What is an Anthology? An Anthology is a collection of other pieces of writings, like short stories or poems made by various authors or extracts from famous novels and play scripts. This story is an Anthology about Christmas: everything before Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, after Christmas, and finally, the New Year, written by Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, George Elliot, Rudyard Kipling, Anthony Trollope, and other famous authors.
This Anthology is special because it is not how the modern kind of Christmas is spent, the day when everyone buys expensive Christmas trees and presents at the various stores, while almost all children treat Christmas as ‘the day I get my presents’ day. Because the authors are people from the 19th and 20th century, of course the short stories are on how they spent it at that time, which was quite different, but also similar in some ways.
Like for example, do you think any other names to call Santa Claus? Well, somewhere in the 1900, Santa was famous by the name St. Nicholas. But the celebration dan its magic story is still the same. St Nicholas went down the chimney, to give out the presents to the sleeping kids. I first found that out in the opening poem of the book A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarkee Moor.
Other stories tell us about how people spend their Christmas with families, like the story: Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence. When a boy, the oldest son, was coming home at Christmas Eve, but the other two children and the father were late to come home. But when they did, about three hours later, the family was so happy. They celebrated Christmas Eve together.
Other than telling us the difference between Christmas in the 1900 and Christmas right now, the anthology also told us the values of Christmas. Jesus was born that day. The whole world celebrated in warmth and happiness. How young people helped the old on Christmas day and how the families rejoiced. It was simply not trading presents, but trading smiles. Sometimes, that might be the only present that was looked forward to at Christmas.
The main scenery outside at Christmas is the Let it Snow feeling. As I looked into the illustrations in the book, there were people walking in a land full of snow and ice; pine trees were everywhere, and a picture a very warm fireplace in the living room. Living in Jakarta, I haven’t had the opportunity of passing a Christmas like this.
At an excerpt from the classic story: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of the best Christmas tale in this book. Christmas was celebrated by giving the employed workers a holiday, and organizing a really fun party, full of laughter, songs and music for the whole night. In my opinion, this is actually how Christmas should be celebrated: in happiness. Happy people will create hope. And once humans choose hope, anything is possible.
Merry Christmas and happy new year 2015. See you next year.