52 in 52 Week 50: Favorite Stories of Christmas Past by Various Authors

 This is a precious audiobook of many classic stories. I got it for free from Tantor Audio last year but didn't have time to read it once it until this Christmas season.  

It only $6.00 on Tantor Audio this year, and it is well worth the cost. It comes with an eBook too. I went back and forth between listening and reading. because, as much as I wanted to like her, the female narrator was SO ANNOYING. I know she is an award-winning narrator, and she does accents and men well; but she puts on a syrupy sweet narrator voice that sounds like she is reading to two year olds. It really distracted from the beautiful stories.  

The male narrator is really good though. So, you only have to endure the female narrator for half the time.   I will briefly comment on each, and I have linked many of the actual stories since they are all public domain:

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore - This is the classic story read masterfully by Alan Sklar.

"The Story of Christmas" by Nora A. Smith - This was the first narration by Renée Raudman, and it was appropriate to have that voice. I thought she was reading like this because it is a story for children. I was so wrong.

"A Country Christmas" by Louisa May Alcott - The narrator really ruined this story. I need to go back and read it in the eBook to really appreciate it (couldn't find it on my computer at that point). The women are so syrupy. I am sure it is a good story, but I liked it least of all because of the narration.

"An Empty Purse" by Sarah Orne Jewett - I had adjusted to the female narrator enough to LOVE this story. It is all about giving at Christmas. GREAT MORAL to the story! I think I liked it best of all, and it is a short 17 minutes of listening. After repeated emails back and forth with the professor in charge of her stories, I could only access this link through the "cache" version when you get the broken link message.  It worked for him on Firefox, but it did not work for me in Chrome or my husband's with IE. Who knows why!

"The Bachelor's Christmas" by Robert Grant (the link is to an 1895 Google Books version complete with illustrations)  - This was read by the man, and it was such a precious story. I felt like sending it to my single friends.

"The Fir Tree" by Hans Christian Andersen - Excellent! It is a story about contentment.

"The Birds' Christmas Carol" by Kate Douglas Wiggin - Bring tissue. This is a totally precious story. I love that the main character is named Carol because that is my name! I love my name, given to by God through my dad who thought, the minute I popped out, that there was no way I was a Karen ("Pure One"), and I must be called Carol ("Song of Joy"). He overruled my mother's wishes in naming me Carol, and that was a God thing. He did not know that I would grow up to be a singer, that my full name, Carol Ann, is an inverse of Anna Carolina, my grandmother's Swedish name, and finally that Carol is the feminine version of his name, Charles. I was my dad's daughter. But I digress. This is a BEAUTIFUL story, and I am delighted to see that Project Gutenberg has it in all forms with the original illustrations!  Read it today!

"Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus" by Francis Church - Classic! The link is to pictures of the actual paper in which the editorial appeared. It is at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Too bad we missed it on our trip there in July.

"The Festival of St. Nicholas" by Mary Mapes Dodge - I just happened to listen to this ON St. Nicholas Day. Imagine that! This is from Chapter IX of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. I have a copy that is inscribed, "Charles, March 1924." Given to my father (who was not a reader) by my grandmother (who desperately wanted him to be).

"The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry - The story that was later made into several movies.

Loved this!
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