Read Countess Maria’s book reviews of the very best Christmas (and other) books, with some available to buy online here

Special Offer - Selection of Rare / Unusual out-of-print Titles

CHRISTMAS STORE: Exclusive Christmas Archives' Christmas Trees, Decorations and Antique Decorations and Cards

For twenty-five years Christmas Archives Intenational has been foremost in the field of Christmas - exhibitions, film and television set designs, manufactury and Christmas settings for publications such as Period Homes etc. Christmas Archives International is in the process of selling off the designer trees and props store.

THIS IS A ONE-OFF OFFER WHILE STOCKS LAST!

Once made public things will go very quickly. We are offering artificial Christmas Trees (24" right up to 14 ft) complete with decorations; EXCLUSIVE DESIGNS by Countess Maria. These trees have been used once - maybe you will get one which has been in a film, or on a major TV production; or in an exhibition or in a stately home. We are also disposing thousands of metres of tinsels, evergreen boughs and other decorations VERY CHEAPLY - maybe to a charitable institution????

Antique Christmas Decorations

1930-50 paper decorations. Glass baubles 1880's-1970's etc..
Countess Maria's CHRISTMAS TREE FAIRIES. These are so popular that film stars often take them from the film sets as a souvenir! No two alike. Hurry while stocks last. These cannot be repeated. Christmas Store

Countess Maria Hubert von Staufer - world historian on Christmas and author of Christmas Archives' International

I rarely review Christmas books by other authors. I suppose, having studied the Festive Season in all its facets for some thirty years or more, I have become a little particular in my choices! Call it inverted snobbery if you will! Many books are re-writes of information which has been previously published, just taken from the previous generation of books, and without any new or original research to verify the old facts.

Our Victorian fathers were great historians and innovators. Many wished to get down the facts of Christmas (and other festivals of course) before they died out. The Reformation and the later Civil War in the 16th-17th centuries meant that many of our customs were banned as ‘pagan’. Sacramentals, that is, church ceremonies which became customs, were forgotten for several generations, their religious significance lost and only the bones of a tradition left which no-one knew the reason behind. This then was the noble desire of the late 18th and early 19th century gentlemen, many of them clerics. They wrote books on customs, music, costume, dances, everything imaginable to prevent so much of our colourful history and custom being lost forever.

However, in several instances, facts were erroneous, taken from a scanty reference, and with no means available to them to cross-reference, these facts stood for all time as true. I have spent half a lifetime catching up on all the cross-referencing! And even then it is impossible to get all the facts right!

So this is why I am sceptical about recommending books. But so many have asked me to do so that I have begun to look for suitable titles to recommend.

Soon you will be able to subscribe to the ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF CHRISTMAS. A massive E-Book which will be available in parts and will cover every aspect of Christmas. We hope to have the details and the first part ready soon...

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