Hey everyone, this is just a short post to say that I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas, and that they have a lovely rest of December as well! However, as this is an English blog, I feel I should probably also throw in a link to literature somewhere. So I’ve been trying to think of how Christmas is portrayed in books that I’ve read, and I’ve decided that these are my most memorable depictions of Christmas:
A Christmas Carol- Charles Dickens
This is basically inevitable, so it gets to top the list. I had a nicely illustrated version of this as a child, and then a couple of years ago I went to see it at the theatre. I have to say, it’s left a lasting impression because it terrified me at first! But a story with ghosts, a strong moral, and a happy ending, is a clear winner for me.
The Fir Tree- Hans Christian Anderson
Does anyone remember this? There was a little fir tree that was embarrassed of being small and desperately wanted to grow up. Even when it was told that the bigger trees were being chopped down it was jealous of them. Eventually it was picked to go in someone’s house, and it was really excited, but after Christmas it was taken down and eventually chopped up. This is a classic example of how you realise that fairy tales are actually fairly miserable most of the time! I read this as a child and it stuck with me because you really rooted for the tree (enjoy my terrible pun?) but you knew it was being stupid, and the end was still tragic. I guess the moral is that you should live in the moment and not always be waiting for what’s round the corner- but then does the ending suggest that you shouldn’t wait because round the corner is nothing good? Is death?! I don’t know, it’s very bleak…
How the Grinch Stole Christmas- Dr Seuss
I feel like this is another no brainer. I had all the Dr Seuss books as a child and I think I know a lot of them off by heart because I read them so often. But then the story got turned into a cracking film, and that ensured that it’s now become a Christmas staple. My sisters and I quote the film to each other too many times for it to be acceptable, and if you’ve not watched it then I really recommend it. A grumpy Grinch who hates Christmas, who turns out to have had a very sad past, and another cheerful ending, told all in catchy rhyme- I think this is the best one on the list.
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone- J. K. Rowling
Now I’m showing how much I’m into popular culture over classic literature, oops. But the scene in the first Harry Potter, where Harry has a Christmas jumper knitted by Mrs Weasley, remember it? In the book it’s adorable, but in the film it’s even better. When the young Daniel Radcliffe’s little face lights up at the realisation that he’s included in family Christmas cheer, well, that’s what Christmas cheer is all about really isn’t it! Plus the acting in the first film provides comedy gold throughout.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis
My final depiction of Christmas is actually a story which is about 100 years of winter with NO Christmas- what a travesty! I think this is another story which sticks with a lot of people- the idea of another land being hidden through a wardrobe, and poor Lucy’s sense of injustice the first times she goes through and her siblings don’t believe her, the memorable Mr Tumnus and the glorious Aslan the lion… yeah, it’s a good’un. But it’s also interesting in terms of Christian allegory, and things that I didn’t pick up as a young child were staring me in the face when I went back to this story. The fact that this is another which has been turned into films and plays numerous times just shows the durability and popularity of such a story.
So if today you find that you want to curl up and relax but still stay in the Christmas spirit, I’d recommend giving one of these a go, in book or film form! And if there are any Christmas stories you thought should be on the list, feel free to let me know in the comments section 🙂