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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:36 PM
Original message
Can ya'll give me some suggestions re: short stories to read aloud
on Xmas Eve with family...that aren't religious...

I have two ideas so far: "The Night the Bed Fell" by James Thurber and one that is kinda Christmassy but not in a super religious way, "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.

They need to be short, short stories. Or they could be humorous non-fiction. Last year we served the meal that Julia Child describes as her first meal in France (right down to the wine selection!) and my dtr read the passage in her book where she describes each course. It was nice and a LOT of fun!

You guys are terrific sources, so I know you'll come up with some great suggestions!

And, THANKS!!!



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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. There is a collection of Christmas stories by Charles Dickens
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 04:39 PM by SpiralHawk
he's always fun to read aloud -- probably can get at your library. See what Mr. Bumblechook is up to these days...what ho.

The other sure fire read aloud winner 'A child's christmas in wales' by poet Dylan Thomas. Splendid.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Night of the Meek," by Rod Serling
from one of the Twilight Zone short story collections -- based, natch, on the great episode of the show with the same name!
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Is it creepy?
I'd like to stick to nice sentiment or humorous...but I do love Serling!
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Well, it's sentimental, ultimately -- with a nice twist at the end!
;-)
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thanks, sounds nice! Is it short?
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. It is -- don't know if those old Bantam "Twilight Zone" collections are still in print...
Now you've got me curious to find out, myself...
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
35. Youtube has the original show in 2 parts
one of my all time favorites:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGwHJL4RyOg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56ky9wHS9ow

with the great Art Carney
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. Is Dickens "A Christmas Carol" too obvious?
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 04:42 PM by Nye Bevan
On edit I guess it is too long to be considered a "short" story.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. It is too long, yes. Also, everybody knows it...something they haven't seen before
would be nice. Altho, of course, most of them prolly know the O. Henry story...but I reread it and it's very sweet but not too sacharine...
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. No short story but what a great tradition!
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Isn't it fun? It was my dtr's idea!
I'd like to include the kids this time. They are 10, 13 and 16. I just reread Gift of the Magi and it is a really beautiful work. I think the kids would learn something by its lesson...
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BrendaBrick Donating Member (859 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. I agree
What a nice tradition!

FYI - You may want to run this by the folks in the fiction forum for additional feedback!
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
9. David Sedaris's "Santaland Diaries"! Hilarious! Here he is reading it:
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 04:59 PM by WinkyDink
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. wow, that's a bit grim...I do like it tho...
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IcyPeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
39. this is a HILARIOUS bit, but
I think it's great when David Sedaris himself reads it. Not sure it would go over the same with someone else reading it.

BTW - thanks for the Youtube links. Never thought of looking for it there. Must give it another listen. First time I heard this I was crying from laughing so much.
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Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. "The Blue Eyes" by Isak Dinesen. Will go check to make sure
that's right.

Very, very short but packs more punch than Gift of the Magi.

will be back shortly.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. If I read that story right, it is a very dark tale...not sure my best bet for xmas eve...
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
14. Here are a couple
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
17. Pull out a copy of Little House on the Prairie by
Laura Ingalls Wilder and find the chapter "Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus" and read that.
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theophilus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
18. "An Old Fashioned Christmas" by Robert Benchley n/t
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
19. Go the F**k to Sleep [Hardcover] :)
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. That is not a good one since there will be KIDS there. n/t
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Humorless.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. they are pretty old kids, really...they sure don't believe in santa any more...
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Well, I just don't think it is right to say the F-word dozens of times in front of a 10 yr old n/t
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. She hears it a lot from her oldest sister but she herself says "What the fudge?"
She's a little darling...
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Safetykitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
25. "A Christmas Memory" Truman Capote and as mentioned above "Santaland Diaries"
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
26. The Grinch! nt
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
27. Why don't you make your own story up. I bet you could come up with a great idea.
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mrmpa Donating Member (707 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
28. Murder For Christmas edited by..............
Thomas Godfrey. It's 26 tales of seasonal malice by Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Woody Allen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Damon Runyan and many others. We (the family) have enjoyed putting this book out every year. Someone usually picks it up and will read aloud one of the stories.
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InkAddict Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
29. Grab a copy of
Fairy Tales and Fantastic Stories by Terry Jones illustrated Michael Foreman. (Terry Jones of Monty Python legend doing kid's stories)


For a more grown-up saga, and not quite sure how it might be separate, out of the rest of the novel - Try Chapter 5 of A Prayer for Owen Meany, "A Ghost of the Future" as Owen participates in a Christmas Pageant.
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Johnny Harpo Donating Member (330 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
30. A 'Best Christmas Stories' Web Site
This might be worth a look....

http://www.best-christmas-stories.com/
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Johnny Harpo Donating Member (330 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
31. A Short Stories Web Site
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Johnny Harpo Donating Member (330 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
32. A Free Short Stories Web Site
Free, Printable Short Stories from the books of Great Authors!

http://www.free-short-stories.org.uk/
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
33. I don't know if you are familiar with The Read-Aloud
Handbook, by Jim Trelease. It is a tremendous resource for anyone looking for things to read with their children.

If you like that book, you might like his "Hey, Listen to This! Stories to Read Aloud." Go to the library and look through it. I think you will find more than one story worth reading.
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dimbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 01:27 AM
Response to Original message
34. A famous Christmas poem also good for Halloween:
As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, though scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed,
As though his floods should quench his flames, which with his tears were fed.
"Alas," quoth he, "but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts, or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood."
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas Day.

"The Burning Babe"
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Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. I was ten years old more than sixty years ago, but today if I heard
somebody reading this aloud, I would run screaming from the room.
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BrendaBrick Donating Member (859 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
36. The Christmas Truce of 1914 (True Story)
Edited on Sun Dec-04-11 08:46 AM by BrendaBrick
(Portion) From wiki:

Christmas 1914
British and German troops meeting in No man's land during the unofficial truce (British troops from the Northumberland Hussars, 7th Division, Bridoux-Rouge Banc Sector)

Though there was no official truce, about 100,000 British and German troops were involved in unofficial cessations of fighting along the length of the Western Front.<8> The first truce started on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium.<9>

The Germans began by placing candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were excursions across No Man's Land, where small gifts were exchanged, such as food, tobacco and alcohol, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Joint services were held. The fraternisation was not, however, without its risks; some soldiers were shot by opposing forces. In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but it continued until New Year's Day in others.<7>

Bruce Bairnsfather, who served throughout the war, wrote: "I wouldn't have missed that unique and weird Christmas Day for anything. ... I spotted a German officer, some sort of lieutenant I should think, and being a bit of a collector, I intimated to him that I had taken a fancy to some of his buttons. ... I brought out my wire clippers and, with a few deft snips, removed a couple of his buttons and put them in my pocket. I then gave him two of mine in exchange. ... The last I saw was one of my machine gunners, who was a bit of an amateur hairdresser in civil life, cutting the unnaturally long hair of a docile Boche, who was patiently kneeling on the ground whilst the automatic clippers crept up the back of his neck."<10>

General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, commander of the British II Corps, was irate when he heard what was happening, and issued strict orders forbidding friendly communication with the opposing German troops.<8>

Adolf Hitler, then a young corporal of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry, was a notable opponent of the truce.

Rest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

A quick search on amazon.com turned up 3 books. (I'm not sure if all 3 are children's books, though):

http://www.amazon.com/Truce-Day-Soldiers-Stopped-Fighti...

A description of the one by Jim Murphy:

Book Description
Age Level: 9 and up | Grade Level: 4 and up
Two-time Newbery Honor Book author Jim Murphy writes a stunning nonfiction masterpiece about a Christmas miracle on the Western Front during World War I.


On July 29th 1914, the worlds peace was shattered as the artillery of the Austria-Hungary Empire began shelling the troops of the country to its south. What followed was like a row of falling dominoes as one European country after another rushed into war. Soon most of Europe was fighting in this calamitous war that could have been avoided. This was, of course, the First World War.
But who could have guessed that on December 25 the troops would openly defy their commanding officers by stopping the fighting and having a spontaneous celebration of Christmas with their "enemies"? (cont'd)

~Peace on earth, good will to men ~ :grouphug:


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likesmountains 52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
38. A Child's Christmas in Wales
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
40. Shel Silverstein has some excellent read-aloud stories
that are suitable for both adults and children.

There are some really clever children's books out (that are really for adults).
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IcyPeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
41. Hans Christian Andersen:
2 that I like (although they don't have very happy endings...) are

The Fir Tree
http://www.aesopfables.com/cgi/aesop1.cgi?hca&a27

and

The Snowman
http://www.aesopfables.com/cgi/aesop1.cgi?hca&a96

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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
42. A friend of mine once read "A Long Walk to Forever" by Vonnegut out loud to me.
It's not Christmassy, but it's a great read.
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vard28 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
43. This one is kinda neat
And has a nice message. It's called Turkey for One.

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/christmas/sto...
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