Stories to Summon the Holiday Spirit

I know, I know. Christmas is a whole 21 days away; why start talking about it?

Well, Mr. Scrooge, 21 days isn’t that long a time.  And also it gets my mind off finals.  I’ve rather enjoyed this semester and don’t want it to end so quickly.

So, if you don’t feel like celebrating the holidays just yet, I have some suggestions of stories to read to help you get into the mood.

Of course there’s the story in the New Testament (or other scriptures if you’re celebrating a different religious holiday), and that always helps me feel like it’s Christmastime, and reminds me why I celebrate it.  Though the lights and the music and gifts are fun, Christmas is more.

Another story I’d recommend is “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry.  It’s a short story, won’t take long to read, but it’s sweet and it’s Christmassy and magnificent.

A fun story to read with any grade schoolers in your life would be the short chapter book When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke (author of Inkheart).  It’s funny and cute and has fun illustrations, and submits interesting theories on how the whole Santa thing works.

Some other favorites include “A Christmas Dress For Ellen” and “A Christmas Bell for Anya,” which, despite the similar titles, aren’t at all the same story.  “The Snow Queen” doesn’t actually have anything to do with Christmas, but I’m including it because it’s an excellent story.  I also really like some poetry:  Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” of course, and Longfellow’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” which is now a carol.

My last story isn’t really a Christmas story, though Christmas happens during its events and plays a role in the plot.  It’s a young adult novel,  The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.  This is a book I’ve loved ever since I found a battered used copy of it at the bookstore years ago, though some people think it’s kind of creepy.  It’s about the conflict between Dark and Light (though aren’t all stories, in one way or another?) and makes use of several English legends.  I reread it every December.  Actually, I just reread it any time of the year, whenever I need a mood boost.  But especially in December.

Hope you enjoy these.  And no, not all my posts this month will be about Christmas.  Promise.

Notice anything different about today’s picture? I drew it digitally, not on paper. I’m still learning how to do it, and looking for a program I like, but I’m having a lot of fun

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