Over the years, Christmas has inspired many authors to write about its spirit and significance. The spirit that embodies charity, forgiveness, friendship, unselfish love and generosity. In the stories that follow, you will find many examples of what makes the Christmas Spirit so unique and special. Though most of these stories have been written for children, readers of all ages will enjoy these skillfully told tales.
Online Star Registry has created an impressive list of 20 famous Christmas stories with these nice introductions. Some will be well known to some of you and some will be new treasures. Here are two of my favorites.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
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.
While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.
In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”
O. Henry was the pseudonym of the American writer William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910). O. Henry’s short stories are well known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings. The Gift of the Magi is one of O. Henry’s most famous stories. The story contains many of the elements for which O. Henry is widely known, including poor, working-class characters, a humorous tone, realistic detail, and a surprise ending. A major reason given for its enduring appeal is its affirmation of unselfish love. Such love, the story and its title suggest, is like the gifts given by the wise men, called the Magi, who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus.
The Elves and the Shoemaker by Brothers Grimm
A shoemaker, by no fault of his own, had become so poor that at last he had nothing left but leather for one pair of shoes. So in the evening, he cut out the shoes which he wished to begin to make the next morning, and as he had a good conscience, he lay down quietly in his bed, commended himself to God, and fell asleep. In the morning, after he had said his prayers, and was just going to sit down to work, the two shoes stood quite finished on his table. He was astounded, and knew not what to say to it. He took the shoes in his hands to observe them closer, and they were so neatly made that there was not one bad stitch in them, just as if they were intended as a masterpiece.
Soon after, a buyer came in, and as the shoes pleased him so well, he paid more for them than was customary, and, with the money, the shoemaker was able to purchase leather for two pairs of shoes. He cut them out at night, and next morning was about to set to work with fresh courage; but he had no need to do so, for, when he got up, they were already made, and buyers also were not wanting, who gave him money enough to buy leather for four pairs of shoes. The following morning, too, he found the four pairs made; and so it went on constantly — what he cut out in the evening was finished by the morning, so that he soon had his honest independence again, and at last became a wealthy man.
Now it befell that one evening not long before Christmas, when the man had been cutting out, he said to his wife, before going to bed, “What think you if we were to stay up to-night to see who it is that lends us this helping hand?” The woman liked the idea, and lighted a candle, and then they hid themselves in a corner of the room, behind some clothes which were hanging up there, and watched.
The Elves and the Shoemaker is part of a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection is commonly known today as Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The theme is a well-known one throughout European folklore. There are many warning stories about what should happen if the recipient of faerie help should offer clothes to his or her benefactor. According to the tales, pixies and faeries alike consider clothing to be a form of bondage, and see any kind offers or new clothes as a way to enslave the faerie.
Thanks to Online Star Registry here is the list of the remaining 18.