ATG Quirkies: Forget Slippers and Socks: Books Were the First Christmas Presents

Battle for ChristmasThis post from Literary Hub claims that the book business invented modern gift giving.   At least that’s according to Stephen Nissenbaum and his social history The Battle for Christmas. In it, Mr. Nissenbaum writes that “books were on the cutting edge of a commercial Christmas, making up more than half of the earliest items advertised as Christmas gifts.”  Evidently, as early as the 1820’s publishers introduced “an entire genre of books, called Gift Books, designed to be presented to loved ones at Christmas” and  they “were available at every price range and for every conceivable market.

(Thanks, as always, to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies!)

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