“He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares, long, long, forgotten.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
When the dark is lit with fairy lights and candles, the air filled with smells one more tempting than another, when warm colours and sparkling decorations make homes and houses cosier, Christmas time has come. And what could be a better way to relish the joys and thoughts and hopes than diving into a jolly good Christmas read. Here are some of our Yule favourites:
A favourite and lovely Christmas read of mine
is a heart-warming story written in rhyme.
Who doesn’t know the creature in green
who hated the cheering, the hustle, the presents,
and everything else in between?!
So Christmas he stole, or at least so he thought,
but it was the real spirit of Christmas that he instead brought.
Little Cindy-Lou Who climbed his home high above,
and although he wanted to fight it,
she showed him the great power of love.
In the end all were cheerful and the mischievous deed with no doubt,
made everyone see what Christmas is really about.
Dr Seuss created the creature and so ever since
no Christmas goes by without a thought of the Grinch!
To keep this consistent, I’m continuing on,
‘cause with a few rhymes before Christmas
surely can’t be anything wrong.
My next Christmas pick, lovely as well, I am sure,
is a beauteous little poem by Clement Clarke Moore.
It’s about the excitement when on Christmas eve
St. Nick comes to visit with presents to leave.
He’s as always imagined: round belly, white beard and happy and kind,
A man who can secretly visit and no one will mind.
When reading the poem one can gleefully feel all the joy and great bliss
of the wondrous and magical things in Moore’s “Night Before Christmas.”
The hustle and bustle of Christmas season is at it once again. When everyone is scrambling to find that ever-elusive perfect present for every relative, friend or acquaintance, who doesn’t need some holiday serenity? My favourite way to get in the holiday spirit: listening to Christmas sing-alongs while eating half the batch of Christmas cookies I just made. And though baking reindeer-shaped cookies in the classroom isn’t really an option, who’s to say some Jingle Bells can’t bring Joy to the World in this otherwise Silent Night? The Real Mother Goose Book of Christmas Carols offers a wide range of tunes accompanied by festive illustrations. Haven’t you always wanted the perfect selection of songs that are well-known but still earn a chuckle when everyone stumbles over that 4th verse no one knew existed?
If you’re sick of sappy Christmas songs and want an amusing spin on an old tale, take a look at The Twelve Days of Christmas. I promise it’s not the jingle that gets put on repeat at the grocery store. This collection of letters tells the story of the twelve days of Christmas but from the perspective of the receiving end of those elaborate gifts. I’m sure no one would mind 5 gold rings, but what about 10 strange men dancing in your yard? The hilarious illustrations are the cherry on top of this story laced with satire.
The sweet and spicy smells of gingerbread, speculoos, roasted almonds, mulled wine and eggnog herald the time before Christmas. And since we haven’t had a white Christmas for years our children and pupils long for the first snowflakes to catch, the first Snowman to build and the first sledge run to slide. Snow where art thou? As younger learners do enjoy picture books a snowy Christmas story from the perspective of a Stick Man might catch their attention. For intermediate and advanced students and teachers A New Christmas Story by Jeanette Winterson, the poem “Amazing Peace” by Maya Angelou or the movie adaptation (2005 with Johnny Depp) of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory offer an entrence in peaceful and wonderous winter worlds…
In these often stressful and unpredictable days of the pandemic, we want to bring some rest and bliss in your classrooms and offices: So, lean back in your favourite armchair, take a glass of tea or a strong sip of the Scotch next to you and enjoy your Christmas read.
Happy Saint Nicholas Day, have a wonderful pre-Christmas time and stay safe everybody,