The Commercialization of the Holiday Season in Quebec, 1885-1915: Hooray for Santa Claus!
Most people believe that consumer Christmas is a recent creation. However, it was more than a century ago that the consumer spirit of Christmas blossomed. Few societies illustrate this spectacular development better than French Canada. Here, the new spirit of Christmas that came to prevail imposed itself through two battles. On the one hand, New Year’s Day, which had been the true focal point of the winter season in French Canadians’ culture, was supplanted by the Nativity. On the other hand, Baby Jesus was replaced by Santa Claus. In seeking to understand how Christian celebrations became at the turn of the twentieth century the commercial event par excellence for French Canadians, this book invites the reader to question the genesis of seemingly immemorial traditions.
Jean-Philippe Warren is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University, Canada. The author of more than 200 articles and the editor and author of more than 30 books, he has extensively published on the history of ideas, culture, and social change in French Canada and Quebec. His work has won numerous accolades and awards, including the Canada Prize of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2019), the Governor General’s Award (2015), and the Founders’ Award of the Canadian Association for the History of Education (2014). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
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