Christmas Anthology (2 dari 9)

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"The Children of Noisy Village"


The next day the sun shone and the trees were all white with snow. Miss Johnson said she hadn't slept a wink all night. She had laid awake, wondering how we had managed in the snow.
Since it was the last day of school before Christmas, Miss Johnson read us a Christmas story. Everything felt wonderful that day, but just before we were going to leave came the best thing of all. Miss Johnson had written to Stockholm and ordered story books for all of us. A few weeks before, she had shown us a large sheet of paper with many pretty pictures of the covers of different books so we could choose which ones we wanted to buy. I had ordered two, and Karl and Bill also had ordered two each. Mine had pictures of princes and princesses on the covers. Now, on the very last day of school before Christmas, Miss Johnson had received the books. She walked around and gave them out to us. I could hardly wait to get mine, but Mommy had said that we were not to read them until Christmas Eve.
Before we left school that day, we sang all the Christmas songs we knew, and Miss Johnson said she hoped we would have a merry Christmas. I was sure that I would.
Britta and Anna and I ran to the store and bought red, yellow, green, white, and blue shiny paper, because we were going to make baskets to hang on the Christmas tree. Then we walked home. It was light and pretty outside.
As we were walking along, Britta took her book out of her schoolbag and smelled it. She let all of us smell it. New books smell so good that you can tell how much fun it's going to be to read them. Then Britta started to read. Her mother, too, had said that she should save her books until Christmas Eve, but Britta said she was only going to read a tiny little bit. After she had read the tiny bit we all thought it was so terribly exciting that we begged her to read just a tiny little bit more. So she read a little bit more. But that didn't help, because when she had finished that part it was still just as exciting and we wanted to know what would happen next.
"I have to know if the prince got bewitched or not, " said Karl.
So Britta read a little bit more. That's the way we kept on, and by the time we got home to Noisy Village she had read the whole book. Britta said it didn't matter because she was going to read it over again on Christmas Eve anyway.
When we got to our house Mommy and Agda were making the Christmas sausage, and the kichen was a mess. As soon as we had eaten supper went out and made a big snow lantern in our yard. Britta and Anna and Olaf came over and helped us. When we finished the lantern we put a candle inside.
In the linden tree there were lots of sparrows and bullfinches, and they looked so hungry that I ran and asked Daddy if we could put up the Christmas sheaves a little bit early. Daddy said we could, so we all ran down to the loft and got five oat of sheaves that had been saved out for Christmas when they were thresing. We put them in the apple trees in our orchard, and it was long before the birds were sitting in the trees eating the oats. they probably thought it was already Christmas Eve. The Christmas sheaves and the snow and everything were awfully pretty.
In the evening Britta and Anna and I sat in Grandfather's room and made Christmas-tree baskets. The boys were there too. First they said they weren't going to make any Christmas-tree baskets, but after a while they couldn't keep from doing it. We all sat around Grandfather's table to work. We made fifty-four baskets, which we divided evenly so that there were eighteen baskets for North Farm and eighteen for Middle Fram and eighteen for South Farm. Grandfather treated us to apples and barley-sugar when we finished. The whole time we sat there I kept thinking that the next day we were going to bake the ginger snaps It was almost as much fun as Christmas Eve.
Right in the middle of it all Karl ran out to the yard and lighted the candle that we had put in the snow lantern. My, how pretty it looked in the dark! When I saw it shining so brightly out there, I couldn't help thinking about the Christmas song: "Christmas Stands Before the Door, Gives a knock, and Smiles"
I could almost see Christmas standing there, smiling, just like the snow lantern.
"I feel so sorry about you, Grandfather, because you can't see teh snow lantern," said Anna. "Do you want us to sing to you instead?" Grandfather loves it when we sing. So wer sang the very song I had been thinking about: "Christmas Stands Before the Door"
"Don't you think Christmas is fun?" Anna whispered to me afterward I said I did. It's more fun than anything else I know.

Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002)
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In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can give Him: give my heart.

Words by Christina Rosetti (1872), music by Gustave Theodore Holst (1906)
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Away in a Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven to live with Thee there.

Words by Martin Luther (15??), music by William Kirkpatrick (1895)
Known in Indonesian as [color=icy blue]"Dalam Gua Dingin"[/color] (Madah Bakti)
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"The Glastonbury Thorn"

The legend of Glastonbury thorn has its origin in Christ's death as well as in the celebration of His birth.
The legend goes that soon after the death of christ, Joseph of Arimathea travelled from the Holy Land to Britain to spread the message of Christianity. Tired out from his journey, he lay down to rest, pushing his staff into the ground beside him. When he awoke, he found the staff had taken root & had had begun to grow & blossom. It is said he left it there & it has flowered every Christmas & every spring.
Legend has it say that a Puritan who was trying to cut down the tree was prevented from doing so by being blinded by a splinter of the wood as he hacked at it. The original thorn did eventually die but not before many cuttings had been taken It is 1 of these very cuttings, they say, which is in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey today.
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"The Children of Noisy Village

I don't know when Christmas starts in other places, but in Noisy Village it starts the day we bake ginger snaps. We have almost as much fun that day as on Christmas Eve. Karl and Bill and I each get a chunk of ginger snap dough, we can bake it in the shape of anything we want. The last time we were to bake ginger snaps, Karl forgot all about it and went to the forest with Daddy to get wood. Right in the middle of the forest he remembered what day it was and rushed home so fast that the snow whirled around him, Daddy said.
Bill and I had already started to bake. It was just as well that Karl came a little late because the best ginger-snap mold we have is a pig, and when Karl is there it's almost impossible for Bill and me to get it. But this time we had baked ten pigs each before Karl came puffing home from the forest. How he hurried to catch up with us!
When we had almost finished baking we put all our last little pieces of dough together and made a big prize cooky. We always do this. Then in the afternoon, when all the ginger snaps had come out of the oven, we put 332 dried peas in a bottle and went around all over Noisy Village to let evryone gues how many peas there were. The one who made the closest guess would get the big cooky for a prize.
Karl carried the bottle, Bill carried the prize cooky, and I carried a notebook where I wrote down everyone's guess. Grandfather was the one who won the the prize, and I was so glad. He guessed that there were 320 peas in the bottle which was very close. Anna guessed that there were three thousand peas. Wasn't that crazy?
The day after we baked the ginger snaps was fun too, for then we went to the forest to cut the Christmas trees. All the fathers go along when we cut the Christmas trees- and all the children too, of course. The mothers have to stay at home and cook, poor things! We took our big sleigh, which we use for carryingmilk from Noisy Village to the dairy in the big village. Karl and Bill and I and Britta and Anna and Olaf rode in the sleigh. My Daddy walked beside it and drove the horse. Olaf's and Britta and Anna's daddies walked behind it and laughed and talked. All of us in the sleigh laughed and talked too.
There was so much snow in the forest that we had to shake it out the fir trees to see if they were pretty or not. We cut three big fir trees, one for each farm. And then we cut a tiny little tree for Grandfather to have in his room, and another little one to give to Karen, because she lives all alone in her red cottage in the woods.
The night before Christmas Eve I felt sad because I didn't think Mommy and Agda could ever get everything ready for Christmas. It looked so messy all over the house,a nd especially in the kitchen. I cried a little after I had gone to bed
Christmas Eve morning I woke up early and ran down to the kitchen in my nightie to see if it was still messy. But oh, my! How beautiful it was! There were new rag carpets on the floor; there was red and green and white curled tissue paper around the iron pole by the stove; there was a Christmas cloth on the big folding table; and all the copper kettles were polished. i was so happy that I gave Mommy a big hug. Karl and Bill came rushing in right after me, and Karl said that even his stomach felt Christmassy when he saw the rag carpets.
On Christmas Eve morning all of us Noisy Village children always go over to Karen's with a basket full of goodies from our mothers. But first we go to Grandfather to wish him a merry Christmas and watch Britta and Anna decorate his little tree. We help a little too, although Britta and Anna prefer to do it by themselves. Of course Grandfather can't see what we hang on the tree, but when we tell him about it he says that he can see it inside his head.
When we walked over to Karen's cottage the weather was very beautiful, just the way it should be on Christmas Eve. The road that goes to Karen's cottage is so narrow that we could hardly see it under all the snow. Karl carried the basket, and Bill and Olaf the little fir tree. The boys wouldn't let Britta and Anna and me carry anything. My, how surprised Karen when we came! Well, she probably just pretending to be surprised, because she knows that we come every year. Karl unpacked everything in the basket and put it on the table, and Karen just shook her headand said, "My, my, it's too much, it's much too much!"
I didn't think that it was too much, but it was a lot: a large piece of ham, a sausage, a round cheese, coffee, ginger snaps, candles, [color=sky blue]c[/color]andy and I don't remember what all. We put the candles on Karen's tree and danced around it a little to practise for later on that night. Karen was very happy, and she stood in the doorway and waved to us as we left.

Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002).
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"The Children of Noisy Village"

When we got home Karl and Bill and I decorated our tree. Daddy helped us. We got the red apples that we were going to use on the tree out of the attic, and then we hung some of our ginger snaps on it. We put raisins and nuts in the baskets we had made in Grandfather's room. We also hung up the cotton angel that Mommy had used on her tree when she was little- and then, of course, a lot of flags and candles and [color=sky blue]c[/color]andy. My, how pretty the tree was when it was finished!
Then it was time to 'dip in the pot'. Mommy gave us large slices of rye bread that Agda had baked, and we dipped them in the broth that the ham had cooked in. My, how good it was! Then there was nothing to do but WAIT. Karl said that times like those ours in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, when you don't do anything but wait and wait, are the kind of things people get grey hairs from. We waited and waited and waited , and from time to time I went to the mirror to see if I had any grey hairs yet. But strangely enough, my hair was just as blond as ever. Bill hit the clock now and then, because he thought that it had stopped.
When it got dark, it was time at last to take our presents over to North farm and South Farm. You can't do that when it's light because it wouldn't be exciting at all. Karl and Bill and I put on our red Santa Claus caps and Karl took the Santa Claus mask that he was gouing to wear later in the evening (it's Karl who is Santa Claus at our house nowadays. When I was little I thought that there was a real Santa Claus, but I don't think so anymore).
Then we took our packages and sneaked out into the dark. The sky was full of stars. I looked toward the forest, standing so dark and still, and imagined that perhaps there was a real Santa Claus living there who soon would come, pulling a sled loaded with Christmas presents. I almost wished that it were true.
There was no light in the kitchen at North Farm. We pounded on the back door, and then we opened it and threw our Christmas packages inside. Britta and Anna came rushing out and said that we had to come in and taste their Christmas cookies and candy So we did, and they gave us Christmas packages too. Britta and Anna put on their Santa Claus masks, and we all went over to South Farm to see Olaf. He was sitting in their kitchen, and he was just waiting too. Skip, his dog, barked like everything when he saw five Santa Clauses coming. Then Olaf put on a mask too, and we all ran out and played Santa Claus in the dark.

Astrid Lindgren 1907-2002).
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"The Song of the Christmas Tree Fairy"

The little Christmas tree was born
And dwelt in the open air;
It did not guess how bright a dress
Some day its boughs would wear;
Brown cones were all, it thought, a tall
And grown-up Fir would bear.

O little Fir! Your forest home
Is far and far away;
And here indoors these boughs of yours
With coloured balls are gay,
With candle-light, and tinsel bright,
For this is Christmas Day!

A doll-fairy on top,
Till children sleep; then she
(A Live one now!) from bough to bough
Goes sliding silently.
O magic sight, this joyous night!
O laden, sparkling tree!

By Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973)
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"The Wind in the Willows"

This is an excerpt from the book which shows even animals celebrate Christmas.

I think it must be the field-mice,' replied the Mole, with a touch of pride in his manner. `They go round carol-singing regularly at this time of the year. They're quite an institution in these parts. And they never pass me over -- they come to Mole End last of all; and I used to give them hot drinks, and supper too sometimes, when I could afford it. It will be like old times to hear them again.'
"Let's have a look at them!" cried the Rat, jumping up and running to the door.
It was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, that met their eyes when they flung the door open. In the fore-court, lit by the dim rays of a horn lantern, some eight or ten little field-mice stood in a semicircle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their fore-paws thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth. With bright beady eyes they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing and applying coat-sleeves a good deal. As the door opened, one of the elder ones that carried the lantern was just saying, "Now then, 1, 2, 3!" And forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow and held by frost, or when snow-bound in chimney corners, and handed down to be sung in the miry street to lamp-lit windows at Yule-time.

Carol

Villagers all, this frosty tide,
Let your doors swing open wide,
Though wind may follow, and snow beside,
Yet draw us in by your fire to bide;
Joy shall be yours in the morning!
Here we stand in the cold and the sleet,
Blowing fingers and stamping feet,
Come from far away you to greet --
You by the fire and we in the street --
Bidding you joy in the morning!
For ere one half of the night was gone,
Sudden a star has led us on,
Raining bliss and benison --
Bliss to-morrow and more anon,
Joy for every morning!
Goodman Joseph toiled through the snow-
Saw the star o'er a stable low;
Mary she might not further go-
Welcome thatch, and litter below!
Joy was hers in the morning!
And then they heard the angels tell
"Who were the first to cry Nowell?
Animals all, as it befell,
In the stable where they did dwell!
Joy shall be theirs in the morning!"

By Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932).

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O Come All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

Refrain:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

God of God, Light of Light,
Lo He abhors not the Virgin's womb ,
Very God, begotten, not created; Ref

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps; ]Ref

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest; Ref

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing. Ref

Words & music by John Francis Wade (1743)
Known in Indonesian as [color=sky blue]"Lekaslah Pra Iman"[/color] (Madah Bakti)
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"The Night Before Christmas, or the Visit of St Nicholas"

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY Christmas TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"

Clement Clark Moore (1779-1863)


post by hansel@ WG

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