OCTOBER

OCTOBER

December 19, 2014

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS JOY


"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.






"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

"We've got Father and Mother, and each other," said Beth contentedly from her corner.



Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, "You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can't do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don't." And Meg shook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.


As young readers like to know `how people look', we will take this moment to give them a little sketch of the four sisters, who sat knitting away in the twilight, while the December snow fell quietly without, and the fire crackled cheerfully within. It was a comfortable room, though the carpet was faded and the furniture very plain, for a good picture or two hung on the walls, books filled the recesses, chrysanthemums and Christmas roses bloomed in the windows, and a pleasant atmosphere of home peace pervaded it.



The clock struck six and, having swept up the hearth, Beth put a pair of slippers down to warm. Somehow the sight of the old shoes had a good effect upon the girls, for Mother was coming, and everyone brightened to welcome her. Meg stopped lecturing, and lighted the lamp, Amy got out of the easy chair without being asked, and Jo forgot how tired she was as she sat up to hold the slippers nearer to the blaze.
"They are quite worn out. Marmee must have a new pair."


"I thought I'd get her some with my dollar," said Beth.



"No, I shall!" cried Amy.



Jo was the first to wake in the gray dawn of Christmas morning. No stockings hung at the fireplace, and for a moment she felt as much disappointed as she did long ago, when her little sock fell down because it was crammed so full of goodies. Then she remembered her mother's promise and, slipping her hand under her pillow, drew out a little crimson-covered book. She knew it very well, for it was that beautiful old story of the best life ever lived, and Jo felt that it was a true guidebook for any pilgrim going on a long journey. She woke Meg with a "Merry Christmas," and bade her see what was under her pillow. A green- covered book appeared, with the same picture inside, and a few words written by their mother, which made their one present very precious in their eyes. Presently Beth and Amy woke to rummage and find their little books also, one dove-colored, the other blue, and all sat looking at and talking about them, while the east grew rosy with the coming day.



"Merry Christmas, Marmee! Many of them! Thank you for our books. We read some, and mean to every day," they all cried in chorus. "Merry Christmas, little daughters! I'm glad you began at once, and hope you will keep on. But I want to say one word before we sit down. Not far away from here lies a poor woman with a little newborn baby. Six children are huddled into one bed to keep from freezing, for they have no fire. There is nothing to eat over there, and the oldest boy came to tell me they were suffering hunger and cold. My girls, will you give them your breakfast as a Christmas present?"

"May I go and help carry the things to the poor little children?" asked Beth eagerly.

"I shall take the cream and the muffins," added Amy, heroically giving up the article she most liked.

Meg was already covering the buckwheats, and piling the bread into one big plate.

"I thought you'd do it," said Mrs. March, smiling as if satisfied. "You shall all go and help me, and when we come back we will have bread and milk for breakfast, and make it up at dinnertime."


This is my copy of "Little Women" which was given to me and my sister as a
Christmas gift from Mother in 1956

An excerpt from the novel "Little Women" By Louisa May Alcott

10 comments:

  1. "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,"

    I've read that when "Little Women" was presented, as a stage play, long ago.... After this opening line had been delivered, there arose a gasp from the audience. And the audience rose to their feet, in a standing ovation. No sure if this really happened, but it perfectly shows the way one feels, about this dear, old line. :-)

    I remember, wayyyyyy back, when I got "Little Women" for Christmas... A friend wanted to borrow it. But I didn't want to let it out of my sight. So I told her, she could borrow it, when I finished it. Needless to say, I didn't read "the last words," for a long, long time. :-)

    Thank you for delightful memories.

    Happy coming Christmas,
    Tessa~

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    1. Oh what a marvelous bit of history on this play! Wouldn't we love to have been there! I simply adore this book and value my old, vintage copy! I passed it onto my sweet daughter but it remains in my house! Isn't it the loveliest of holiday stories! Enjoy your weekend dear Tessa!

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  2. Oh, I remember this very book! Loved it!!

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    1. Hi M! Thank you for stopping by today! Wishing you a beautiful Christmas!

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  3. This is one of my favorites! I love the old movie too with June Allyson! Oh, it's wonderful. You have some lovely Christmas figures too and tell a very nice story! What a lovely vignette. Can you believe Christmas is almost here?
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

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    1. I love both movies Shelia...the old one with June Allyson and the updated movie also! So happy you visitied today! Have a lovely weekend! Going to be a busy one for us all I believe! Hugs!

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  4. Dear Estelle, I just adore the book and the remake of the movie and the original movie also! And to think you still have your copy fron childhood is so special! I will make a point to watch this movie again during another wonderful Christmas!
    Going to see a play tonight. " I'll Be Home For Christmas"
    Blessings to you.... Love, Roxy

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    1. There is nothing better to do than see a play at Christmas! It's so fun to dress for the theater and see a good live performance! So happy for you! So good to know you also had read Little Women! Hugs to you Miss Roxy!

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  5. With its two scenes of Christmas, I consider the movie a Christmas one...and I have not yet watched this year! Perhaps tomorrow! (I have never read the book. It pains me to confess this. The language is too stilted for me and having seen the movie, I felt I knew the story well enough without forcing myself to read. What would you who loves the book say about this? )

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    1. Well, you know how the saying goes, Vee. The book is normally even better than the movie. However, both of these movies were so very well done. This book is just such a part of my childhood, so you may enjoy revisiting it again. If not, then you enjoyed the story through the movies. Nothing wrong with that! Hugs Miss Vee!

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