In the Short Works, I read two short stories: Bertie’s Christmas Eve by the inimitable Saki and Christmas Storms and Sunshine by Mrs. Gaskell. Both delightful stories to enjoy over a glass of wine and a mince pie.
In the Christmas Carol Collection I sing three – two of which are very ancient indeed. The Boar’s Head Carol is still sung every year as part of a procession at Queen’s College, Oxford. More info about this ancient tradition in Wikipedia here.
The second is a traditional Wassail Song, which is very jolly. If you have never heard of the term wassail, it is a contraction of the Middle English phrase wæs hæil, meaning literally ‘good health’ or ‘be you healthy’. The song refers to ‘wassailing’, or singing carols door to door wishing good health.
My third this year is a less well-known sacred carol Sleep! Holy Babe.
Contributions to previous collections:
Christmas Short Works Collection 2008:
A Christmas Tree by Charles Dickens
The Coventry Carol (sung)
Die Koenige by Peter Cornelius (sung). (The Atkins arrangement, Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar, is still under copyright, but the original German is in the Public Domain.)
Christmas Carol Collection 2009:
In Dulci Jubilo (sung)
Christmas Short Works Collection 2009
A Christmas Mystery: the Story of Three Wise Men by William J. Locke
Poem: Old Christmas Returned
Quem Pastores Laudavere (sung)
I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and a prosperous New Year!