Here are some classics to get you inspired!
I know Christmas is still a long way off but when you’re starting a publishing company and your first publication is going to be a collection of Christmas stories, there’s no time to spare!
So, to that end I’ve put together a quick list of the notable Christmas stories to inspire readers to write their own, new, inspiring or entertaining Christmas stories!
Topping this list of inspiring Christmas stories is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, quite possibly the most famous fictional Christmas story ever written. A Christmas Carol was not the only Christmas story the master of storytelling penned but it is certainly the most famous. A Christmas Carol was written by Dickens at a time when England had become a bit gloomy and solemn about celebrating Christmas. Dickens’ tale, which was published just 6 days before Christmas day in 1843, of the miserable miser Scrooge, who learned, “how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge,” became an instant success! With Tiny Tim declaring “God bless us, everyone,” the book brought a whole new life and merriment to the holiday. Since that time, A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been adapted to the stage and on film countless times. Take your pick of film adaptations: Reginald Owen, Alastair Sim, Albert Finney, Henry Winkler, George C Scott, Bill Murray, Patrick Stewart, Jim Carrey, Mickey Mouse, the Muppets and many more…
Inspiring Christmas tale number 2 on this list is, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss. Let’s face it, we all have a bit of Scrooge or the Grinch in us once in a while at Christmas time but when you’re standing in those long lines at the store trying to get those last minute gifts under the tree, grumbling about the crowds around you, just remember:
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”
Third is the perhaps less well known but every bit as heartwarming: The Gift of the Magi by O Henry. Written in 1905, this tender tale is about a poor, newlywed couple who each sale the only possession of worth they each have to buy the other a special gift for Christmas. Della, the sweet wife, sales her very long, beautiful hair to buy a chain for her husband Jim’s treasured pocket watch—a family heirloom handed down from his grandfather. While unbeknownst to her, he sales his pocket watch to buy a set of jewel encrusted combs for her lovely hair. When they present their gifts to each other, they realize something more valuable than the possessions they have sold, that their love for one another is priceless! The narrator ends the story comparing the couple’s mutually sacrificial gifts of love with those of the Biblical Magi: “The magi, as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise men – who brought gifts to the new-born King of the Jews in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest, they are the Magi.”
Fourth on this list, but certainly not final in a world full of wondrous and heartwarming Christmas stories, is, The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. Published in December, 1845, this tear jerking tale is actually set on New Year’s Eve but is also considered a Christmas story because the shivering little girl, out on the cold streets at night, who was supposed to be selling matches to earn money to take to her father, sees, in a vision of flames as she lights the matches to stay warm, a Christmas tree and a feast of roast goose. She then sees in another vision of little match flame, her dead grandmother, who had always been loving and kind to her. To keep the vision of her grandmother with her longer, she lights many matches at once! The next morning the little match girl is found by passerby’s, frozen to death from the night’s cold. With a smile on her frozen face, the little match girl had gone to heaven to be with God and her grandmother where she would no longer feel cold and hunger but peace and love.
What Christmas stories have inspired you and your family throughout the years? To leave a comment, either click on the quote bubble at the top right of this post or scroll down to comment section.
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