There are many traditions for Advent. There are the kiddy calenders, the wreaths, readings, and prayers. What if you could start a new tradition this year? What if you could walk your way through Advent reading classical literature? For the next four weeks, I will walk you through the books and chapters of Christmas scenes in some of my favorite stories. Many of the stories center around love and joy. Peace and hope tend to be hidden gems.
To make it easy let’s start with Ben Hur: A tale of the Christ. I know what you are probably thinking. You are thinking of the movie with Charlton Heston and the epic chariot race where he almost lost his life. And I am sure you can guess what I am going to say next; the book was better.
Lew Wallace organized the book into 7 mini books on the life of Christ. The first book is all about the story of the first Christmas. The fictional tale is beautifully told. I love the way Lew Wallace portrayed the Wise Men. Each Wise Man gets to speak of their journey towards the God of the Isreal. The Athenian Speaks of Faith, the Hindoo speaks of Love, and the Egyptian speaks of Good Works (although I tend to see Hope in him though you will have to read the rest of the book to see why). Chapters 1-14 are a perfect way to start out your Advent literary adventures. Here is some more information on Lew Wallace: https://www.ben-hur.com/
The next choice scene is chapter 2 in Little Women. Many will be familiar with what becomes of the March sisters’ Christmas. It is all given up to bring hope, love, joy, and peace on a family more destitute than they. There is yet another chapters with Christmas joy and peace in the book. It is a little known Christmas scene that gets past in literary circles often. Chapter 22 is the homecoming of Mr. March. Love of a family reunited. The joy of a father safe at home. The hope of their troubled times behind them. And a peaceful rest knowing that Father is home. http://www.louisamayalcott.org/index.htm
The last book is a small little book that only takes place during the Christmas season. The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter is a story of giving and reaping what you sew (pun intended). If you are familiar with the Elves and the Shoemaker you will recognize the similar theme. https://beatrixpottersociety.org.uk/
I hope you enjoy this weeks list of books.