a-victorian-christmas-cover

ISBN: 978-1-910882-83-2

Herein are 32 Victorian Christmas poems and stories for children. The 16 stories are drawn from that bountiful library of French, Spanish and English authors. You will find stories like:

 

THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO,

THE LOUIS-D’OR,

THE PRINCESS AND THE RAGAMUFFIN and

THE YULE LOG.

 

There are even three relatively unknown Christmas stories from the pen of that master of storytelling – CHARLES DICKENS.

 

The 16 Christmas poems are an extract from THE BELLS OF CHRISTMAS by various poets collated by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith originally published in 1906 with poems like Let the Holly Be Hung by Frank Dempster Sherman, The Adoration of the Wise Men by Cecil Frances Alexander and The Christmas Silence by Margaret Deland.

 

So download and read this volume of festive goodwill which brings out the real meaning of Christmas.

 

eBook Link on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Various_A_VICTORIAN_CHRISTMAS?id=3JikDQAAQBAJ

 

Below is a FREE excerpt:

CHRISTMAS IN THE FOREST.

From the French of André Theuriet.

 

Christmas Eve that year was bleak and cold, and the village seemed benumbed. The houses were closed hermetically, and so were the stables, from which came the muffled sound of animals chewing the cud. From time to time the clacking of wooden shoes on the hardened ground resounded through the deserted streets, then a door was hastily opened and closed, and all relapsed into silence. It was evident from the thick smoke rising through the chimneys into the gray air that every family was huddled around its hearth while the housewife prepared the Christmas supper. Stooping forward, with their legs stretched out to the fire, their countenances beaming with pleasure at the prospect of the morrow’s festival and the foretaste of the fat and juicy blood-sausages, the peasants laughed at the north wind that swept the roads, at the frost that powdered the trees of the forest, and the ice that seemed to vitrify the streams and the river. Following their example, my friend Tristan and I spent the livelong day in the old house of the Abbatiale at the corner of the hearth, smoking our pipes and reading poetry. At sundown we had grown tired of seclusion and determined to venture out.

 

“The forest must be a strange sight with this heavy frost,” said I to Tristan. “Suppose we take a turn through the wood after supper; besides, I must see the sabotiers from Courroy about a little matter.”

 

So we pulled on our gaiters, stuffed our pipes, wrapped ourselves in our cloaks and mufflers, and penetrated into the wood.

 

We walked along cheerfully over the rugged, hardened soil of the trenches furrowed with deep, frozen ruts. Through the copse on either side we saw mysterious white depths. After a damp night the north wind had transformed the mists and vapors that overhung the branches into a tangle of snowy lace. In the half light of the gloaming we could still distinguish the sparkling needles of the junipers, the frosted puffs of the clematis, the bluish crystallizations of the beech, and the silver filigree of the nut-trees. The silence was broken by the occasional creaking of the frozen limbs, and every now and then a breath of impalpable white dust dampened our cheeks as it melted there.

 

We walked along at a steady pace, and in less than an hour caught sight of the red and flickering glow of the sabotiers’ camp pitched on the edge of the forest above a stream that flowed down toward the valley of Santonge. The settlement consisted of a spacious, cone-shaped, dirt-coated hut and a cabin with board walls carefully sealed with moss. The hut answered the combined purposes of dormitory and kitchen; the cabin was used for the stowing away of tools and wooden shoes, and also for the two donkeys employed in the transportation of goods. The sabotiers, masters, apprentices, friends, and children were seated on beech logs around the fire in front of the hut, and their mobile silhouettes formed intensely black profiles against the red of the fire. Three short posts driven into the ground and drawn together at the top formed the crane, from which hung an iron pot that simmered over the coals. An appetizing odor of stewed hare escaped from the tin lid as it rose and fell under the puffs of vapor. The master, a lively, nervous, hairy little man, welcomed us with his usual cordiality.

 

“Sit down and warm yourselves,” said he. “You find us preparing the Christmas supper. I’m afraid we’ll not sleep over soundly to-night. My old woman is ill. I’ve fixed her a bed in the cabin where she’ll be more comfortable, and warmer on account of the animals. My boy has gone to Santonge to get the doctor. There’s no time to be lost. My little girl is kept busy running from the cabin to the hut.”

 

We had no sooner taken our seats around the fire than the snowflakes began to whirl about in the stillness above us. They fell so thick and fast that in less than a quarter of an hour we were compelled to protect the fire with a hurdle covered with sackcloth.

 

“By my faith! gentlemen,” said the sabotier, “you’ll not be able to start out again in this storm. You’ll have to stay and have your Christmas supper with us,—and taste of our stew.”

 

The weather was certainly not tempting, and we accepted the invitation. Besides, the adventure amused us, and we were delighted at the prospect of a Christmas supper in the heart of the forest. An hour later we were in the hut, and by the light of a miserable little candle-end we had our Christmas supper, devouring our hare-stew with a sharp appetite and washing it down with a draught of unfermented wine that scraped our throats. The snow fell thicker and thicker, wrapping the forest in a soft white wadding that deadened every sound. Now and then the sabotier rose and went into the cabin, then came back looking worried, listening anxiously for the good woman from Santonge. Suddenly a few metallic notes, muffled by the snow, rose softly from the depth of the valley. A similar sound from an opposite direction rang out in answer, then followed a third and a fourth, and soon a vague confusion of Christmas chimes floated over the forest.

 

Our hosts, without interrupting the process of mastication and while they passed around the wine-jug, tried to recognize the various chimes by the fulness of the sounds.

 

“Those—now—those are the bells from Vivey. They are hardly any louder than the sound of the donkey’s hoofs on the stones.”

 

“That is the bell of Auberive!”

 

“Yes; and that peal that sounds like the droning of a swarm of beetles, that’s the Grancey chimes.”

 

During this discussion Tristan and I began to succumb to the combined action of warmth and fully satisfied appetite. Our eyes blinked, and before we knew it we fell asleep on the moss of the hut, lulled by the music of the Christmas chimes. A piercing shriek followed by a sound of joyful voices woke us with a start.

 

It had ceased snowing. The night was growing pale, and through the little skylight we could see above the fleecy trees a faint light in the sky, where a belated star hung quivering.

 

“It is a boy!” shouted the master, bursting in upon us. “Gentlemen, if you think you would like to see him, why, I should be very glad; and it might bring him luck.”

 

We went crunching over the snow after him to the cabin, lighted by a smoky lamp. On her bed of laths and moss lay the young mother, weak and exhausted, her head thrown back, her pale face framed in by a mass of frowzy auburn hair. The “good woman,” assisted by the little girl, was bundling up the new-comer, who wailed feebly. The two donkeys, amazed at so much stir and confusion, turned their kindly gray faces toward the bed, shook their long ears, and gazed around them with wide, intelligent eyes, blowing through their nostrils puffs of warm vapor that hung like a thin mist on the air. At the foot of the bed stood a young shepherd, with a black and white she-goat and a new-born kid.

 

“I have brought you the she-goat, Ma’am Fleuriot,” said he, in his Langrois drawl. “You can have her for the boy as long as you wish.”

 

The goat was baaing, the new-born child wailed, and the donkeys breathed loudly. There was something primitive and biblical about the whole scene.

 

Without, in the violet light of the dawn, while a distant church-bell scattered its early notes through the air, one of the young apprentices, dancing in the snow to keep warm, sang out at the top of his lungs that old Christmas carol, which seemed then full of new meaning and poetry,—

 

“He is born, the little Child.

 

Ring out, hautbois! ring out, bagpipes!

 

He is born, the little Child;

 

Let us sing the happy news.”

NOTE: This is a FREE resource, so do be resourceful yourselves and feel free to update the gifts being sought. If you don’t have any daughters, feel free to swap the girls names for boys names
A dialogue for Two Little Girls, Ten or Twelve Years Old – by John d MacDonald (1919)
SceneSitting room

(For telephone use box ten by fifteen inches or larger. Fix it to an upright that can be moved out on the platform. Have one end fixed like trap door. Tie skates to muff about one foot apart. Shove muff in box first and then skates. Put electric or bicycle bell on box. Run heavy cord to the window for telephone wire. Have mouthpiece on box, and have box high enough so that the speaker must stand on a chair. Have a receiver or an imitation quite a way from the box—perhaps six or seven feet. Do not hurry.)

Esther (seated in small rocker). This is Christmas Eve, Mabel, and I suppose that Santa Claus has his pack all made up, and is off with his reindeer to visit all the good little boys and girls all over the world. I do hope he will be sure and come to (name your own town or city), because I want something very much this year. Just think, last Christmas I laid awake most all night to see him, but I didn’t see him at all. I don’t know when he got in the house or how he got out, but he just fooled me, that’s what he did.

Mabel. No doubt he’s started on his journey by this time. I think he must ride like the wind to get all over the world in a night. Why it took all night and a day for us to go to Aunt Ella’s last Thanksgiving time, and that’s not so far as around the world. But I would like to see Santa this year so I could tell him what I want. They say if Santa Claus knows what you want he will almost always bring it to you.

Esther. Yes, I know he will, because Maggie Brown wrote to him last year and told him that she wanted a pony and a cart and he brought it to her.

Mabel. And Tommy Carter wrote to him, too, and told him that he wanted a bicycle and he got it, too. I guess Santa is a nice old man.

Esther. And Mrs. Santa must be a nice old lady, too, or she wouldn’t dress all those nice dolls for Mr. Santa Claus.

Mabel. It’s too bad that we did not write to him last week, and then he surely would have gotten our letter.

Esther (rising up and putting doll in the chair). Mabel, why not telephone to him? Papa has a long distance telephone, and I talked away down to New York through it once, and I guess if cousin Mary could hear me in New York, Santa Claus ought to hear me in Santa Claus Land.

Mabel. Wasn’t Papa with you when you talked that time, Esther?

Esther. Yes, but I remember just how I did it. You just ring the bell, and talk in the box, and listen for the answer. Let’s try it, anyway.

Mabel. All right, we will, but he may not be at home. He must start early to travel so far.

Esther. I will ask Mrs. Santa Claus anyway. Now let’s do it quick, before any one comes in.

Mabel (getting a chair for Esther to stand on). Here Esther, you must stand upon this chair. Now be careful not to fall off.

Esther (gets upon chair). Now you take the receiver and stand over there (points) and listen to what she says (Esther rings.)

Mabel. Some one is there, Esther. Ask them to give you Santa Claus Land.

Esther. Hello, hello! Give me Santa Claus Land, please.

Mabel. She says that this is Santa Claus Land.

Esther. Hello! Is this Mrs. Santa Claus?

Mabel. She says “yes.” Ask her if Mr. Santa Claus is at home.

Esther. Mrs. Santa Claus, Mrs. Santa Claus, is Mr. Santa Claus at home?

Mabel. She says “no,” he isn’t. He has gone on a journey to visit all the good boys and girls.

Esther. Hello, hello, Mrs. Santa Claus. Does Mr. Santa Claus only make one trip on Christmas Eve?

Mabel. She says “yes,” that is all he makes. Ask her to send some one after him to catch him, because we want something very special.

Esther. Mrs. Santa Claus. (Both wait a moment.)

Mabel. She can’t be at the phone, Esther, ring her up again.

Esther (rings again). Hello, Mrs. Santa Claus, will you please send some one after Mr. Santa Claus, to tell him that we want something special?

Mabel (waits a moment). She’s not there yet, Esther. Ring her up again. (Esther rings quite hard.) Now she is there, and she wants to know why we bother her so on Christmas Eve.

Esther. Mrs. Santa, please send some one after Mr. Santa, and tell him that we are two good little girls, and we want a muff and a pair of skates, and some candy canes as long as your arm. Now don’t forget, Mrs. Santa—a muff, and skates, and candy canes as long as myself.

Mabel. She says that Santa is too far away, and nobody could catch him now. And she says that we must not bother her any more as she is busy making her Christmas pies.

Esther (to Mabel). But I want my candy cane (rings several times).

Mabel (frightened). Oh, Esther, Mrs. Santy will be awfully angry with us. Let’s go away.

Esther (getting impatient). Does she answer the ring?

Mabel. No. (Esther rings harder than before.) Now she is there and she wants to know if it is the same two little girls.

Esther (into the phone). Yes, it’s Mabel and me, and we want Santa Claus to bring us some skates, and a muff and candy canes as long as a fishing-pole.

Mabel. She says that we must be good or Santa won’t come to (name your town) tonight at all. We bother her a lot, she says.

Esther (into the phone). Mrs. Santa—Mrs. Santa—(no answer.)

Mabel. She has gone away again, Esther. Let’s not bother her any more or she may send some one after Santa to tell on us.

Esther. I want to know if Santa is coming to (your town) tonight, anyway (rings long and several times).

Mabel (frightened). I guess she is angry with us, Esther. Please do let’s stop now. Let’s not ring any more, because I don’t care for the skates, anyway.

Esther (to Mabel). Isn’t she there yet?

Mabel. No—I guess not. (Esther rings and rings.) Oh, Oh, Esther do stop!

Esther. Now—is—she—there?

Mabel. Yes, and she wants papa to take those naughty girls away from the “phone,” or Santa won’t come to (your town) tonight. Please do stop ringing, Esther. (Listens.) Oh, Esther, I think I hear papa coming, and he will be angry, too.

Esther. No, papa won’t be angry, he would like to have us get our muff and skates. (Ring, rings and rings.)

Mabel (during the ringing). Oh, Esther, oh, Esther! She says to stop that ringing!!

Esther (stamping her foot, keeps on ringing). I’m mad with her, Mabel (then into the phone). Mrs. Santa—Mrs. Santa—do you hear, Mrs. Santa? Do—you—hear—Mrs. Santa? We want our muff, and our skates, and the candy canes as big as a house. Do—you—hear, Mrs. Santa? Mrs. Santa! I want my muff[7] and skates. (Rings while talking.) I am mad with you, Mrs. Santa. I want my muff. (Here pull the trap and the skates drop out, pulling the muff also. Esther jumps down from the chair, Mabel drops the receiver. They seize the skates and muff and say, as they hold them up): We’ve got them. We’ve got them, the skates and muff, the skates and muff!

(Players Exit)

Fugitive Prince - Prince Regent of Tezcuco, Mexico - Baba Indaba Children's Stories

Fugitive Prince – Prince Regent of Tezcuco, Mexico – Baba Indaba Children’s Stories

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 80

In Issue 80 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the ancient tale of Nezahualcoyotl, Prince Regent of Tezcuco. Long ago and far, far away in the ancient land of Anahuac, that is modern day Mexico, the Tecpanecs overcame the Acolhuans of Tezcuco and slew their king. Nezahualcoyotl (Fasting Coyote), the heir to the Tezcucan throne, saw his father laid low from the shelter of a tree close by, and succeeded in making his escape from the invaders. This is the story of his subsequent thrilling adventures and eventual ascension to the Tezcuco throne.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

 

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

eBooks available in PDF and ePub formats. Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_THE_FUGITIVE_PRINCE_The_Stories_and_A?id=x_MVDAAAQBAJ

A Story about a Rabbit - Baba Indaba Children's StoriesISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 79

 

In Issue 79 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the ancient Tibetan tale of a rabbit who is wronged and sets out on a path of revenge with dire consequences. You’ll have to download and read the story to find out what happened. Don’t forget to look for the Tibetan proverb at the end of the story.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

 

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

eBooks available in PDF and ePub formats. Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_A_STORY_ABOUT_A_RABBIT_An_Ancient_Tib?id=8dwVDAAAQBAJ

Two Aesops Fables - Baba Indaba Children's Stories

Two Aesops Fables – Baba Indaba Children’s Stories

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 78

In Issue 78 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates two of Aesop’s fables – “The Raven and the Swan” and “The Frogs and the Ox.” These fables have been simplified and rewritten for children and, as per usual, there is an easily understandable moral for children.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

 

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

eBooks available in PDF and ePub formats. Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Aesop_the_Storyteller_TWO_AESOP_S_FABLES_Simplifie?id=ys8VDAAAQBAJ

A PUZZLE - Old Scottish Riddle - A Baba Indaba Children's Story

A PUZZLE – Old Scottish Riddle – A Baba Indaba Children’s Story

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 77

In Issue 77 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates an old Scottish riddle used to teach children. It goes something like this…..in Scotland, there was a custom once through the Gældom, when a man would die, that the whole people of the place would gather together to the house in which the dead man was called Tigh aire faire (the shealing of watching, now better known as a wake), and they would be at drinking, and singing, and telling tales, till the white day should come.

 

At this time they were gathered together in the house of watching, and there was a man in this house, and when the tale went about, he had neither tale nor song, and as he had not, he was put out at the door. When he was put out he stood at the end of the barn; he was afraid to go farther. He was but a short time standing when a number of apparitions passed him by. When he asked an old woman for an explanation, he was left even more perplexed…… So what was so mystifying about the apparitions and the explanation he received? Well you’ll just have to download and read the story to find out what went on.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

 

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

eBooks available in PDF and ePub formats. Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_A_PUZZLE_An_Old_Scottish_Riddle?id=Ec8VDAAAQBAJ

A Phantom Funeral - Baba Indaba Children's Stories

A Phantom Funeral – Baba Indaba Children’s Stories

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 76

In Issue 76 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the old Welsh tale of the phantom funeral. A ghostly procession of mourners and wailers passes by a farm just before sunset one day. You’ll have to download and read the story to find out why this was so extraordinary.

 

Each issue also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE DOWNLOADS

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

eBooks available in PDF and ePub formats. Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_A_PHANTOM_FUNERAL_An_ancient_Welsh_ta?id=MM0VDAAAQBAJ

Pottle of Brains - A Baba Indaba Children's Story

Pottle of Brains – A Baba Indaba Children’s Story

 

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 75

 

In Issue 75 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the old English tale “A Pottle o’ Brains” – a story about a fool who was forever getting into scrapes through his foolishness, and being laughed at by everyone. Folks told him that he could get everything he liked from the wise woman that lived on the top o’ the hill, and dealt in potions and herbs and spells and things. And so he goes off to buy a pottle of brains……..

You’ll have to download and read the story to find out what happened.

 

eBook link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_A_POTTLE_O_BRAINS_An_Old_English_Folk?id=IbkQDAAAQBAJ

 

Each issue also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE DOWNLOADS

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

Zlatovkaska The Golden Haired - Baba Indaba Children's Stories

Zlatovkaska The Golden Haired – Baba Indaba Children’s Stories

 

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 74

 

In Issue 74 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the Slovak tale of Zlatovlaska the Golden-Haired, also known as Yirik And The Snake. A cook disobeys his king and tastes a meal to a magic recipe and learns the speech of animals. His animal speaking triggers adventure, and the empathy he feels and shows to the animals secures his ultimate success.

You’ll have to download and read the story to find out what happened.

 

eBook Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_ZLATOVLASKA_THE_GOLDEN_HAIRED_A_Slova?id=oLIQDAAAQBAJ

 

Each issue also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE DOWNLOADS

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

The Rise and Fall of the Toltec Empire - Baba Indaba Children's Stories

The Rise and Fall of the Toltec Empire – Baba Indaba Children’s Stories

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 73

In this 73rd story from Baba Indaba’s Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the story of the founding of the Toltec empire in 566AD to it’s fall four hundred years later……….…… Download and read this interesting story, rewritten and shortened for children which tells of good intentions  and what happens when rulers become corrupt.

eBook Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_THE_RISE_AND_FALL_OF_THE_TOLTEC_EMPIR?id=AWidDAAAQBAJ

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO DOWNLOAD 8 FREE STORIES

 

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.