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Thursday, 11 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas ~ Meet Sara Furlong Bur

My Favorite Christmas Stories

Really, who doesn’t love Christmas? With the beautiful lights, the cookies, the snow blanketing the ground, and the overall merriment in the air, it’s hard not to get into the spirit that takes hold this time of year. Along with good tidings, Christmas has inspired a plethora of stories that have stood the test of time from generation to generation. Stories that have lived in the hearts of their readers and will continue to endure for as long as we continue to celebrate the holiday that prompted their birth.

We all have our favorite tales, ones that, when we hear them, invoke an instant feeling of nostalgia from Christmases past. For me, that’s no exception. Here is a list of those Christmas stories that get me in the holiday spirit:

How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss: Take one joyous, over-celebratory, fictional town, add an angry outcast with a serious grudge against basically everything that creates happiness, and what do you get? A story of forgiveness and redemption that has resonated with millions of readers since its publication in 1957.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: This is probably one of the most universally known and loved Christmas stories of all time. Why? Because, I believe, it embodies everything Christmas is supposed to stand for: giving to those less fortunate than yourself, being thankful for the things and the people you have in your life, and living your life to the fullest. Truly, we can all learn a thing or two from Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and, of course, Tiny Tim.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann: Known more simply as The Nutcracker, this novella, upon which the famous ballet was adapted, chronicles the story of Marie Stahlbaum and her favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, that comes alive and defeats the evil Mouse King before he takes her away to a kingdom of dolls. This story is both magical and whimsical, exactly how Christmas should be.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams: The perfect story to read to your children, The Velveteen Rabbit is the story of a beloved toy rabbit (a Christmas present given to a young boy) that longs to be real. To the boy, the stuffed rabbit is real and he takes it everywhere he goes. But when he becomes ill with scarlet fever, the boy’s toys, including his favorite rabbit, are bundled up and taken away to be burned. However, as the stuffed rabbit pauses to reflect on his time with the boy, he cries a real tear. A fairy rises from that tear and turns the toy rabbit into a real rabbit. Later, the rabbit returns to see the young boy, who recognizes him as his former toy. Seriously, if you don’t get choked up by that, you have no pulse.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore: Even though this is technically not a story and more of a poem, it has still been a staple for millions of families for nearly 200 years now (the poem was originally published in 1822). And, really, who hasn’t heard The Night Before Christmas, and what is Christmas Eve without it being recited at least once before you go to bed?

Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: Two stories that really need no introduction, I remember reading – or most likely looking at the pictures as I was very young – these two books in their old school Little Golden Book editions. And since being introduced to these two stories, I can’t get enough of the television specials based upon them whenever they come television, often using my children as an excuse to make sure the channel is turned to them each and every year.

Merry Christmas and, as always, happy reading, everyone!

About the Author

Sara Furlong Burr
Sara “Furlong” Burr was born and raised in Michigan and currently still lives there with her husband, two daughters, a high-strung Lab, and three judgmental cats. When she’s not writing, Sara enjoys reading, camping, spending time with her family, and attempting to paint while consuming more amaretto sours than she cares to admit.

You can learn more about Sara at, follow her on Twitter via @Sarafurlong, and read more of her ramblings via Facebook at

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