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12 Days of Christmas - Day 1: The Five Most Well-Known Christmas Books column by Drew Denton

   The warmth of a classic yule log fireplace. The feeling of the brisk winter air. The smell of a marshmallow covered hot chocolate. All these things come to mind while reading a couple classical family favorite Christmas books.
   Christmas is the most popular holiday, and people always make sure of it. Tons of movies made about the good ol’ Kris Kringle, Christmas books about people realizing what the true meaning of this holiday is, the list goes on.
   One of the most known Christmas book in history would be “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” This classic story entails a grouchy, green creature who goes by the name of the Grinch attempts to put an end to Christmas by stealing all such related items from the citizens of Whoville. Even though he stole all the decorations, the Whos’ decide to invite him to their Christmas dinner where he then returns all their items and brings extra presents. There has been multiple adaptions made about this story because of its classic feel.
   Another classically known Christmas book would be “A Christmas Carol.” This book is known across the western hemisphere and has even been made into a theatre show. This story follows a stingy man who doesn’t like to celebrate Christmas because he doesn’t have a family to spend it with. He is then visited by the ghost of his former business partner and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. After these visits, his perspective is changed and he spends his remaining years as a nicer, more jolly man who loves to celebrate Christmas.
   “The Polar Express”… the classic story that bring to mind the thoughts of hot chocolate, locomotives, and Christmas spirit. This book is the story of a boy on Christmas Eve who gets woken up by a magical train. While on this train, the little boy experiences many magical Christmas adventures. This train is headed towards one destination and one destination alone, the North Pole. When the train arrives, the children visit Santa Claus and have the best Christmas ever.
   Everyone knows the famous “Elf on a Shelf.” This story is about ‘scout elves’ who come from Santa Claus himself to the homes of little girls and boys. These elves get their magic from the love of a child. Once it gets its name, the elf gains its powers which give it the ability to fly to the North Pole. Every night they fly back to the workshop to tell Santa if the children are being naughty or nice. Before the family wakes up every morning, the elf comes back and pops a squat in a different spot. It’s a well known fact that if an elf is touched it will lose all of its magical properties. The elf plays hide and seek through the Christmas season with families across the world.
   “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” is one of the oldest christmas classics, being wrote in 1823. It’s the night of Christmas Eve, while the family is sleeping, a father has woke up to noises outside of his home. While he looks out the window to see what all this ruckus is about, he looks to find Santa Claus being pulled on his sleigh by his eight reindeer. After Santa lands on their roof, he travels down the chimney. The father sees him carrying a bag full of gifts. Santa then fills up the stockings with lots of fun little treats. He goes back up the chimney and while flying away he shouts the famous lines of, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”
   All of these classic Christmas stories have had a huge impact on western culture. They have brought many people together to realize what the true meaning of Christmas is; getting together with your loved ones and enjoying the simple pleasures of giving and receiving.

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