Tag: books set at Christmas

A story at Christmas

A story at Christmas

Hi there and if you celebrate Christmas, have a good one. Since it is holiday season and there maybe more time to do what you like, you might take time to read a story or two. A Christmas story. I personally have never written a story set at Christmas, but many authors have. I am aware of a few like The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Polar Express and Little Women but notice there are so many online. So, you should be able to find a story at Christmas that suits you.

I mean, the actual story of Christmas is an amazing story in itself. What better combination than a couple in love, a journey and then the miraculous birth of a baby who is born to save the world. They don’t come much better than that whether you believe it to be true or not. It also aces other stories as it is a story that has kept delivering its magic and message for centuries. Very few stories can tick that box.

The Christmas Carol

But returning to actual book type Christmas stories, I will start with A Christmas Carol as it seems to be one of the first well known fictitious stories set at Christmas and it has a meaningful message as well. The novella was published in 1843 in London and is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge an elderly miser who is too mean to give his employee a day off at Christmas or put a donation in a charity pot for children.

That Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by his old business partner, Marley. The ghost is weighed down by chains and money boxes because of his lifetime of greed.  Marley warns Scrooge he will suffer the same after life unless he rethinks his ways. Later to enforce this ghostly message, the spirits of Past, Present and Yet to Come visit Scrooge. These visits reveal Scrooge’s past and his worship of self and money. He sees how he lost the love of his long ago love and present a future vision of his poorly attended funeral and unkempt grave. These visions affect Scrooge the old man and he is upset enough to transform into a kinder man.

The spirit of giving

Some believe the story is an allegory of Christmas itself. But whatever, its message is one of kindness and giving which never goes astray, especially at Christmas. There are many film adaptations of this story and even Disney used the character Scrooge to create a Scrooge McDuck. Christmas time and stories like this remind us to give and forgive not just with gifts but with a spirit of kindness to all.

Yes, it’s an old-fashioned story but one still relevant today with our spirit of rampant materialism. Money does not make you happy in itself. It can help by buying us comforts and provisions but if we are a miserable sod like Scrooge was, our mean spiritedness weighs us down rather than buoying us up.  Giving and making others happy does that.

Little Women

In the early 19th century, Christmas was evolving into a time of family gatherings, seasonal food and combined worship. But it also was a time to be aware of others who had little and make their Christmas a bit brighter. We see this spirit of giving in the story of Little Women by Louisa May Alcot which has a scene set at Christmas. The March girls blessed with lovely food at Christmas decide to share with neighbours less fortunate. They carry the food across the snow to a family in need. If you have never read this classic, give it a try. It is a lovely story of four sisters, and I am sure you will find one of them to relate to despite the passage of time since the book was written. I always related to Jo. My real name is Joanne so this was easy to do. There are sequels to this book as well that are also great reading.

Polar Express

Maybe you have seen the film version of the 1985 children’s book by Chris Van Allsberg. It stars Tom Hanks and is a great film even for adults. The Polar Express is a story about a little boy who boards a train for the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Written and illustrated by American author Chris Van Allsburg, Polar Express is a classic Christmas story for young children. It won the annual Caldecott Medal for illustration of an American children’s picture book in 1986. Van Allsberg has a great imagination. He also wrote Jumanji which is one of my favourite films to rewatch. 

Polar Express starts with a young boy looking through a window to see a train right outside his house. The conductor looks up at his window. Encouraged, the boy tiptoes downstairs and goes outside where the conductor tells him the train is called the Polar Express and is heading to the North Pole. The boy hops onboard. There are many other children in their pajamas. They all sing carols and enjoy candies and hot chocolate as the train races north past towns, through forests, and over mountains. On arrival, Santa tells them one of them will receive the first gift of Christmas, a bell. The bell rings for true believers of Christmas. I hope this does not spoil the story but just illustrate its point. The book ends with the following line:

At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.

So whether you are still a child at heart and whatever you believe, I wish you a happy Christmas!

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Joni Scott is an Australian author with four published novels: Whispers through Time, The Last Hotel,  Colour Comes to Tangles and her latest historical WWI drama, Time Heal my Heart. Joni has her own website; https://joniscottauthor.com.