Book of Christmas by Readers Digest AssociationIve had this book for 25 years and bring it out most Christmases along with the others on my Christmas shelf - How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Pukeko In A Ponga Tree:, a couple of Christmas carol books, a couple more compendiums, The Night Before Christmas, The Kiwi Night Before Christmas, and half a dozen more.
The book contains these segments:
The Birth of Christ - the usual mishmash of the two Gospel birth narratives, but rather nicely illustrated
The History of Christmas, by Rumer Godden - a chapter that assumes the literal account, but is a nicely written summary nevertheless
The Literature of Christmas - about 40 short stories and a few carols and poems
Christmas Around the World - well, 9 countries and one region.
This year I read a couple of the short stories. I read Stubby Pringles Christmas by Jack Schaefer, which is a sweetly sentimental story about a cowboy heading for the annual dance and getting waylaid helping out a destitute widow and her children, and Carols in the Cotswolds by Laurie Lee, a lovely memory of times long gone now.
A nice book!
Miraculous Christmas Stories
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When I was a boy of nine in the little town of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, I used to mow the lawn of Mrs Long, an elderly lady who lived across from the Presbyterian Church. She paid me very little for the chore, for she had not much money. The boys I played with had baseball gloves and bicycles and ice skates, and I was so eager to acquire any one of these that I convinced myself that my benefactor intended choosing from among them. You come to the door and collect it. Since she was going to have the present in her house, and since she herself would be handling it, unquestionably she was giving me a pair of ice skates. I became so convinced of this that I could imagine myself upon the skates.