It’s a great idea to take a break from shopping and spend some cosy, relaxed evenings by the fireside in the days just before and after Christmas, reading aloud charming stories that spread the message of giving and rejoicing, Here are some all time favourites that can be read again and again.
Rejoicing and Celebration: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
Arguably the world’s most famous Christmas story, and described by Dickens as “a ghost story of Christmas” in the original tilte, this quaint story is about the skinflint Scrooge who sees the ghosts of Christmas past and future, and undergoes a change of heart . Written at a time when the importance of Christmas was waning, this work is said to have contributed largely to the revival of the celebration of Christmas in the 18th century.
True Love and Sacrifice: “Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry
One of O. Henry’s best known short stories, this powerful piece touchingly captures the spirit of giving and true love, in an account of a man and a woman who love each other so much that each give up what is most precious to them to buy what the other wants. The story is a delight to read, and truly inspirational.
“A Little Women Christmas” from the Novel “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.
This excerpt from the popular novel captures a touching cameo that portrays the true character of the girls. It’s a hard winter, and the sisters are glum about Marmee’s decision not to have Christmas presents. Then they realize that each of them has some money, and that Marmee needs new shoes…
View from The Other Side: “The Little Match Girl” by Hans Christian Andersen
This is a poignant, haunting story about a poor, cold little match girl who uses her precious stash of match sticks to warm herself, and in the light, sees the fancy celebrations inside the big house. Here is a message to think about those less fortunate.
Saying Thank You: “The Elves and the Shoemaker” by the Brothers Grimm
Part of the collection that is popularly known as “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”, this is a delightful tale of an old, overworked shoemaker who is so meticulous and good at his work that he has more orders than he can handle. And so the elves come to help him…
Whatever the age of family members, this collection of stories is sure to conjure up the spirit of Christmas, which is all about rejoicing, sharing, giving, forgiving. So get the family together and spend a cosy evening around the fire bringing alive the warmth of Christmas
A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas by Charles Dickens, illustrations by John Leech, Bradbury and Evans, 1858
Gift of the Magi by O.Henry, Candlewick (illustrated edition), 1906
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Roberts Brothers, Part 1, 1868, Part 2, 1869
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen, first published December 1845 in Dansk Folkekalender for 1846
Elves and the Shoe Maker in Children’s and Household Tales, a collection of German origin fairy tales published by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812, now popularly known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales