The Library

Our American Holidays: Christmas {Free eBook}

Our American Holidays: Christmas {Free eBook}

Just in time for Christmas, here is another free eBook in the Our American Holidays series. Christmas: Its Origin, Celebration and Significance as Related in Prose and Verse edited by Robert Haven Schauffler is a free and comprehensive collection of poems, essays, plays, and short stories all about Christmas!

It was the habit of him whose birthday we celebrate to take what was good in men and remould it to higher uses. And so it is peculiarly fitting that the anniversary of Christmas, when it was first celebrated in the second century of our era should have taken from heathen mythology and customs the more beautiful parts for its own use.

So begins the introduction that explains how our celebration of Christmas came to be. Then follow literary works that fall into the following categories:

  • Origin.
  • Celebration.
  • Significance and spirit.
  • Carols.

You’ll recognize many of the authors, which include:

  • Hans Christian Andersen.
  • Van Dyke.
  • Thackeray.
  • Dickens.
  • Wordsworth.
  • Washington Irving.
  • James Whitcomb Riley.
  • Sir Walter Scott.
  • Longfellow.
  • Shakespeare.
  • John Milton.
  • Isaac Watts.
  • Many, many more!

Christmas is our most important holiday, and its literature is correspondingly rich. Yet until now no adequate bundle of Christmas treasures in poetry and prose has found its way into the library of Santa Claus.

While this book brings to children of all ages, in school and at home, the best lyrics, carols, essays, plays and stories of Christmas, its scope is yet wider. For the Introduction gives a rapid view of the holiday’s origin and development, its relation to cognate pagan festivals, the customs and symbols of its observance in different lands, and the significance and spirit of the day. This Introduction endeavors to be as suggestive as possible to parents and teachers who are personally conducted and introduced to the host of writers learned and quaint, human and pedantic, humorous and brilliant and profound, who have dealt technically with this fascinating subject.

Christmas is a wonderful way to enjoy the season through family read-alouds — and it’s free!

Free eBook

 

Additional Resources

Our American Holidays: Christmas {Free eBook}Christmas: Its Origin, Celebration and Significance as Related in Prose and Verse edited by Robert Haven Schauffler
Paperback version for those interested.

Our American Holidays: Thanksgiving {Free eBook}
The Thanksgiving part of the series for next year!

Christmas {Holiday Helps}Christmas {Holiday Helps}
We’ve added this resource to the long, long list of finds, activities, printables, and more in our free Christmas unit.