"Heap on more wood! -- the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still." Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832 "Lochinvar" VI - intro.st 1
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
Charles Dickens 1812 - 1870 "A Christmas Carol." 1843
Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" as a serialized story for a newspaper, probably not realizing it would become a world classic. Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales" is another all-time favorite. (I love the little movie they made of it and I watch it every year.) Louisa May Alcott begins chapter one of "Little Women" with the famous line "Christmas won't be Christmas without any present." And Clement Clarke Moore's beloved "Visit from St. Nicholas" is recited every year. "'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse..."
A lot of famous writers have written about this Festive Seasaon, and many songs lyrics have been written about Christmas too, besides the traditional Carols. "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." Irving Berlin 1888 - 1989 "Holiday Inn (1942) White Christmas"
And the well-known children's songs such as "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and
"Frosty the Snow Man."
How do other writer's celebrate Christmas?
I was pleased last week to get a few shifts at the daycare. It's always fun this time of year being with the little ones, singing the Christmas songs, and watching their excitement as the Big Day arrives. Christmas has always been a special time for my family and we keep a lot of the old traditions handed down from my English/Welsh grandparents and great-grandparents. It disturbs me now to see how those 'politically correct' folk want to take the "Christmas" out of Christmas, even to changing it to a 'holiday tree'. What nonsense. First thing you know they'll abolish Santa Claus as well. These are old traditions passed down in our culture for hundreds of years and I see no reason to change them. Christmas is Christmas. Hannuka is Hannuka. Just as other cultures (Indo-Canadian, Buddist, Muslim) have their own Festive holidays we have Christmas.
Last night our Scribblers writer's group had our annual Christmas party. As usual, a delicious pot-luck dinner, an amusing exchange of gifts and guessing who wrote the anonymous Christmas stories. The tradition of writing the Christmas stories began several years ago so some of us have quite a collection now. These stories can be Christmas memoirs or short fiction with a festive theme. There was a good variety of stories read last night. S. wrote one that was patterned after Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales". K. brought a poem about a Prairie Christmas, D. wrote a dailogue of someone being interviewed for a Santa job and I wrote "Christmas with the In-laws." (How I, an innocent girl from a tee-totalling family who celebrated traditional English family Christmases was introduced to the hard-drinking, rowdy Christmases celebrated by my new husband's Ukranian family.) There was much merriment and good-will. The Scribblers' parties are always a highlight of the holiday season.
And there's more to come...dinner with friends, a party to honour my friend Anibal's birthday which would have been next Sunday, (Too bad I'll miss Santa's arrival at the daycare but I might try and drop in for that. I love watching the reactions of the little ones when Santa appears.)For my own family, I'll have the Christmas Eve gourmet dinner which I've prepared for a number of years: Cornish hens with sherry sauce and other goodies. The only family members who will be able to attend are my son and his wife (daughter and grandson go to the mountains to ski). And I've invited a few special friends, a couple of them writers. After dinner we'll sit around the pretend fireplace (my TV with the fireplace video) drink wine, get silly and have jolly good fun.There'll be presents for everyone. And for sure " the stockings will be hung by the chimney with care in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon will be there..."
" 'Most all the time, the whole year round, there
ain't no flies on me,
But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be."
Eugene Field 1850 -1895 'Jest 'Fore Christmas" st 1
"God bless us every one!" said Tiny Tim, the last of all.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) "A Christmas Carol." 1843