December 9, 2011

Friday Fives: Favourite Christmas Stories


I've already been sharing some of these with you as part of my HolidaFavourites, so some of these might feel a bit repetitive but oh well. 

These are my FIVE favourite Christmas stories:
  
1)  The actual CHRISTmas story 
I would be remiss if I didn't include the whole Reason we celebrate this festive occasion in the first place - the birth of Jesus. It's not me, me, me, or gimme, gimme, gimme but so much more than all that. I hope this doesn't make you uncomfortable, but His name is after all in the title of this holiday (<--literally, 'holy day'). To read the Christmas story, you can go [HERE] and [HERE]. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
                                             
2)  The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan
When young Christopher writes a letter to Santa Claus, he poses a question no one has ever thought to ask before: Dear Santa Claus, What do you wish for Christmas? Miraculously, Santa's longtime wish comes true, and a baby girl is born—Princess Holly Claus. But just as the Land of Forever joyously celebrates her arrival, far away an evil is unleashed. A curse is placed on Holly, freezing her heart in ice so her future will be bound by a world of darkness. And with the Gates of Forever now locked, Santa can no longer spread the magic of Christmas to children everywhere. As soon as Holly finds a way to make a daring escape, she begins an astounding journey to the Empire City, determined to free herself and, once and for all, bring back Christmas. (from Amazon.com)

This is the shortened picture book version of the novel by Brittney Ryan. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is both magical and very, very Christmasy.

3)  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A "classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions" (from imdb, oddly). Who doesn't love this story? It's especially good with Sticky Date Pudding, FYI. You can check that out [HERE] if you're so inclined. No lead up to Christmas is complete for me without somehow incorporating this story into my yuletide routines and traditions. Whether reading the story, seeing it performed live, or simply watching one of the great movie versions, I make sure it's included every single Christmas.

Not creepy at all.
4)  The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman
I am particular to the Nutcracker ballet, but the story had to come from somewhere and that somewhere is E.T.A. Hoffman's mind. There are any number of versions of this story and just as many are beautifully illustrated. This copy on the left is adapted by Aliana Brodmann and illustrated by the amazing Gennady Spirin. Don't let the nightmare-inducing cover fool you - the illustrations are just gorgeous! As for the familiar Tchaikovsky music (wow, I totally spelled his name right the first time!) wrote for the ballet, it's wonderful and something that never fails to make me feel Christmasy. 

5)  The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (and now I want a chocolate bar)
One dollar and eight-seven cents is all the money Della has in the world to buy her beloved husband a Christmas present. She has nothing to sell except her only treasure -- her long, beautiful brown hair. Set in New York at the turn of the twentieth century, this classic piece of American literature tells the story of a young couple and the sacrifices each must make to buy the other a gift. (from Amazon.com)

"The magi, as you know, were wise men - wonderfully wise men - who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents." 
~%~O. Henry, from The Gift of the Magi~%~


These are only some of my favourites. There are far too many to count, including Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (not really Christmas, but does have Christmas in it), How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, and so many more.

4 comments:

  1. I did my own Friday Fives this week because the only stories I could come up with for this were GRIMBLE AT CHRISTMAS, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and the ORIGINAL story (the first on your list). After reading your Holiday Favourites these past few days, I didn't think you'd have any problems with this one. :) I'm sure I read Christmas stories when I was younger, but none really stood out for me as much as those three. Mmm... you mentioned the Grinch--that could have been one. That's four. Still one short! Nevermind. While my Friday Fives isn't nearly as festive, I had fun doing it.

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  2. Aw, I love The Gift of the Magi! And the original Christmas story, of course. :) Great picks!

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  3. Ah, a great list. I don't know Holly Claus, but I need to get it to read it to my boys!
    The others I know and love. ;0)

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