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2011-11-25

Christmas Countdown: Christmas Reading

The Night Before Christmas, McLoughlin Bros, 1869
Snowday - parade weekend.... hmmmm, seems like it will soon be time for the kids and I to start enjoying our annual tradition of reading Christmas Stories in the weeks leading up to Christmas! The following are among our favourites:
  1. The Night Before Christmas - the classic! We have a few copies, the one I read to them most is a 2002 version. The boys comment on the pipe & smoking - I have to explain that it was not known to be unhealthy at the time the book was written and I am sure that Santa has since quit the habit!
  2. The Christmas Cat - a lovely story of a cat who was deserted by her family and is now wandering the woods. Santa comes to the forest to feed the animals, and finds her a home.
  3. The Polar Express - the book the movie was based on, about believing in Santa and the Christmas Spirit. Beautiful!
  4. A Christmas Carol (abridged version - Toad finds the original spooky!). By the way, did you know that Tiny Tim was not the first choice for the name of his character? Charles Dickens also considered Little Larry, Puny Pete, and Small Sam... somehow they just don't have the same ring!
  5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - now known mostly as a song, the story was originally created as a  promotional gimmick in 1939  for Montgomery Ward department stores. It was a little book that could be given as a freebie to shoppers. The author's brother-in-law, liked the story wrote a song to go with it.
And here is one I would like to read: Goody Santa Claus On A Sleigh Ride by Katherine Lee Bates (1889). Apparently it is what first introduced us to Mrs Claus - in the story, she convinces Santa to take her along to deliver toys. She comes in handy when he discovers a little boy's stoking that is too tattered to hold presents. Mrs. Claus pops down the chimney and sews it up so Santa can fill it!

What are your favourites?
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