Duffy’s favourite Christmas Books…..
Well, as it’s the festive season, I thought I would share with you my favourite Christmas stories and books. These books bring me happy childhood memories and I feel that any child reading, watching, or hearing these stories today will still enjoy them for their everlasting magic, wonder and spirit.
1) The Nativity
Yes, to some it is a fantastical story, to others it is the foundation of their beliefs. Either way, the tale of Mary and Joseph on the donkey, the star, the Archangel, the Kings offering gifts and cattle gently lowing in a warm stable is one that gives you ‘feels’. Little baby Jesus in swaddling clothes brings me an awkward memory of playing a sheep, with cotton wool balls stuck to a jumper in the Primary School nativity, waving madly at my mum as if I was the next, soon to be discovered, child star.
2) Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
My brother and I adored this book and loved the animated film which came out too (and is still watched in the Duff household today!). We loved this Father Christmas because he seemed real. He was a little bit grumpy most of the time but had a good heart and was a very busy man. Just like our Grandad.
3) ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore
This poem has been reprinted a hundred times and used just as much in films. Not bad for a poem created in 1823! For me and most of my generation, reading this poem will take us to the Griswolds family Christmas where Clarke W. G. Griswold tries desperately to get the family together on Christmas Eve to bring about some Christmas Spirit, and all hell breaks loose.
4) A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Like Clement Moore’s poem, this story is of a quality I could only ever dream of writing. Well over 100 years later this story is still being told and retold through adaptations films and musicals. We all know what happens but we read and watch anyway, hoping Mr Scrooge finds the good in his heart before it’s too late and maybe, just maybe, Tiny Tim will be ok.
5) The Snowman Raymond Briggs
This book probably has the biggest part of my heart and it doesn’t even have any words. The illustrations are nothing short of perfection and as a child I poured over the pages and imagined what I would do if I ever got to meet a snowman. Would I be scared? Would I fly with him in just my pyjamas? Would my hands get cold if I held his hand and danced? The movie is much loved with the Duff family and I still shed a tear when the sun comes out and that theme tune kicks in. It proves all the CGI in the world can’t beat stunning animation and a emotive soundtrack.
“I remember that winter because it had brought the heaviest snows 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.” – Raymond Briggs
Grab a cup of hot chocolate (or Milo for the Aussies) and watch the movie here
Which Christmas books will be under your tree?