Christmas storms and stories.

The weather folk jump about waving lasers and warning of ominous storms to come. So we are filling up on Christmas stories from around the world. Reading “Babicka”, a tale from Czechoslovakia, we learned that children in Czech villages believed the Christ Child returned on Christmas eve and left gifts. Other interesting Czech holiday traditions gleaned from this story include:

  • If you fast all day long the day before on Christmas, on Christmas you will see a magic golden pig running around the room.
  • If a girl takes a branch of sweet elder outdoors and shake it as she recites, “Sweet elder branch, I shake thee, Tell me, ye dogs who wake me, Where my intended might be”, she can learn where her future husband might be at that very minute by following the direction of the dog barking sounds.
  • You can divine the future of a person by cutting an apple crossways twice and reading the seeds and shapes.
  • On St. Stephens Day, young boys carol at the local miller’s home in the hopes of good fortune for the coming year.

Other beautiful, thoughtful, and free Christmas stories from around the world worth sharing with family:

RUSSIA
Where Love Is, There God Is Also (Leo Tolstoy)- text
Christmas Phantoms (Maxim Gorki)- audio
The Guest (Nikolai S. Lesskov)- PDF
Legend of Baboushka- text
Papa Panov’s Special Christmas Day (Leo Tolstoy)- text with images
The Heavenly Christmas Tree (Fyodor Dosteovsky)- text

ROMANIA
A Christmas Tale (Queen Marie of Roumania)- text

HUNGARY
Which of the Nine? (Maurus Jokai)- text

IRELAND
The Christmas Cuckoo (Frances Browne)- text

ENGLAND
St Christopher: A Golden Legend- text
Some Christmas Stories (Charles Dickens)- PDF
Why The Evergreen Trees Never Lose Their Leaves (Florence Holbrooke)- text
The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton (Charles Dickens)- text and images
A Christmas Tree (Charles Dickens)- text

GERMANY
The Christmas Fairy of Strasbourg (J. Stirling Coyne)- text
The Chess Player (Ger Koopman)- PDF
Behold That Star (The Bruderhof)- PDF book
Legend of the First Christmas Tree- text
Little Gretchen and the Wooden Shoe (Elizabeth Harrison)- text

SCANDINAVIA- Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark
The Thunder Oak (William Walsh)- text
The Voyage of the Wee Red Cap (Ruth Sawyer Durand)- text
The Christmas Carol of the Birds- text and images

HOLLAND
The First Christmas Tree (Lucy Wheelock)- text
A Ragged Christmas Feast- text and images

ICELAND
Legend of the Yuletide Lads- text
Getting Even With Gryla- text

ITALY
Brother Robber (Hellen Christaller)- PDF or audio
The Story of St Francis of Assissi (Dr. Michael Lockett)- text
Little Piccola (Nora A. Smith)-text

FRANCE
Legend of the Birds- text
The Wooden Shoe Christmas (Francois Coppee)- text
The Legend of the Robin (The Normal Storyteller)- text
Little Jean (Francois Coppee)- text

UNITED STATES
A Kidnapped Santa Claus (L. Frank Baum)- text
The Other Wise Man (Henry Van Dyke)- text
The Burglar’s Christmas (Willa Cather)- text
A Christmas Story (Katherine Pyle)- text
The Fairy Christmas- text and images

We also found the naitivity readings in the Qu’aran to be illuminating and informative. You can explore them online as well. Ignorance is the first enemy of mercy and truth.

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