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Hold on to Christmas : ISBN 978-0-9552251-8-5
by Elspeth Haller.
Published August 2008 - 160 pages, illustrated.
Hardback with dust jacket plus
£8.95 + £2.50 (UK P&P)

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Living all her life in the country, it was not a surprise for Elspeth Haller to develop a passion for Nature, and her interest in wild flowers developed into a love of horticulture. With artistic ability, she qualified as an art teacher, where, while teaching colour theory with the help of flowers in 1946, she accidentally opened the doors to flower arranging.

In 1958, Elspeth joined a flower club, and in 1959, she became a member of the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies (NAFAS). In due course, she passed both her Demonstrator’s and Judge’s Test, travelling to clubs and shows throughout the Midlands.

With a birthday on December 28th, she loved the Christmas decorations, and after one in the aid of the Guides, her daughter asked her why we did all the strange things at Christmas?

Audiences gave her many of the answers which she carefully documented, and in 2003, she gave a talk to a packed hall on the Christmas customs, where she realised how much information she’d collected. “Hold on to Christmas” tells these stories to make all we do at Christmas so much more meaningful and worthwhile.

Today we live our lives with the help of signs and symbols, and things can go horribly wrong if we forget the codes!

However, they've been with us for thousands of years, as a simple and effective means of communication.

At Christmas, out come the symbols of old, and though we recognise them collectively as a sign that Christmas is coming, few know of their origins, or individual meanings.

Sometimes, someone stops to ask "why?".

Why all the gold and glitter, how does that fit into the story of the lowly cattle shed of the Nativity?

Who made the first Christmas Pudding, or sent the first card, or why does Father Christmas wear a red coat?

Read "Hold on to Christmas" to find the answers to these and many more questions about Christmas, and make the frenzy of work more worthwhile, all the Christmas activities more meaningful and feel, as the saying goes, "as wise as Old Mr Christmas"!

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