21 December 2008
The full title of the book is: The Christmas book - Discover a simpler, greener Christmas. Hand-crafted gifts and cards, Natural decorations, Traditional Recipes. Editor-in-chief Sheherazade Goldsmith.
The Christmas Book is about creating a more traditional, less commercialized, more handmade and eco-friendly Christmas. It includes Christmas Decorations, greeting cards, gifts and cooking. With items suitable for both adults and children.
There is a hint of irony in the book, which has a distinct theme of trying to be more environmentally friendly, with two pages just on sourcing your food locally, and avoiding buying Christmas trees that are from outside Britain. The irony is that this is a book created for the UK market, but printed and bound in China. Not only does this have a significant environmental impact in shipping half-way across the world (far more impact than buying carrots from the other end of England) but the book does not appear to have been made out of even partially recycled paper. They do say that they check their suppliers are not using child labour, but if this was published in a western country then that would be taken for granted.
I am mainly interested in the book for the recipes, of which we are planing to try a few out this year. Some of the home-made gifts do look very good, both professional and a bit more special that some commercial items. There are some items that can be made by children, but they will probably need quite a bit of adult help.
All-in-all a very good book. I've currently borrowed it from the local library, but I'll be looking at getting my own copy before next Christmas. The only real complaint is that the publishers appear to have completely missed the spirit of the book in their manufacturer of the book.