Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

‘Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening… or Reading?’

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“Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

In the lane, snow is glistening…”

Whether you’re snowed in or working on your tan, December’s here and that means CHRISTMAS!  YESSSS!!!  Here are some of my favorite seasonal reads.  (Chime in if you don’t see your favorites here.)

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans.  I’ve read and re-read this book every year since it first came out in 1993.  A modern day classic.

The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell.  A delightful short story about heaven’s littlest angel who’s not quite “angelic,” but close to the heart of God.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.

Another favorite seasonal read.  Jim and Della, one dollar and eighty-seven cents and it’s Christmas Eve.  Told in O. Henry’s matchless short-story style, a heart-warming tale of giving, receiving, and sacrifice.

The Homecoming by Earl Hamner.  A warm, richly worded story about a Depression-era family in the Blue Ridge Mtns. of Virginia awaiting their Daddy’s arrival home on Christmas Eve.  The seed that grew into TV’s “The Waltons.”

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

The author began writing his “little carol” in October, 1843 and finished it by the end of November in time to be published for Christmas. Feuding with his publishers, Dickens financed the publishing of the book himself, ordering lavish binding, gilt edging, and hand-colored illustrations and then setting the price at 5 shillings so that everyone could afford it. This combination resulted in disappointingly low profits despite high sales. In the first few days of its release the book sold six thousand copies and its popularity continued to grow. The first and best of his Christmas Books, A Christmas Carol has become a Christmas tradition and easily Dickens’ best known book.

  “The Greatest Gift” is a 1943 short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern which became the basis for the film It’s a Wonderful Life.  Need I say more?

The Little Drummer Boy, By Henry Onorati, Kristina Rodanas, Harry Simeone, Katherine Davis.  A  classic story of the encounter between a poor boy and the baby Jesus embodies the true spirit of Christmas.

Silent Night: A Christmas Carol is Born, by Maureen Breet Hooper.  The story of how the Christmas carol “Silent Night” was created.  Beautifully illustrated.  A great book for read-alouds with the kids – don’t forget to break out your singing voices and some hot chocolate, too!

  ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without this seasonal standard.

Christmas Every Day by William Dean Howell.  The title says it all.  Another classic.

The Gospel According to Saint Luke.  The four Gospels can be divided into various categories.  These are Matthew, Mark, and Luke, which are known collectively as the Snyoptics.  Of the three Synoptic gospels, only Matthew and Luke include the Nativity stories.  Of these two, Doctor Luke’s account is perhaps the most beloved and best-known, with its focus on the King of Heaven being born in a humble manger.

What are your favorite seasonal reads?


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