There's a long tradition of English Christmas stories, sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, often revolving around ghosts and apparitions. Dickens drew on it in a serious vein in A Christmas Carol; here Jerome K. Jerome tells hilarious stories from around an English Christmas fireside.
A few selected Christmas poems and stories round out the program, including the classic story of the Nativity from the Bible.
Told after Supper by Jerome K. Jerome
Here's a hilarious 19th-century piece you've probably never heard of. It's a wonderful spoof of the grand old English tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas. But in Jerome's work, everything goes hilariously wrong, and the narrator of the story even winds up wandering around on the streets, drunk as a lord, somewhat incompletely dressed!
Christmas Trees by Robert Frost
In this early poem, we hear Frost's dry, matter-of-fact New England voice making a simple calculation about Christmas trees I didn't know I had.
Mistletoe by Walter de la Mare
This dreamlike experience of a gentle touch from a special person late on Christmas night is as fine a piece of dreamland as one could wish.
Ring Out! by Alfred Lord Tennyson
A passionate appeal that the new year may be better than the old.
The Three Kings by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The majesty and indeed the worldly wisdom of the three who came to give great gifts to the infant in the manger has never been better expressed.
Luke 2:1-20 (King James version)
In the beautiful language of the King James Bible - the only successful contribution to literature ever made by a committee - we hear not only how a babe was born, but how his mother came to believe great things of him. Download and start listening now!