Fairly early on, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce has a wonderful scene involving Christmas dinner. It runs more than ten pages, and reveals the characters and their Catholicism beautifully. It’s often humorous (as people share anecdotes) and sometimes disrespectful (as when Mr. Dedalus refers to the bird’s tail as “the Pope’s nose.”) It ranges from humor to anger. A thoroughly enjoyable passage.
On Christmas Eve, 2014, the Huffington Post published a delightful piece titled “The Most Festive (And Not-So-Festive) Christmas Scenes from Classic Books.” Here you will find bits from 13 classic novels.
Christmas Scenes from Classic Books
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
Emma (Jane Austen)
A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy)
Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
Vanity Fair (William Thackerary)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
The Mill on the Floss (George Eliot)
Pluck any of these great reads from your shelves (or from the shelves of your local library) and get in the Christmas spirit!