Holiday celebrations in the United States are a major force driving the nation's approximately $3 trillion retail economy. The commercial culture of holidays extends from the traditional -- decorations, costumes, and cards -- to the immaterial and ephemeral -- phone calls, airline tickets, and department store bills. Simultaneously colorful presentation and careful analysis, The Business of Holidays interprets holiday commerce and design, corporate culture, and tradition (invented and inherited). This volume consists of more than thirty-five essays arranged according to the calendar year, from New Year's Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and explores longstanding holiday images, such as Santa Claus and shamrocks, as well as quirkier aspects of visual culture. The rites that surround these special days have been adopted, or even invented by, the pervasive marketing that surrounds them to such an extent that the celebration of holidays and the business of holidays have become inseparable.
About the Author
Maud Lavin is associate professor of visual and critical studies and art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of "Clean New World: Culture, Politics, and Graphic Design" and "Cut with the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch."