From “What Christmas is, as we Grow Older” in A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens:
“On the hill-side beyond the shapelessly-diffused town, and in the quiet keeping of the trees that gird the village-steeple, remembrances are cut in stone, planted in common flowers; growing in grass, entwined with lowly brambles around many a mound of earth. In town and village, there are doors and windows closed against the weather, there are flaming logs heaped high, there are joyful faces, there is healthy music of voices.…
“Be all ungentleness and harm excluded from the temples of the Household Gods, but be those remembrances admitted with tender encouragement! They are of the time and all its comforting and peaceful reassurances; and of the history that reunited even upon earth the living and the dead; and of the broad beneficence and goodness that too many men have tried to tear to narrow shreds.”
From “The Lady’s Walk: A Story of the Seen and Unseen” by Margaret Oliphant, in The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, edited by Tara Moore:
“It was a lovely evening, soft and warm, the western sky all ablaze with colour, the great branches of the beeches thrown out in dark maturity of greenness upon the flush of orange and crimson melting into celestial rosy red as it rose higher, and flinging itself in airy masses rose-tinted across the serene blue above….
“The air was of magical clearness, and earth and sky seemed stilled with an almost awe of their own loveliness, happiness, and peace.”