For those who were unaware, I really really love Christmas.
This may not be so odd until you consider that I’m an agnostic raised by Jews.
My deep love of all things Christmas extends to food, music, lights, celebrations, traditional flora, decorating, movies, gift giving, literature, and theatre.
This year, to celebrate the holidays with you (my wonderful readers) I was determined to
provide a list of opening lines to my favorite Christmas tales. While I am a little bit late on this, you’ll have to forgive me (Santa seems to have brought me a nasty cold). Since literature is ever lasting anyway, you can perhaps consider this as your first step towards detoxing from egg nog and Yule logs.
A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore (1823):
‘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…
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843):
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868):
“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
“It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (1957):
Every Who Down in Whoville Liked Christmas a lot…
But the Grinch,Who lived just north of Whoville, Did NOT!
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Romeo Muller and Robert May (1964):
If I live to be a hundred, I’II never be able to forget that big snowstorm a couple of years ago. The weather closed in, and, well, you might not believe it, but the world almost missed Christmas. Oh, excuse me. Call me Sam. What’s the matter? Haven’t you ever seen a talking snowman before?
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz (1965):
It was finally Christmastime, the best time of the year. The houses were strung with tiny colored lights, their windows shining with warm yellow glow only Christmas could bring. The scents of pine needles and hot cocoa mingled together, wafting through the air, and the sweet sounds of Christmas carols could be heard in the distance.
Fluffy white snowflakes tumbled from the sky onto a group of joyful children as they sang and laughed, skating on the frozen pond in town. Everyone was happy and full of holiday cheer. That is, everyone except for Charlie Brown.
The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton (1993):
‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you’ve seen in your dreams. For the story that you are about to be told, took place in the holiday worlds of old. Now, you’ve probably wondered where holidays come from. If you haven’t, I’d say it’s time you begun.
Love Actually by Richard Curtis (2003):
Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. General opinion started to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it’s always there.
Obviously I could go on, but I’ll leave it there lest you wind up reading until next Christmas. I hope you had a wonderful holiday, and that you were gifted with everything you could have possibly wanted!
Please note: I will be away for a week celebrating with my family. I won’t be checking in here, but I’ll be back in the New Year to continue coverage from the front. Have a happy and healthy one, and catch you in 2014!