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Another 10 Great Christmas Stories

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

In just a few days, Christmas will be with us once again. In celebration of this greatest of holidays, we have put together a follow up list to our first “Top 10 Christmas Books“. With this selection, we have tried to pick books that are less familiar to people – in the hopes that we can expand on future Christmas reading for you all. Enjoy the list, and most of all, have a Merry Christmas!

10

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
L Frank Baum

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This fantasy (by the creator of the Wizard of Oz) imagines that Santa Claus was once a human foundling adopted by woodland fairies, who grows up surrounded by elves, Knooks, Ryls, and other “immortals” of the natural world. Claus decides that his mission in life should be to bring joy to mortal children by making and distributing toys. His good works spread worldwide, and the mantle of immortality is bestowed upon him. This is a long and old-fashioned tale full of improvised fairy lore, a battle against the evil Awgwas, and unique explanations of such Christmas customs as hanging stockings.

Buy it at Amazon

9

Christmas In The Big Woods
Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers. This book is a new presentation of her experience of Christmas: “Long ago, a little girl named Laura Ingalls lived in a little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters, Mary and Carrie, and their good old bulldog, Jack. Winter was just around the corner, and Laura worked hard to help make the little house ready for the cold days ahead. Soon there was frost on the windows and snow on the ground, but Laura and her folks were warm and cozy in their snug little house in the Big Woods.”

Buy it at Amazon

8

A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Dylan Thomas

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This was a very easy book for me to include because I love the writing of Dylan Thomas immensely. Dylan Thomas, one of the greatest poets and storytellers of the twentieth century, captures a child’s-eye view, and an adult’s fond memories, of a magical time of presents, aunts and uncles, the frozen sea, and in the best of circumstances, newly fallen snow. This book has been in print for over 50 years and it will make a welcome addition to any family’s bookshelf.

Buy it at Amazon

7

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus
Francis Church

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Is There a Santa Claus? was the title of an editorial appearing in the September 20, 1897 edition of the New York Sun. The editorial, which included the famous reply “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”, has become an indelible part of popular Christmas lore in the United States. In 1897, Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was asked by his then eight-year-old daughter, Virginia (1889-1971), whether Santa Claus really existed. Virginia had begun to doubt there was a Santa Claus, because her friends had told her that he did not exist. Dr. O’Hanlon suggested she write to the New York Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper at the time, assuring her that “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” The letter was replied to by Francis Church – an editor. Its message was very moving to many people who read it. More than a century later it remains the most reprinted editorial ever to run in any newspaper in the English language.

Buy it at Amazon

6

The Gift of the Magi
O Henry

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Jim Dillingham Young and his wife Della are a young couple who are very much in love with each other, but can barely afford their one-room apartment due to their very bad economic situation. For Christmas, Della decides to buy Jim a chain which costs twenty dollars for his prized pocket watch given to him by his father. To raise the funds, she has her long hair cut off and sold to make a wig. Meanwhile, Jim decides to sell his watch to buy Della a beautiful set of combs made out of tortoise shell for her lovely, knee-length brown hair. Although each is disappointed to find the gift they chose rendered useless, each is pleased with the gift they received, because it represents their love for one another. This is a heartwarming tale that has been retold countless times in TV and film.

Buy it at Amazon

5

Letters From Father Christmas
J R R Tolkien

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The Father Christmas Letters is a collection of letters written and illustrated by J. R. R. Tolkien between 1920 and 1942 for his children, from “Father Christmas”. They tell of the adventures and misadventures of Father Christmas and his helpers, including the North Polar Bear and his two sidekick cubs, Paksu and Valkotukka. This is a particularly good book for those who love Tolkien – and it is a chance to see his writing focusing on something other than middle earth and fantasy.

Buy it at Amazon

4

Village Christmas
Miss Read

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In Village Christmas, a family new to Fairacre is viewed with suspicion by their elderly neighbors, the Waters sisters, until an unexpected turn of events works magic over both houses on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, Mrs. Berry, in the nearby village of Caxley, faces an equally eventful Christmas Eve in The Christmas Mouse when she is awakened by two unexpected intruders: a mouse and a bedraggled runaway boy, both taking refuge from a winter storm. Both stories are resolved in Miss Read’s comforting style, as warm as the glowing coals of the cottage fire and the spirit of Christmas itself. Miss Read is the pseudonym of Mrs. Dora Saint, a former schoolteacher beloved for her novels of English rural life, especially those set in the fictional villages of Thrush Green and Fairacre.

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3

The Tailor of Gloucester
Beatrix Potter

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The Tailor of Gloucester is a children’s novel by Beatrix Potter that was first published in October 1903. It is traditionally read to children on Christmas eve, just before bed time. The story tells of a tailor who falls ill and is unable to complete an important Christmas commission. When he returns to his shop, however, it is to find the waistcoat completed, apart from a button-hole because there is “no more twist”. The work has been done by mice who are grateful because the tailor rescued them from his cat.

Buy it at Amazon

2

Nutcracker
E T A Hoffmann

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The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is a story written in 1816 by E. T. A. Hoffmann in which young Marie Stahlbaum’s favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls after defeating the seven-headed Mouse King. In 1892, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov turned the story into the ballet The Nutcracker, which became one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous compositions, and one of the most popular ballets in the world.

Buy it at Amazon

1

The Little Match Girl
Hans Christian Andersen

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While this beautiful and sad story is actually set on New Year’s Eve, the little girl in the tale experiences aspects of Christmas by looking through a window at a Christmas tree and a holiday feast. In the story, the little girl is afraid to go home because she has not sold enough matches. In the freezing snow she uses the matches to keep herself warm. She sees a shooting star which reminds her of her grandmother who told her that a shooting star means someone has died. The little girl freezes to death but is found with a smile on her face as she died thinking of her loving grandmother – the only person who was kind to her in life.

Buy it at Amazon

Bonus

The Bible

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It is only fair that the Bible be included in this list. The Bible describes the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (Matthew 1:18 – Matthew 2:12, and Luke 1:26 – Luke 2:40) which is the whole reason for the Christmas season. The Bible does not give the specific date of the birth of Jesus, and the early Church celebrated His birth in March or May (depending on the region). The earliest known reference to Christmas being celebrated on the 25th of December was in the Calendar of 354 (AD) which was compiled for a Roman named Valentius. This would indicate that it was the Roman tradition to celebrate on that day. As Rome was already well established as the center of Christianity, it makes sense that the Roman date was eventually adopted by the rest of the world. The Calendar is of extremely important historical interest as it also records the dates of the celebration of Easter, commemoration dates of 100 years worth of previous Popes, and other commemoration dates of early martyrs. Interestingly, it refers to the pagan Sol Invictus (Birth of the Sun) holiday as independent of Christmas (though they fell on the same date) – contrary to the modern misconception that Christmas was simply stolen from the Pagan Roman festival.

Buy it at AmazonThis article is licensed under the GFDL because it contains quotations from Wikipedia. Some synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Contributor: JFrater

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • Callie

    between The Little Mermaid and The Little Match Girl, I'm slightly wary of Hans Christain Andersen. The man wants all little things to die, apparently.

    • Emilio

      Dec31 Hi Tammy ..Happy New Year’s! Thank YOU for the help at my blog; I do suspect I’ll be alieming you again this year for more help (already have issues since the WP 2.7 upgrade).Do have fun tonight and be safe!May 2009 bring lots of good fortune you way!:o)Paotie

  • Brandon

    I have read a few of those, puts me in the spirit

  • nipper

    ive only heard of the bible on this list.. might get some of these books as presents or something..

  • the_cloaked schemer

    My earliest comment ever, nice list, I love the Life and adventures of Santa Claus, my favorite christmas cartoon of the modern era

  • Francisco

    Sweeeeet list

  • Matt

    The Little Match Girl really depressed me :(

  • Matt: me too – but it is nice that those stories are still around and haven’t been “updated” to be pleasant as so many are!

  • Mav22

    Nice~ I love The Gift of the Magi.

  • ahmm

    great

  • lily_89

    Great list. Didnt Beatrix Potter write the Peter Rabbit stories?

  • What

    I’m not sure if I would want to snuggle in on Christmas Eve and read the Little Matchstick Girl with my children…

  • KT4

    Sorry for offending ANYONE*.. sorry for the mistake…

    • Muhadih

      Dec22 Thanks, Eh! That’s why we wrote this song as we are all proud Canadians ourselves. My older seitsr has been in Australia for over 30 years now, raising her family. Glad you enjoyed it so much and thanks for the wondrful sentiments.Terry Banks (co-writer and video producer)P.S. We do have the song for sale on iTunes with 10% of our net proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

  • Spocker

    Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” didn’t even make the list? I’d thought it would be #1.

  • STL Mo

    I love O. Henry. You could do far worse than spend a cold Saturday reading a collection of his short stories. He’s one of the masters of the surprise endings, and Gift of the Magi is one of the best-known.

  • Peter

    What about “Twas the night before christmas…”

  • KT4

    Let us not include Santa Close in our CHRISTmas celebration. He is nothing more than an Antichrist (not THE Antichrist, but just a counterfeit Christ)
    Like many of us, when I was a child, I was told that Santa Claus was “All Powerful” (He makes millions of toys and delivers them in one night). He defies the laws of nature by flying and jumping down narrow chimneys. With Santa all things are possible. He is by definition, Omnipotent. “…having unlimited power or authority; all powerful-the Omnipotent God.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary)
    I was told that Good Ol’ Saint Nick knows all things (At least he knows when every boy and girl is bad or good or how they behave throughout the year). He is by definition, Omniscient. “having infinite knowledge; knowing all things-the Omniscient God.” Webster’s New World Dictionary
    Let’s go back to the basis of Christmas which is Christ saving us and giving us eternal life. Christ should be the center of our celebration. Not Santa.

    *comment moderated per #9 of the FAQ by Cyn*

  • fivestring63

    The other day in both my boys classes in school, they were asked what the meaning of Christmas was. Most answered Santa and they get to open presents. My boys said Jesus’s birthday.

  • kbenjy

    The Little Match Girl, like so many Hans Christian Anderson tales, was wonderful…but depressing as hell!

  • kbenjy

    Bah Humbug! There’s no such thing as God or Jesus, therefore the Bible should not be included, blah blah blah!

  • Cyn

    please keep the FAQ in mind when commenting especially :
    9. Can I preach in my comments?
    No. The List Universe is not your personal pulpit. You can quote Scriptures, etc. in your comments if they are pertinent to the list – but you absolutely may not use the site as a source for conversions.

    and i would add..one or two scriptures, not a lengthy list will provide sufficent support for whatever your point is. any more than that is obnoxious, annoying and alienating to your target audience. in fact it will prove the opposite of whatever point you’re trying to make. so it is self defeating. so don’t. unless of course you are trying to negate your own point. ;)

  • Cyn

    also..
    one does not have to believe in or celebrate other people’s holiday traditions to at least respect them.
    an attitude of tolerance and respectful acceptance is something any religion should embrace.
    so why not stay in a ‘holiday spirit’ and simply wish everyone Happy Holidays..whatever or even whether they celebrate.

    and stick to the point of the list please.

    HAPPY HOLIDAZE!
    :)

  • KT4

    kbenjy,
    Following your logical reasoning, there’s no such things as the Nut Crakers, Santa Close and all others tales like that. Those who said the Bible doesn’t exist have never read it.
    Atheism is a religion. It requires a beleive. No one can prove the non-existence of GOD. Therefore it’s a faith. It cannot be proven scientifically that there’s no God.

    Sorry about my lenghthy comments. I shall try to obey the rules of listverse in the future…:)

    • Cliff

      Belief without evidence (faith) is not the same as non-belief due to lack of evidence. It is not possible to disprove the possibility that there are invisible pink fairies circling the planet of Pluto – does that make it a religion? Atheism is not a question of faith but of sound reasoning.

  • Sugen

    love reading these lists

  • Steph Frederick

    Absolutely love #10!! When Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass made “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” into an animated special, it was my favorite as a child. I loved this tale of the origin of Santa much better than what was described in “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I didn’t even know #9 existed, and I have been a fan of the Little House books for a looong time. But anything written by Wilder is pure gold. Yet another superb list!

  • Vera Lynn

    The Gift of the Magi is one of my favorites. We read it every year in my classrom. I’ll never forget the first time I read it. Plus my hair used to be that long and I couldn’t imagine cutting it that short for anyone. The Little Match Girl breaks my heart.

  • DK

    @ Spocker (#11) check the link up top for the original Christmas Stories list, I believe it’s first on that one, so of course excluded from this list.

    I so love that the Laura Ingalls story is listed here, I’ve read through the whole Little House books many times (even as an adult), but I wasn’t aware that they took the Christmas portions of Big Woods & made it’s own little book out of it. I think that’s wonderful!

    The Gift of the Magi always makes me so sad & beautiful, it’s always made me cry.

    I had heard of the Little Match Girl by name, but never actually knew the story, how terribly depressing it sounds! I’m sure reading it would make me cry too.

  • sakurakiss

    The Gift of the Magi and Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus both make me cry. In a good way. I always cry when I’m really deeply touched.

  • kbenjy

    KT4 (#20)..First of all, no one has ever accused me of being logical, or even of reasoning for that matter :)…secondly, my comment was absolutely tongue in cheek. It is not my intention to offend anyone’s beliefs, I just see that statement work its way into comments on most lists that mention the Bible and thought I’d beat someone to the punch.

    • Cliff

      Maybe we should 'offend' people's beliefs, just like, when we are at school, our knowledge of all subjects is challenged and expanded upon. Religion is for children. We need to grow up as a human race.

  • CJ

    KT4: Happy Saturnalia and the Feast of Sol Invictus!

  • I’ve read all of these books, at one time or another, and then again to my children.
    What wonderful memories they bring back!
    Thank you, J, for this list (and the previous Christmas reading list!), they remind us of what wonderful literature there is available for the season.

  • flibbertigibbet

    I find The Little Match Girl to be the most intensely depressing of all the Hans Christian Anderson’s, and that is saying a lot. Second place goes to The Brave Tin Soldier. I love his stories, but thank the aether they’re short…

  • Freshies

    The illustration of the Little Match Girl is kind of weird. The girl looks like she is in her mid 20s, and wanting to be picked up off of the corner for Christmas. If that was the case she probably wouldn’t have died though.

  • youllforgetit

    The Little Match Girl always used to make me cry. : (

  • Seanithan

    KT4, I’d appreciate if you’d stop with this prodding.

    Everyone is sick of the religious debates on this site and would like to just enjoy comments about the books that were listed.

    The fact that you don’t agree that Christmas is commercialized is too bad because this is the way it is. Many people who don’t believe in Christ celebrate Christmas as a time to get together with family and show everyone that you love them. I really don’t think this is SUCH a bad thing that it need be argued about.

    Stick to complaining about more pressing matters, and have a merry Christmas at that.

  • jin

    Little Match girl is not a story for the holidays.
    The first time I read this I think I was five or seven and it depressed the heck out of me! I still don’t read it and don’t even read it to my nephew :P

  • IM A Bad Man

    @Cyn, I hope your getting paid for this! LMAO. It’s not that serious. If people can’t comment without the comment police coming by then whats the point. It’s not like we are discussing Whats the most important religion and people are being rude, we are talking about Christmas books. Gosh.

  • Cyn

    35. IM A Bad Man –
    first a comment was edited and the commentor was told about it.
    and there have been other comments dangerously close to creating yet another inappropriate religious debate on a simple book list.
    so this is not about ‘comment police’ but people politely and respectfully abiding by the FAQ in deference to the entire community of commentors.
    secondly, i am a volunteer. i do this on my own time. if you take issue w/ what i do, i recommend you direct that to J.
    :)

  • DK

    IM A Bad Man:
    Without some sort of moderation (or what you call “comment police”) the comments section here would potentially degrade into something along the lines of what you would see at ebaum’s world. I dunno about you, but I certainly don’t want that, and I’m glad Cyn popped in to keep this from turning into one of those nasty religious debate threads.

  • KT4

    Sorry for offending anymore with what i said. I just strongly beleive in God and the bible, and perhaps if what I said bothers any anti-religion people out there, you have my apologies. I highly beleive in religious freedom and I also beleive in free speech. This world is a little too much into entertainment and neglect the real values of life. Yes, family and friends are good reasons to celebrated Christmas. But please dont throw Christ out of the picture, or else don’t call it CHRISTmas.

    • Cliff

      Could you expand upon the 'real values of life'? I suppose you mean them from a religious perspective, such as burning books, buildings, people, sanctioning child abuse and belief that the world is 4000 years old and was made in 7 days etc…

  • Metalwrath

    If I may, the birth of Jesus is not “the whole reason for the Christmas season”.
    First, I heard that Jesus wasn’t born the 25th of December but more likely in February or something but I have nothing to back this up, I don’t remember where I read that.
    What I do know, is that Christmas is the offspring of both that new religion which was Christianity, and the ancient pagan beliefs of pre-christian Europe.
    The “cult” of the Christmas tree is a tradition from ancient Germanic paganism (obviously… its not like there ever were any trees like that in Orient…), Santa Claus derives from Saint Nicolas who he himself was “inspired” in the legend by the Norse god Odin. Not to mention that Christmas day is not far from the winter solstice (its the ancestor of christmas celebrations), hence the Yule candle which persists today in Nordic European countries. The cult of Mithra, and Sol invictus in the roman empire at the time were replaced by Christmas celebrations too.

    All that because it was much easier to spread Christianity in Europe if the ancient pagans could keep their festivities, only they were applied to the new religion. Look at Halloween, or how some ancient pagan deities became human “saints” with Christianity (not to mention that the cult of saints or angels is almost polytheistic…).

  • Metalwrath

    Oh, and I hope I didn’t offend anyone.
    The truth is that European Christianity should be called pagano-christianity because the influences of ancient heathen religions on Christianity are omnipresent (which isn’t surprising since most of the christian theologists who created roman Christianity were living in a pagan land, or were perhaps pagan themselves before converting).

  • lsan

    Douay rheims !!! love it Some one is Cathoic!!

  • I wrote a post, but it isn't here. It does not contain any foul language, or anything that should have put it into moderation.
    I'm clueless.
    Cyn?
    J?

    • Iliana

      Hiya! Great blog! I happen to be a every day iiovtsr to your website (somewhat much more like addict ) of this web site. Just wanted to say I appreciate your blogs and am searching forward for much more! 60666

  • dreamer

    i saw santa claus 20 years ago but he is jew with a little cap

  • YogiBarrister

    I love the look of this list. It’s so pleasing to the eye to scroll down through the wonderful cover art. Now I’m heading back to the bookstore to buy some more presents.

  • MiSaNtHrOpE

    The Little Match Girl is an excellent inclusion in this list. I think once in a while, kids need to be exposed–in small doses–to horror and “bad endings.” Things are far too sterilized now, with Disney and the doctrine of the Positive Ending in sterile children’s lit.

    The truth about Christmas is, whether you believe in Jesus or not, it has become pan-cultural and consumerist because of the majoritarian nature of Christians themselves. This has only served to degrade their holiday and their own sense of identity. Don’t forget that many of these advertisers and PR people are they themselves Christian, and the decision to start Christmas three months early and all of the advertising and Nativity scenes you can buy in October is purely consumerism. If you want to yell at anyone for sucking the “true” meaning out of Christmas, look in the mirror. It’s your holiday, you’re responsible for it :)

  • YogiBarrister

    My two cents, there is nothing in KT4’s comment #14 that warranted Cyn’s moderation note. It was sincere, unoffensive, and only a scootch off-topic.
    I wasn’t aware that there bare blog monitors here. I got flagged a while back for posting the Battle Hymn of the Republic on a American Civil War thread. I found it to be a real turn off, especially because a sniper from a rightwing website called my post hate speech, which is what I suppose prompted the flag.

  • MzFly

    Very nice list. You gave me some great ideas for our holiday reading this year!

  • YogiBarrister

    Another penny in the pot regarding blog moderation. Please don’t flag Randall again. He is by far the most compelling commenter here, and probably breaks at least one rule in every post. I suspect that getting flagged is the reason he doesn’t post here much anymore.

  • YogiBarrister: as far as I am aware (though I could be wrong) – we have never needed to moderate Randall – his comments can be quite long, but they are usually without malice and to the point :) I for one love his comments!

  • Emmie

    The Gift of the Magi is a wonderful addition and deserves to be #1 :)

  • astraya

    I’ll steer clear of controversy, even though I’m known in real life to be strongly opinionated about this.

    I’ll just mention that a friend just told me, in an email:

    “Marry Christmas”.

    Kind advice, I’m sure, but I don’t think I’m allowed to!

  • Cyn

    re: comment moderation

    the specific incident in this list ..the commentor was informed that the comment moderated was done so due to content in violation of FAQ..so that particular comment has been edited. the commentor has apologized and i should think that particular case is closed. further commenting on this specific incident is irrelevant..especially by parties who do not know the exact content of the originating comment.

    as for Randall..i have never edited or deleted any of his comments. some of his comments..of which he should now be aware since i’ve commented on same..have gone automatically into moderation que by use of keywords loaded into the system to do just that…potentially offensive words redirect a comment into moderation for a human being to read and determine if it is indeed offensive or can be released. this is any keyword in any comment by anyone. no one is targeted. there are no exceptions. i can and have used words that have put my own comments into moderation!

    those keywords are set by J. most are obscenities or racial slurs. some can be numbers that are abused by adolescent posters claiming comment position.

    so just be clear on who you are accusing of what. and exactly what the facts are regarding specific instances.

    Happy Holidaze :)

  • krchuk

    “The Little Match Girl” may be depressing but it deserves to be number one. Christmas is not all about happy times, there are many out there suffering and this book hopefully offers insight to a sad reality and teaches compassion to young minds (it certainly did for me as a young one). When taking a walk around this time of year I sometimes peek into people’s windows to see their wonderful Christmas preparations, but I know that when I return home, it will be to a happy place. Many don’t have that luxury and this book so poignantly tells that story. Thanks Frater, lovely list. :)

  • Nitesh

    Hey,
    I subscribe to The List Verse on Google Reader. Now, instead of seeing the images in a post, all I see is a notification that the image is stolen!!
    Please fix this!!

  • Carole

    Every year I look forward to the t.v. special of “A Child’s Christmas in Whales” starring Denholm Elliot, as the grandfather telling his grandson about his childhood Christmas.

  • astraya

    Umm, should that be “Wales”?

  • Carole

    Oops! I meant Wales, Sorry

  • sheltiesan

    Such a nice list. Some of them I’ve heard of. Thinking about checking the others out! As a child I believed Santa was my Higher Power’s “helper” We had a decoration of Santa looking into the manger at the baby. Personally, I’m sure I believe in too many things. I think that’s what helps me to get through these holidays in such hard times.

  • kach

    I’m happy O. Henry is in the list. It’s the best Christmas short story I’ve ever read.

    Happy Holidays!

  • bigski

    Nice list for the holidays.Hey I sent a post earlier where I said something smart and I dont see it! Nevermind it wasn`t me.

  • Cyn

    59. segue –
    not seen a comment in moderation. there were some gaps in time sequence so could’ve been temporary outages.
    and if your comment goes into moderation..you’d get a message on it instead of it posting.
    so if you write a comment and it does not post..there’s no ‘..pending moderation’ msg. then it could be some kinda technical difficulty.
    comment flow seems alright now.
    :)

  • deepthinker

    Merry Christmas everyone… It’s Christmas time… why can’t we all just get along? Whether you are religious or not, can’t there just be one day in the whole year that we have peace on earth? Even if you aren’t a Christian… let’s just have peace and good will- or at least try.

  • shadow

    I agree with deepthinker!

  • 62. Cyn: not seen a comment in moderation…
    ****
    ~shrug~
    It wasn’t important anyway.

  • Hiamn

    Fabulous list! Has anybody seen the animated short of the Little Match Girl? It’s set to classical music, without any dialogue, I cannot for the life of me remember where I saw it but it’s the most moving this I’ve seen in a long time. I love that story, and I think it teaches children a very important aspect of Christmas. The idea of it beinhg “too depressing” to read to children is ridiculous, and if this is the attitude some take regarding their children, coupled with Disney’s doctrine of the happy ending (love that btw!) then God help us all in a few generations.

  • francucumber

    the only one ive read is the bible and its not that good.

  • Bigbrother

    Interesting list.
    @67. Not the whole Bible just the part about Jesus’s birth.

  • BlackYamiCat

    My old neighbour’s father illustrated Number 8. In fact, I think the book was dedicated to her. I’d have to check my copy for that, though.

    Just thought that it was interesting ^^

  • Sgt. Batguano

    Years ago Steve Martin wrote Gift of the Magi Indian Giver and the gifts were shin bone polish and cuticle frames. Upon the exchange of the gifts the wife said, “Well, I’ll be hog-tied” and the husband said, “You will!?” and it was a great Christmas after all. That story always brings a tear to my eye, sniff.

  • grubthrower

    I’ve got a quirky addition:

    Mrs. Coverlet’s Magigicians by Marry Nash. It was published by Scholastic Book Service and marketed to 3rd & 4th grade readers. I just re-read it at age 46 and was absolutely delighted.

    Mr. Preserver is a vitamin salesman who has to be away at Christmas to attend to a tin mine he inherited in New Zealand. The three Preserver children are being looked after by their housekeeper, Mrs. Coverlet. Only middle child Molly enters Mrs. C’s Chocolate State Bread Pudding in a bake-off contest, and it becomes a finalist, so now Mrs. Coverlet has to go to New York for the actual bake-off. Enter Mrs. Eva Penalty, a stern old maid next door who agrees to look after the kids — with gruel and brussel sprouts other horrors, much to the dimay of the three children — especially six-year old Toad (Theobold). This is only slightly ameliorated by the kind words and precense of Rev. Forthright, who is a good friend of the oldest child, Malcom.

    But after we see that Toad has received a strange package via ordering from the back of a forbidden ‘horror’ comic, Mrs. Eva mysteriously takes to her bed, existing just fine on hamburgers, ice cream, and dime mysteries — leaving the children to their own devices.

    They decide to do the whole Christmas-thing themselves (this is actually a sequel to While Mrs. Coverlet Was Away, also delightful, wherein the kids have the whole summer to themselves and have many adventures).

    Yhe kids get ready for Christmas in their own quirky way, with a tree, turkey, presents, etc, and everything is fine for awhile (except for the Toad’s insistance that it will be a white Christmas, which in Loganbury hasn’t happened in modern times).

    Things fall horribly awry after Malcom and Molly find just what it was the Toad ordered, and it looks like Christmas will be an absolute disaster, but the day is of course saved in a charming and unexpected manner. Ancillary characters are especially cool in this book, and I love the naming convention: Mr. Forthright is the Reverend, Romaine = Grocer, Wheeler = Chauffeur, Eva Penalty (with the mischeivious Toad praying every night “to be delivered from Eva”), and of course the kids do Persevere through their trials.

    As to the title, there is spell use, but it can never be proven as causative, and what is really being portrayed is the magic of Christmas itself.

    Both of the Mrs. Coverlet books are all-time favorites from my childhood. And Mrs. Coverlet’s Magicians is always the Christmas story no one has ever heard of.

  • 71. grubthrower: I’ve never even heard of these books, but I am definitely going to track them down and buy them!
    I have a baby grand-daughter, who will turn 2 in January. At her birth I announced that my intention was to provide her with a library of 50 good quality, hardbound, beautifully illustrated books by the time she was ready to read, about 4. I’m about halfway there, but learning of books like this, something I’ve never known about but sounds wonderful, helps me add special one-of-a-kind additions to the library.
    Yipeee!

  • GaryB

    Another good story starting at Christmas and ending at Easter is “The Story of the Other Wise Man” by Henry Van Dyke written in 1895.

  • Mariam67

    I agree with all of these- except the Little Matchgirl. I hated that as a child, that she had to watch other people celebrating Christmas in their windows until she froze to death. Just depressing. Coincidentally, I was just talking to my brother about this story today.

  • Bob

    Metalwrath, did you even read the bit in the list about the date of Christmas? If not, check this out: http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-10-012-v.

    Your assertions about paganism and Christianity are laughable at best. Some once-religious cultural miscellanies may have stayed on as non-religious, but they certainly had no influence on Christian doctrine or practice.

    I think I smell the influence, however, of ignorant professors with plenty of agenda but little sense.

  • Matt42

    What? No “KISS saves Santa”?

  • Mindymoo

    How about the episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “Night of the Meek”? It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I will always watch it and cry like a baby. Art Carney was brilliant in that episode. It was about a poor alcoholic who gets fired as a department store Santa for being drunk. He comes across this huge red sack, and whenever somebody asks for a gift from Santa, the item magically appears from the bag. A smoking jacket, a doll, a toy truck, a ten year old bottle of scotch… He ends up being arrested because they think that the presents he is giving out were stolen from the department store, but when he is in jail and the police look in the sack, it is filled with nothing but trash. Anyway, it turns out that he really is Santa Claus, so it has a nice, sweet ending that wasn’t typical of many TZ episodes. And now I am going to bust out the DVDs and watch that episode, because it is so awesome.

  • GetReal

    The Little Match Girl is a twisted story appealing to the disturbed people of our sick society. It is certainly NOT appropriate for young children as it was read to my daughter’s 2nd grade class and the kids were HORRIFIED! People who recommend this as a Christmas story for children should be on a list of child abusers and locked up! The closing illustration depicts the dead little girl in the snow with a bird looking at her!

  • Mynailistoolong

    Ummm A Christmas Carol, hello?

  • maddie

    wow that is a lot of comments

  • Bookdottcycle

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  • mamal

    it’s amazing.I love these kind of books,mainly the ones of christmas

  • Gill Avila

    I read “Roads” by Seabury Quinn when I was 13, and it made me cry. I’m 63 now and I still choke up when I read it. I’m surprised it didn’t make this list. Maybe in your 10-more list?

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