Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose, is a ditty that we all hum and every child these days knows about Rudolph.
But do you know how Rudolph came to be so popular?
Many stories capture the spirit of Christmas, but like all legends, their beginnings are unknown to many. They make great reading while waiting to open up presents or just hanging out with the family during the holidays.
Here we look at a few favorites that have stood the test of time.
Classic Christmas Tales
Do you know that from 1843 when it was first published till date, one of these books have never been out of print?
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was actually written by the writer when "newer" traditions like Christmas trees were finding favor in Britain, and older traditions like Carols were being evaluated.
In the book, Ebenezer Scrooge a miser and someone who never gets the giving spirit of Christmas is visited by the ghost of his dead partner and the spirits of Christmas- past, present and future, and sees how life will be.
It leaves him a changed man, making him more generous and giving.
A great book to read aloud, Dickens himself read it aloud to assemblies in public over 127 times till he passed away.
It's a book that can be read several times and serves as a reminder for being generous. It has been adapted into plays and movies countless times, including versions by Disney.
It is also where the word Scrooge for a miser gained currency.
The ever-popular Dr. Suess comes to the rescue of those who feel that Christmas is becoming all about material things and not a spiritual one.
If you read 'The Grinch who stole Christmas" you'll see the light-hearted touch that helps us get a profound message that all Dr. Suess stories have.
An easy read, it is also a popular gift and a great book to read to kids at X-mas time.
There are several others like the Elves and the Shoemaker, Frosty the Snowman and Twas the night before Christmas which are hugely popular.
But reading a book, any book is something experts recommend at all times. You can pick a book as one of the gifts this Christmas, and it can be a tradition that you follow at all ages.
As for the very popular Rudolph, it was actually a marketing ploy as Robert L. May wrote Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer at the request of the department store company Montgomery Ward in 1939.
It was handed out for free to over 2 million children who visited the stores during Christmas time. Johnny Marks, Robert’s brother-in-law, made a song out of it seeing how popular it was and the rest is history.
Can you imagine what we might be humming without the red nosed reindeer coming in for Christmas?
Merry Christmas reading and a Happy New Year with lots of books!
Images courtesy Amazon.com