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Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture$
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Sheila Whiteley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748628087

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628087.001.0001

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Christmas and War

Christmas and War

Chapter:
(p.137) Chapter 8 Christmas and War
Source:
Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture
Author(s):

Christine Agius

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628087.003.0009

This chapter addresses how the celebration and meaning of Christmas become intertwined politically and socially with societies engaged in war. It then turns to the build-up to the Second World War and examines how Christmas was appropriated by the Nazi movement for ideological purposes. Furthermore, it moves to the first Gulf War of the early 1990s. Post-9/11 America is explored, arguing that consumerism, emotion, and symbolism have been incorporated into the celebration of Christmas. The relationship between Christmas and war provides an interesting (and troubling) juxtaposition. The Nazi appropriation of Christmas was part of a wider phenomenon of National Socialist ideology that aimed to ensure public and private adherence to the Nazi creed, and the post-9/11 celebration of Christmas has largely been dominated by memory and consumerism.

Keywords:   Christmas, Second World War, Nazi movement, Gulf War, post-9/11 America, consumerism, emotion, symbolism, National Socialist ideology

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