Chesterton’s little “Christmas Carol” is simple enough for a 2-year-old to understand. Actually, a very young child might understand it better than the rest of us, knowing so well how comforting it is to be cuddled close by his mother. The poem makes use of very few details, and no literary conceits, to draw us into the room with the Holy Family.
The genius of the poem though, is in the way Chesterton draws in our focus. He gives us no information at all about the Christ-child, except for his stillness, and the light in his hair. Mary is with him; that’s all we know. But notice — first, we’re focusing on Christ, lying on Mary’s lap in the silence. Then, “O weary, weary were the world …” The scope of the scene zooms out, showing us not just the sin and suffering of the world then, but the whole weight of world’s sadness, which has accumulated on us over the ages. Abruptly, he brings us back into the room: “But here is all aright.” We feel a flood of relief as we focus our vision back on the mother and child.
The Christmas stories of the famous authors: Gilbert Keith Chesterton - A Christmas Carol, Lucy Maud Montgomery - A Christmas Inspiration, A Christmas Mistake, Christmas at Red Butte, Lyman Frank Baum -A Kidnapped Santa Claus, Mark Twain - A Letter from Santa Claus, Louisa May Alcott - A Merry Christmas, Leo Tolstoy - A Russian Christmas Party, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Christmas Bells, Nikolai Gogol - Christmas Eve, William Dean Howells - Christmas Everyday, Joseph Rudyard Kipling - Christmas in India, Lyman Frank Baum - Little Bun Rabbit, Elizabeth Harrison - Little Gretchen and the Wooden Shoe, John Milton - On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity, Charles Dickens - The Chimes, Nathaniel Hawthorne -The Christmas Banquet, Hans Christian Andersen - The Fir Tree, Selma Lagerlöf - The Holy Night, Hans Christian Andersen - The Little Match Girl, Clement Moore - The Night Before Christmas, Henry van Dyke - The Other Wise Man, William Dean Howells - The Pony Engine and the Pacific Express, Beatrix Potter - The Tailor of Gloucester, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - The Three Kings, Anton Chehov - Vanka.