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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! You're probably visiting family and have already opened your presents. I hope ya'll have an enjoyable day, as I've had so far :D
I got a royal blue sweater, a cross necklace, candy, and an Amazon gift card. I think I already know some of the books I'll be buying with the gift card :)
So, since today is Christmas, I thought, I'd share some of my favorite Christmas-sy things.
1. Of course, first of all is the Christmas story. Obviously, if Jesus hadn't been born, then this whole celebration wouldn't have been thought of! And, even though it sounds cliched, Jesus really is the Reason for the Season.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. -- Luke 2:9-11

2. Second is 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens. In my opinion, it's one of the classics, and not only that, but an all around really good story. Shortened versions don't do it's wittiness and depth justice; and, though the movie version I've seen of it was good, it also doesn't do the book justice.

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often ‘came down’ handsomely, and Scrooge never did.

3. C. S. Lewis' essay on the difference between the commercialized and religious observations of Christmas; it's really funny, written as a lost chapter from Herodotus on the island of Niatirb (Britain backwards).
 First of all, every citizen is obliged to send to each of his friends and relations a square piece of hard paper stamped with a picture, which in their speech is called an Exmas-card . But the pictures represent birds sitting on branches, or trees with a dark green prickly leaf, or else men in such garments as the Niatirbians believe that their ancestors wore two hundred years ago riding in coaches such as their ancestors used, or houses with snow on their roofs. And the Niatirbians are unwilling to say what these pictures have to do with the festival, guarding (as I suppose) some sacred mystery. (Click the excerpted text to go to the essay)

4. The Gift of the Magi is a well known short story by O. Henry; a sweet story of a young husband and wife who have very little money but still resolve to buy each other a Christmas gift. The results are humorous.

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.
There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.
(Click the excerpted text to go to the story)

What are your favorite Christmas stories and movies? I'd love to hear about them!
Have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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