Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Stories New & Old

(photo by Enokson)

Though there's no snow falling here yet (and that's more than fine with me!), books are always calling! This time of year, it's time to dig out the old Christmas favorites and find some new favorites, too.

Some Christmas stories are standards based on songs or poems, such as "Rudolph" and "Frosty." Some are classics, such as Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Clement Moore's A Visit From St. Nicholas.

Two new Christmas books for children (which really means "all ages," don't you think?) popular in my region reflect the heritages of many of my area's residents. Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, a South Dakota author, brings us a memory from her childhood on the Rosebud Reservation. The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood takes us into the not-so-distant past on the plains. Virginia really needs a new winter coat, but so do the other kids she knows. When charity boxes arrive (called "Theast boxes" because they come from "The East"), a beautiful fur coat tempts her. But Virginia knows that, as the minister's daughter, she won't get first choice. Read the book to see how things work out for Christmas joy. The illustrations by Ellen Beier provide accurate detail of the times and situations to complement the story.

(photo by triplezero)

Jan Brett's new Christmas book, Home for Christmas features Rollo, the runaway Swedish troll. Brett's signature border art and depiction of the action make this a fun story for young and old. Rollo has adventures with many different animals before he finds that home may be best after all.

For more Christmas book ideas, see this list from Horn Book magazine.

(photo by Theresa, cheekycrows3)

We love stories of Santa, elves, trolls, and other magical creatures, but for me, Christmas magic is best told in the original Christmas story from the book of Luke. See Linus, of "Peanuts" fame, recite it in this 2 minute clip:

What stories are you delighting in this season?


  1. Here's a link to reflections on favorite books (see "12 Days of Christmas")

  2. Thank you for sharing beautiful shots and many good book information, Jane. The top shot of red and white is really pretty!
    I remember reading "A Christmas Carol" in my English class many years ago.
    Enjoy a busy and happy week!

  3. Thanks for your kind comments, beagleAnnie. "A Christmas Carol" has been done in many different versions and alluded to in common sayings (such as "Bah, humbug!"). You are right, it is a busy and happy week! You enjoy your week, too.

  4. As usual, a great post! I always associate Hans Christian Andersen with Christmas. I also love the British tradition of ghost stories on Christmas Eve. The snow is falling outside now, but not a lot, at least not yet. A great day for books.

  5. Interesting, bluerabbit! I had not made the Christmas connection with HC Andersen, but "The Little Matchgirl" and "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" fit the bill. Those are quite the sad stories, if I remember right. And Dickens' _A Christmas Carol_ keeps in their ghostly tradition. Thanks for the comment and info.

  6. Though I relish Dicken's Carol, the original Christmas story is the bestest! And I think Linus tells it as well as a librarian reads a book aloud. Happy New Year my friend!

  7. Happy New Year to you, C! Thanks for your comments.