Southern Scribe
       our culture of storytelling


Photo-Essay Review     

A South Carolina Christmas
by Jan Kiefer, Photography by David Crosby
Westcliffe Publishers, 1997
ISBN: 1-56579-237-8

Jan Kiefer blends history, holiday traditions, and local recipes to create A South Carolina Christmas.  The photography of David Crosby enriches this table book with beautiful landscapes and scenes of holiday celebration.  

The use of oral history adds to the color of Low Country traditions – from the gift of Madeira and use of fireworks to the greeting of “Christmas gif!” to late arrivals at family gatherings.  In the Midlands, the Governor’s Mansion holds an annual open house where visitors enjoy refreshments and entertainment, including the star attraction of a gingerbread house that takes more than forty hours to bake and decorate.

Recipes are provided as well as the stories behind them.  Music plays a major part in the Carolina Yuletide.  Scenes of holiday singers are offset with hymns of local import.  

The foreword by John Jakes celebrates how transplanted residents to the Palmetto State learn to love the unique traditions of the season.  Kiefer ends the book with features that would benefit those inspired to travel to South Carolina.  She provides a list of annual holiday celebrations and the local Chamber of Commerce addresses. 

You might even want to stay for New Year’s Day to sample the Hoppin’ John for good health and luck. 


Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

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