Today's Black Friday, the day Americans put on their traditional crazy hats and go wild for good deals. I'm not sure if you remember, but last year a Wal-Mart worker died under a stampede of 2,000 discount hungry shoppers. There has to be some kind of explanation for this holiday craze.
In the book Tinsel, author Hank Stuever tries to get to the bottom of why so many Americans go over the top for Christmas. To fully understand "mega-Christmas" Stuever moves to Frisco, TX, one of the nation's fastest growing suburbs with lots of churches and one of the highest concentrations of retail square-footage. The book chronicles the author's experience, and of course that begins on the appropriate day: Black Friday.
When asked why he decided to write a book about Christmas, Stuever explained: "Christmas is the largest communal event in American life. Even people who don't celebrate it can't escape it completely. It crosses just about all forms of our culture, faith, and lifestyles. It is born of religion, tradition, commerce, and media, with some ancient roots in winter solstice celebrations that predate the birth of Christ."
Would you be interested in learning more about modern Christmas?