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Christmas Cookies--The Little Box

This project is designed to help you sit back, close your eyes, and be swept away into the many, many aspects of Christmas--sad and sweet, reverent and hilarious, mundane and magical. Here's a look at what we're including in the short version of the project, for those who may already have A Christmas Carol.

Christmas Cookies:
The Little Box:
Stories and poems of Christmas

Two disks, 2.3 hours.

A shorter collection of stories and poems about Christmas including such favorites as The Gift of the Magi, Dulce Domum (the Christmas chapter from The Wind in the Willows,) and Christmas Morning, one o the Christmas stories from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It also includes the short pieces and poetry listed to the left. A wonderful gift for someone you love, or just for yourself!

Ways to buy this title:

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Told After Supper, by Jerome K. Jerome
mp3 audio sample

First of all, there's a hilarious 19th-century piece you've probably never heard of, called Told After Supper, by Jerome K. Jerome. It's a wonderful spoof of the grand old English tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas--a tradition Charles Dickens made fine use of in A Christmas Carol and other stories. Only in Jerome's work, everything goes hilariously wrong, and the narrator of the story even winds up wandering around on the streets drunk as a lord, somewhat incompletely dressed!

Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry
mp3 audio sample

It's one of the most famous Christmas stories ever, and rightly so. As O Henry himself put it, "I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest." One of our favorite voices, Amy Caldwell, helps us tell the tale.

"Dulce Domum," from The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
mp3 audio sample

Rat and Mole find Christmas in Mole's old home, and deepen their friendship along the way. The charm and the sorrow of Grahame's characters is both sweet and sad, and happy in the end just in having what they have and being what they are. Amy Caldwell helps out here as well, playing Rat to Susie Berneis' Mole.

"Christmas Morning," from Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
mp3 audio sample

At Christmastime, Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth learn to share their Christmas joys and fun with others, and along the way, have a wonderful time doing it.

"Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Clause," from The New York Sun, by Francis P. Church

Another absolute classic; it's really about what happens when a cynical old newspaperman encounters the need for Christmas in the innocent question from a young girl's heart.

Poetry

"The Night Before Christmas"--which really isn't that; it's real title is "A Visit From St. Nicholas"--is another classic no Christmas anthology could do without.

"The Three Kings", by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The majesty and indeed the worldly wisdom of the three who came to give great gifts to the infant in the manger has never been better expressed.

"Mistletoe", by Walter de la Mare. A dreamlike experience of a gentle touch from a special person late in the night on Christmas is as fine a piece of dreamland as one could wish.

"Ring Out!", by Alfred Lord Tennyson. A passionate appeal that the new year may be better than the old.

Luke 2:1-20. In the beautiful language of the King James Bible--the only successful contribution to literature ever made by a committee--we hear not only how a babe was born, but how his mother came to believe great things of him.

"Christmas Trees", by Robert Frost. In this early poem, we hear Frost's dry, matter-of-fact New England voice making "a simple calculation" about "Christmas trees I didn't know I had."

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