Thursday, July 15, 2010

Christmas in July - Tinsel

Going crazy at the library with a variety of genres. Poetry, Non-fiction, and I'm currently reading South of Broad by Pat Conroy. It's hot and I'm poolside - dip in to the pool and to interesting material. Tinsel, by Hank Stuever, is a look at Christmas in Frisco, Texas. As a journalist, he started his holiday journey in 2006 when times were booming. He finished his Frisco foray in 2008 as the bubble burst. The Christmas retail spirit in America unraveled, and Christmas hopes and dreams were downsized. Yet, he came away with optimism and a sense of family, community, and heart.

At first, I thought this book would be annoying, that he was looking for the most outrageous people to cover and exaggerate and ridicule. I think he originally approached his subjects with a jaundiced eye, wary of being drawn into holiday spirit, and angling for a scoop.

Instead, he introduces us to hard working, enthusiastic families who enjoy Christmas - both the religious and material aspects. As he participates in shopping, decorating, light displays, Black Friday, church activities, and parties, he gains a fresh appreciation for upper middle class suburban America.

Ultimately, this is an interesting read. As someone who enjoys Christmas stuff - decorating, baking, etc - I could empathize with his new found friends and their spirit. I could also laugh with him at much of the craziness. I think Tinsel is a fair representation of Frisco and Christmas. It's a fun book to read in July when the temperatures outside are climbing over one hundred.

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