Books for Collectors

“Christmas, 1940-1959: A Collector’s Guide
to Decorations and Customs” (3rd Ed.)

By Robert Brenner

It’s a difficult concept to fathom: that the ravages of war might be the largest catalyst
for change in the products manufactured and customs adopted during the most peaceful time of year.

But author Robert Brenner’s “Christmas, 1940-1959: A Collector’s Guide to Decorations and Customs” show us the stark differences between holiday decorations made during World War II as the Allied Forces battled to halt the march of Fascism across the globe, and then the period of technological innovation and economic prosperity in the post-war years.

This, the third and expanded edition of Brenner’s examination of midcentury Christmas celebration, shows the reader the replacement of more simple, handmade Christmas decorations with those produced by machinery. Decorations and ornaments became more colorful and bigger in the years following the war’s end in 1945 – a reflection, perhaps, of the booming economy that America would enjoy throughout the 1950s.

As Brenner notes in his book, these years saw the advent of machine-produced glass ornaments, bubble lights, Italian miniature lights, and decorations imported from Japan, Europe, and other locations around the globe.

Both decades are represented in lively, detailed text throughout the book. Those especially interested in the midcentury, postwar era in the U.S. will find this book an invaluable resource; even those giving it only a passing glance will enjoy the nostalgia and memories generated by the pairing of Brenner’s writing and the images contained throughout the book.
This most recent version includes an updated price guide, as well as photos that are as crisp and colorful as the book’s subject matter.

About the author

Robert Brenner has an extensive collection of Christmas memorabilia, is the author of three previous books on Christmas history and collectibles, and lectures extensively on all facets of Christmas traditions. He lives in Princeton, WI, where he is a high school English teacher.

About the publisher

A family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality nonfiction books since 1974, Schiffer has published thousands of titles on the diverse subjects that fuel our readers’ passion. From our traditional subjects of antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts and military history, Schiffer has expanded its catalog to publish books on contemporary art and artists; architecture and design; food and entertaining; the metaphysical, paranormal and folklore; and pop and fringe culture, as well as books for children.

Schiffer Publishing is located in Atglen, PA. Website:

Size: 8 ½” x 11”, 3rd Ed., 496 color and 54 b/w photographs, price guide, 160 pages, ISBN13: 9780764326721, binding: soft cover, price: $29.95

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