From “A Country Christmas” by Louisa May Alcott in A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems:
“It was very lovely on the hill, for far as the eye could reach lay the wintry landscape sparkling with the brief beauty of sunshine on virgin snow. Pines sighed overhead, hardy birds flitted to and fro, and in all the trodden spots rose the little spires of evergreen ready for its Christmas duty. Deeper in the wood sounded the measured ring of axes, the crash of falling trees, while the red shirts of the men added color to the scene, and a fresh wind brought the aromatic breath of newly cloven hemlock and pine.”
From “The Second of the Three Spirits” in A Christmas Carol and Other Writings by Charles Dickens:
“It was a strange figure — like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions. Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. The arms were very long and muscular; the hands the same, as if its hold were of uncommon strength. Its legs and feet, most delicately formed, were, like those upper members, bare….
“It wore a tunic of the purest white; and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt, the sheen of which was beautiful. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand; and, in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem, had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. But the strangest thing about it was, that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light, by which all this was visible….”
From “The Preparation” in The Victorian Christmas Book by Antony Miall:
“In medieval times the following significance was given to colour: White was emblematical of light, purity, virginity, faith, joy, and life. Carmine red, of Christ’s passion and death, of royalty, of the Holy Spirit, and of fire. Blue of truth, constancy, piety. Dark red, of anger, war, and bloodshed. Gold and bright yellow, of the sun, of brightness, marriage, and fruitfulness. Dingy yellow, of deceit and jealousy. Green, of hope, of spring, prosperity, victory, immortality. Violet, of love, truth, humility, passion, and suffering. Black, of death, mourning, humiliation; also of the earth….
“Blue with gold stars, of heaven….”