Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I Wish You a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, friends and fellow bibliophiles! It is my delight today to present to you a collection of my favorite Christmas dramas, short stories, and movies. Some bittersweet, some celebrating the joy of the season, some commemorating the birth of our dear Lord Jesus.

And I'm going to start with the account of Jesus' birth from Luke. Because that, after all, is the reason for Christmas. And it can never be read  too many times.

Luke 2

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


Christmas Short Stories

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Imagine the worst kids in town--who lie, and steal, and hit little kids, and cuss their teachers, and smoke cigars, and take the Name of the Lord in vain--trying to understand all the high-class Church language surrounding Christmas. Jesus came not to bring the righteous, but sinners to repentance, and the Herdmans are a funny yet convicting reminder of that fact.





Charles Dickens

While Dickens is best known for A Christmas Carol, my personal favorites are two of his lesser-known works:

The Cricket On the Hearth

 
The kettle began it!   Don’t tell me what Mrs. Peerybingle said.   I know better.   Mrs. Peerybingle may leave it on record to the end of time that she couldn’t say which of them began it; but, I say the kettle did.   I ought to know, I hope!   The kettle began it, full five minutes by the little waxy-faced Dutch clock in the corner, before the Cricket uttered a chirp.
 

The Seven Poor Travellers
Strictly speaking, there were only six Poor Travellers; but, being a Traveller myself, though an idle one, and being withal as poor as I hope to be, I brought the number up to seven.   This word of what says the inscription over the quaint old door?

RICHARD WATTS, Esq. by his Will, dated 22 Aug. 1579,
founded this Charity for Six poor Travellers,
who not being ROGUES, or PROCTORS,
May receive gratis for one Night,
Lodging, Entertainment, and Fourpence each.
 

L.M. Montgomery

The Brother Who Failed

"Yes, I can assure you, Miss Bell, that I'm real proud of my nephews and nieces. They're a smart family. They've almost all done well, and they hadn't any of them much to begin with. Ralph had absolutely nothing and to-day he is a millionaire. Their father met with so many losses, what with his ill-health and the bank failing, that he couldn't help them any. But they've all succeeded, except poor Robert--and I must admit that he's a total failure."

"Oh, no, no," said the little teacher deprecatingly.

"A total failure!" Aunt Isabel repeated her words emphatically. She was not going to be contradicted by anybody, least of all a Bell from Avonlea. "He has been a failure since the time he was born. He is the first Monroe to disgrace the old stock that way. I'm sure his brothers and sisters must be dreadfully ashamed of him. He has lived sixty years and he hasn't done a thing worth while. He can't even make his farm pay. If he's kept out of debt it's as much as he's ever managed to do."

"Some men can't even do that," murmured the little school teacher. She was really so much in awe of this imperious, clever old Aunt Isabel that it was positive heroism on her part to venture even this faint protest.

"More is expected of a Monroe," said Aunt Isabel majestically. "Robert Monroe is a failure, and that is the only name for him." --The Brother Who Failed, Further Chronicles of Avonlea

Arthur Conan Doyle


The Case of the Blue Carbuncle-- The only story in which Sherlock Holmes and Christmas are combined, The Case of the Blue Carbuncle concerns the stealing of a Christmas goose, with a blue carbuncle in it's crop.

When the commissionaire had gone, Holmes took up the stone and held it against the light. “It’s a bonny thing,” said he. “Just see how it glints and sparkles. Of course it is a nucleus and focus of crime. Every good stone is. They are the devil’s pet baits. In the larger and older jewels every facet may stand for a bloody deed. This stone is not yet twenty years old. It was found in the banks of the Amoy River in southern China and is remarkable in having every characteristic of the carbuncle, save that it is blue in shade instead of ruby red. In spite of its youth, it has already a sinister history. There have been two murders, a vitriol-throwing, a suicide, and several robberies brought about for the sake of this forty-grain weight of crystallized charcoal. Who would think that so pretty a toy would be a purveyor to the gallows and the prison? --The Case of the Blue Carbuncle


Christmas Music and Dramas

Heavenly Christmas by Jackie Evancho
Some of the songs on this are pop culture, but Jackie's beautiful voice captures "Ding Dong Merrily on High" "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas"  "We're Walking in the Air" and many more classics in a way that you won't want to miss.

King of Glory, by SMS Men's Chorus



Christmas with the Von Trapp Children,
by the Von Trapp Children

We had the pleasure of meeting the Von Trapp siblings and having them autograph this CD. It's a holiday favorite.


Ben Hur

While Ben-Hur doesn't often come to mind during the Christmas season, this Focus on the Family radio drama brilliantly captures the story of a man born at the same time as our Savior--and betrayed in much the same way. It's a fitting reminder this time of year, as it starts with the birth of Christ and carries on up to the Crucifixion. A powerful tale of redemption and forgiveness.


Charles Dickens' Christmas Dramas
Colonial Radio Theatre did a stellar job capturing the best of Charles Dickens in their Charles Dickens' Christmas Set. "The Chimes", "The Cricket on the Hearth", "The Seven Poor Travellers", and "The Christmas Carol" are all included in this set. Mild language.

Christmas Movies

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
If you want a hilarious movie adaptation of Barbara Robinson's well-loved classic, this 1983 version starring Loretta Swit includes all the funniest lines and facial expressions. We watch it every year, and it never grows old.







It Happened on 5th Avenue
A funny 1947 holiday comedy that you will enjoy just as much as White Christmas and Holiday Inn. When a hobo takes over a millionaire's summer home for the Christmas holidays, an unexpected visit from the owner's daughter brings holiday cheer and lots of laughs for all. You can rent it for $3.99 on Amazon to enjoy this holiday season!




Christmas Town at the Creation Museum
If you weren't able to get to the Creation Museum this year for their fabulous and far from typical Christmas drama, then check it out on DVD through their bookstore. Containing taped presentations of the manger scene, the magi, Anna at the temple, Elizabeth the mother of John, and a temple guard who lived during Jesus' day, this presentation will both inform and inspire you to break the myths surrounding Jesus' birth.

These are our favorites, and I hope you enjoy exploring them as much as we have. What are some of yours?

May the peace of Christ and the message of His birth fill your day.

Blessings,
Lady Bibliophile

5 comments:

  1. Dear Lady B,
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! I love some of the old favorites you suggested such as The Best Christmas Pagent Ever. Also, the Creation Museum ChristmasTown is fabulous. Their new exibits were really fun this year.
    Have a VERY Merry Christmas!
    Love, Sister

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    Replies
    1. Thank-you Junior B! :D And YOU have a very Merry Christmas too! <3

      Love and cuddles,
      Sister

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  2. Dear Lady Bibliophile,
    Merry Christmas!
    Thank you for all these favorites! They all sound great!
    Handel's Messiah is another favorite of our family!
    Christmas blessings,
    Kyla

    P.S. Merry Christmas to Junior Bibliophile!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas Kyla! :D I love Handel's Messiah as well, and was going to include it, but there were so many it slipped my mind. ;) Thanks for mentioning it! :)

      Love,
      Schuyler

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    2. MrsSM and I enjoyed attending a live performance of Handel's Messiah this year. This is a highlight of the season for us.

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