Christmas Greetings from the Presidents (Compilation)
2016, 96p, Christmas/Non-Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way
Christmas Greetings from the Presidents takes a comforting, nostalgic look back in time to when Americans viewed the annual Christmas message to the nation as the embodiment of a national spirit of unity and goodwill through both the best of times and the darkest days of national trials. The book, the first of its kind by a national publisher, chronicles presidential Christmas messages from the inception of this tradition in 1927 with Calvin Coolidge to President Obama. It provides the historical context of the era, rarely-seen archival photographs that offer us a window into the history unfolding at the time, and a sidebar “Did you Know” feature with trivia that often shines a new light on the personality of the president as he responds to unplanned Christmas-time events.
In 1927, Calvin Coolidge offered the first official presidential Christmas greeting to the country. His message was short but powerful: "Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things there will be born in us a Savior and over us all will shine a star--sending its gleam of hope to the world." That set the tone of the book for me and I was interested in what the other presidents had to say. I like how there is historical background given to remind us of what was happening in the country during the time of each president and how his message would relate to that. Some of the messages apply no matter when they were given. I also loved President Reagan's message. His was one of the longer ones. He spoke about the spirit of solidarity and referred specifically to the struggles Poland was going through at that time. I was young when this happened and don't remember it so I found it interesting to read about. This is the perfect book to keep on display during Christmas. It's high quality and easy to pick up and read a little bit at a time or just flip through to look at the wonderful illustrations. It's a great reminder that no matter how different we are, Christmas is a time to come together in love, faith, reflection and charity!