Vintage Christmas Books – A Trip Down Memory Lane
My grandparents introduced me to this poem called The Night Before Christmas By Clement Clarke Moore and I always read it to my daughter on Christmas Eve when she was tucked up in bed.
The book had been in the family for years and I particularly loved the very traditional illustrations.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!
By Clement Clarke Moore
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.
“I remember that winter because it had brought the heaviest snow I had ever seen. Snow had fallen steadily all night long and in the morning I woke in a room filled with light and silence, the whole world seemed to be held in a dream-like stillness. It was a magical day… and it was on that day I made The Snowman.”
This was another Christmas favourite in our house. The film was always on television and I cried everytime the Snowman melted and just his scarf and hat was left. The music is really chilled too, great for calming down over-excited children! I still watch this whenever I can and kept a copy of the book. Again, the illustrations are amazing!
Spot was my daughter’s first ever book, she was just four months old. Just like me she really loves dogs so it might be this book that influenced her.
Some of the other books we read at Christmas are still available to buy today. It seems that the old classics never go out of fashion.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is a Christmas Classic loved by everyone. I am so pleased that this book is part of the exam curriculum in the UK. It means that generations to come will still be reading about Scrooge and his ghostly visitors.
To me, this book epitomizes the true spirit of Christmas and I highly recommend it. One thing I love about Christmas Carol is that it can be read in a few hours so ideal to devour in one sitting.
Here are a few Christmas Dog Books that I have enjoyed over the years. Everyone knows that for me the combination of a Christmas book about a dog is always going to be a greatly appreciated gift. Also.they can be passed around to other dog lovers in the family too!
Which Christmas books bring back old memories for you or do you have a favourite that you read again every year?
I would really love to know.