Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas Reads

What a sparse literary December I have had! :(

I barely finished my two projected Christmas reads for Literary Christmas reading link-up; then again, I chose only two books for this very reason: December is an INSANE month for me, and I knew there would not be time or energy for more. 

As it was...those two books were the only two I started and completed. I did finish Rousseau, but I began that in November or October, and I started Caroline this month, but not by much. More on those later.

So here I shall wrap up my Christmas reads, and hopefully get to the several other posts for the year before 2019 arrives...

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Short and to the point...

If you have not read A Christmas Carol, yet, do it next Christmas. This is the most palatable Dickens ever, and it is only five or so chapters short.  Guaranteed to put Christmas in your heart, even just a little bit. It is such a joyous release and it shall make you happy and glad. 

It will make you think of others less fortunate, those we tend to neglect or forget all year. It may cause you to examine your heart and feel slightly ashamed for all the times you have been ungrateful and dissatisfied for what you already have, when so many have far less. 

You may sense a bit of contrition for your disgruntled heart, while others, alone or in uncomfortable circumstances, can still experience joy at Christmas. You will wonder...what is your lousy excuse?

A Christmas Carol puts life into a simple perspective. In addition, it should tie into the gospel, reminding us that we are lost and sometimes selfishly greedy and covetous; we desperately need a Savior, which is why we celebrate Jesus at Christmas. He was born (and died) so that we may have a way to God and be saved. He wants us to love others as we often love ourselves, which is one of His greatest commandments. He did this for us, and He wants us to imitate Him.

Read it, read it, read it...or listen to it on audio. It is essential reading material and should not be neglected. 

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden


This is a children's story, published in 1985. Over the years, I have seen The Story of Holly and Ivy climbing up in the ranks for suggested Christmas stories. Yay! 

It is a story about wishing...a little orphan girl wishes to belong to a family, a doll in a toy store wishes for a little girl to own her, a childless married woman wishes for a little girl to love...and it all takes place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

There is slight conflict and tension when Christmas Eve ends and the little girl has not found her family, the toy store closes and no one has bought the Christmas doll, and the childless woman has purchased a Christmas tree and decorated it at home, but has no child to enjoy it. 

Worse yet, the young boy who closed up the toy store has lost the key to the store. Someone else found it lying in the snow. Will he ever get the key back? Will the Christmas doll ever find her little girl? Will the childless woman ever have a child to share and enjoy Christmas? Will Holly ever find a family?

Well, you can guess how all those wishes turn out, but maybe not in the way you presume. It is definitely a sweet Christmas story with beautiful illustrations that come to life...I can hear and feel the crunching of snow underfoot and the warmth of the fire on the hearth. 

It is a heart warming story...not just for children. 

7 comments:

Cleo @ Classical Carousel said...

I'm glad to hear positive news from the Godden book. I read one by her once and it was .... well, weird. And not enough wonderful things can be said about A Christmas Carol! Truly the spirit of Christmas. I don't think A Literary Christmas ends until Dec 31st so you still have time to add more books if you can manage it!

Ruth said...

The Godden book is so very sweet. You can read it in one sitting, too.

I'm afraid I won't be able to read another Christmas story. Today was my first day I could stay home and do absolutely NOTHING...in which I wrote four blog posts for the next four days. Whew! And I'd really like to finish my final book of 2019. (As it is, I'm going to fall one book short on my Goodreads challenge.) : (

Well, Happy New Year to you!

sally bobbitt said...

And please do read my favorite "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote. a very quick read. I found a copy of a reading here: Truman Capote reading "A Christmas Memory" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgE2-Ejbjxk

Ruth said...

OK, thanks...I'll check it out.

Joseph said...

Holly and Ivy seems vaguely familiar...mighta read it waaaay back. Intriguing though. I may use it for next year's Literary Christmas.

Ruth said...

If you have a special someone to read it to...it really is a lovely read aloud story. Happy New Year!!!

Tarissa said...

You did great with your holiday reading! If you got to read something that touched your heart, and it seems like both of those titles you finished did, then... mission accomplished. :)

Thank you for participating in A Literary Christmas! (Hope you'll join us again for Christmas 2019.)

Blessings,
Tarissa
http://inthebookcase.blogspot.com