Monday, December 10, 2007

Gather 'round, kiddies, for a little Christmas tale

What's your favorite Christmas story? I mean besides Luke 2's Nativity (which is unbeatable, of course), and "Twas the night before Christmas"?

It's a toss up for me. I do love Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," and not just the 5200 film/television versions. It's a story of hope and restoration, plus, it's a ghost story. Oh, yeah. Good stuff.

But O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" is pretty hard to beat. "One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And sixty cents of it was in pennies." Never fails to bring a tear to me eye.

Given the choice of having only one of the two with me on a desert island, I think I'd have to take "Magi," only because Dickens' language doesn't suck me in as much as the story itself. O Henry, on the other hand, has such down-to-earth writing, that I would want his voice, his actual words with me.

Oh, dear. But I also love Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales." And I do love his words. Such a dilemma!

What about you? Are you a "Grinch" person? "Polar Express"? Something by Washington Irving? Persuade me.


Liz Hinds said...

Oh gosh, that's a hard one. Nothing really as good as 'Twas the night before Christmas' for me. It paints such a wonderful picture of a cosy night. I so wish I had kept the book I had of it as a child.

Maybe the beginning of Little Women.

petercmoore said...

We saw a fantastic adaptation of "Gift of the Magi" at the Woking Drama Festival 2 years ago (I think). It was written by a 19-year old music student. Lots of singing and recitative with all the parts played by the musicians - mostly multi-instrumentalists who would pick up a violin, or tinkle the piano, as required by the plot.

One of the best pieces of drama I've ever seen, and all the better as it was written, directed and performed by students.

So, that story has a soft spot over here. Hadn't heard of it, nor O Henry before then.

Love his chocolate bars though!

MaryB said...

Liz - I wish I still had my childhood copy of "Night Before Christmas," too. A few years ago, I did find the "Little Golden Books" version at a yard sale. The illustrations really brought back memories! (And, yes to Little Women, as well.)

PT - My Kate was Della in a musical version of GotM when she was in high school. The music was quite complex in a Stephen Sondheim-y way, but she did a marvelous job. I cried at every performance! (Yuuummmmm - O Henry bar!)

Anonymous said...

The one that always got to me as a child was the story of "The Little Matchbox Girl", and strangely enough, I don't think I've ever seen a copy since childhood.