"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
 
Two Days to Christmas: Light a Candle (or Two or Three)

Two Days to Christmas: Light a Candle (or Two or Three)

From “A Christmas Dream and How It Came to Be True” by Louisa May Alcott in A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems:

“Bells were ringing so merrily that it was hard to keep from dancing. Green garlands hung on the walls, and every tree was a Christmas tree full of toys, and blazing with candles that never went out.”

From “A College Santa Clause” by Ralph Henry Barbour in A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems:

“Suddenly, they found themselves in darkness, save for the firelight…. Then, one by one, the tiny candles flickered and flared bluely into flame. Some one pulled the shades from before the two windows, and the room was hushed. Outside, they could see the flakes falling, silently, steadily, between them and the electric lights that shone across the avenue. It was a beautiful, cold, still world of blue mists.”

From “A Christmas Carol” in A Christmas Carol and Other Writings by Charles Dickens:

“Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve — old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house. It was cold, bleak, biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside, go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement-stones to warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already: it had not been light all day: and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices, like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole, and was so dense without, that although the court was of the narrowest, the houses opposite were mere phantoms….

“The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal little cell beyond, a sort of tank, was copying letters. Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk’s fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn’t replenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room; and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel, the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of a strong imagination, he failed.

“‘A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!’ cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach.

“‘Bah!’ said Scrooge, ‘Humbug!'”





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