This lovely volume from the British Library is filled with Christmas tidbits. Poems and songs and short stories, as well as snippets from larger works. There are some of the expected authors – Christina Rossetti, Charles Dickens – and some less so, such as D.H. Lawrence or the forgotten (by me) Christmas scene in The Wind in the Willows.
The segments are all short and traditional. I didn’t recognize anything from the 21st century and much of it seems very British to me, even Kipling’s “Christmas in India”. Some of the historical pieces, like Samuel Pepys Diary remind the reader just how long our Christmas traditions have been going on. The book is divided into sections, including “The Nativity”, “Christmas Fare”, and “Christmas at War”. Some of the chosen pieces seemed loosely connected to their sections or as if they could have fit in more than one place.
Initially, I imagined the book as something that could be read from each day throughout the Christmas season. It doesn’t quite work that way (and the stories and poems included are too advanced for my kids anyway) but it was a nice book to dip into here and there as the holiday approached.