Christmas is just around the corner and whether you are a Christian or not I am sure you are well aware of the festival that falls on the 25th of December.
Many books are written on the theme of Christmas and they are often books people remember with fondness. Two of my favourite books as a child was Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Match Girl’ and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clarke Moore.
The Little Match Girl
‘On New Year’s Eve, a girl from an extremely poor family goes out to raise a little money by either selling some matches that she has or by begging. There is snow on the ground and her clothes are inadequate for the cold weather, she does not even have shoes on her feet. The Little Match Girl is afraid to go home because she has not sold any matches or been given any money all day and is afraid that her father will beat her. Her home is also no warmer than the street.
To warm her numb hands, the girl lights one of her matches. As she does so, she sees an image of a metal stove and feels that her feet are warm too, however, the match quickly burns out. Lighting a second match, she feels that she can see inside the house of a wealthy family, where the roast goose is running around with a fork in its back. Lighting a third match produces an image of a beautiful Christmas tree.
The girl sees a shooting star and begins to think about her late grandmother, who told her that the fall of a star means that somebody is dying.
Lighting a fourth match produces a vision of the girl’s grandmother. Knowing that the vision will disappear when the match burns out, the girl lights all of her other matches to make it last longer. She asks her grandmother to take her with her when the vision ends.
On New Year’s Day, the girl’s body is found. She has frozen to death but there is a smile on her face because of the beautiful visions that she saw. ‘https://literature.fandom.com/wiki/The_Little_Match_Girl
Twas the Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!
The First Christmas Story
Of course, the story of Baby Jesus being born is a wonderful story of hope. If you want to know the story you can hear it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhuKeFX9HpE