Parties, programs, cooking, shopping, wrapping, lines, eating, watching favorite movies we grew up with and finding new favorites. There is something about Christmas time that can bring out the best and sometimes the worst in people. Grouchy parents, demanding kids, family friction, frustration about not meeting expectations,etc. I’m sure you can tack on your own list.
But I do love Christmas stories–whether it’s movies from childhood past, or the classic tales that don’t grow old. For example, I don’t tire of A Christmas Carol, in the original Dickens, of course.
“You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!” Gravy–grave, get it? Even now Dickens’ humor makes me smile.
“There are some upon this earth of yours,’ returned the Spirit, ‘who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.” Not much of an issues-based book, is it? But then Dickens tackled the issues of his day head-on. Some aren’t much different than what we face now.
And of course, who could forget the wisdom of Tiny Tim?
“And how did little Tim behave?” asked Mrs Cratchit, when she had rallied Bob on his credulity and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart’s content.
“As good as gold,” said Bob, “and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see.”
Allow me, one more quote from Dickens:
“He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares, long, long, forgotten.” Exquisite, and even better when read aloud.
I’ve had the joy of writing several Christmas titles over the years in the books A Big Apple Christmas, A Riverwalk Christmas, and Christmas At Barncastle Inn. Each of my novellas were from my heart, and I was thrilled to focus on an aspect of Christmas that was significant to me — the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center, the beauty of San Antonio at Christmas time, and a nod to one of my favorite Christmas movies, “White Christmas.”
What are some of your favorite Christmas stories, that you’ve read or watched? Is there an old favorite you bring out each year, or have you recently read a new book for your keeper shelf?
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Lynette Sowell writes fiction for the inspirational market, from contemporary romance to mysteries. She’s always looking for the perfect recipe for a story–or a great dish–and is always up for a Texas road trip. You can listen in to the Flashlight Reader on Monday nights here.