Thursday, September 13, 2012

Old Christmas by Washington Irving

Why I read it: Poking around Kindle, found it for free, realized I had never read any Washington Irving.

Summary: The writer laments the passing of the age of a classic English countryside Christmas, then finds one.

My Thoughts: I guess that as I age, I shouldn't be affected by this singular notion, but it seems to always get me. Irving wants things to be like they used to be when he was younger. Why does it seem so odd to me that someone in 1819 might think that their early days represented the way life should be? Why do I think that it's only our generation that is allowed to think in those directions? I guess the time machine would have been as valuable to them as it will be for us. Someday...

The tale is free of conflict, and as such, is simply a beautifully descriptive remembrance of what an old-time countryside Christmas might have been like. It holds, too, some secrets to the Christmas traditions of today that I had never considered. For instance, there are supposed to be berries on the mistletoe. Each time a young man steals a kiss from a young girl, he takes a berry; when they are gone, the game is over.

I never knew that. I've been standing there like a chump under the greenery. That's why the girls won't kiss me.

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