Advent and Christmas.  The author assumes that her readers will not know who the Immaculate Conception is, which while she's probably not off base for the majority of Catholics, well catechized Catholics may feel that chapter is a bit on the condescending side.

Overall, A Catholic Christmas isn't a bad book, but you won't find me giving it a high recommendation.

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher, St. Anthony Messenger Press, in exchange for my honest review.  You can take a A Catholic Christmas. this book by visiting

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