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Telling Great Christmas Stories | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Telling Great Christmas Stories

History can be as boring as dirt if we leave the back stories out of the timelines.

If you like the back stories of our Christmas traditions, find a copy of the late Webb Garrison’s book, A Treasury of Christmas Stories.

Garrison’s stories are often short enough to read aloud at a single sitting with family and share the kinds of details that make history memorable and fun.

  • what George Washington purchased his stepchildren the first Christmas he was married;
  • in 1214, English barons refused to visit King John in England over Christmas, resulting in the writing and signing of the Magna Carta;
  • Joel Poinsett (for whom the poinsettia is named), the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, met a mob of anti-American demonstrators in front of the U.S. embassy, with an American flag on a pole as his only protection – they disbanded;
  • Union soldiers gave Savannah, Georgia, a free Christmas dinner in the middle of the Civil War;
  • The first Christmas tree in the White House was a present for the wife of President Franklin Pierce, helped pull her out of a devastating depression following the accidental death of their last surviving son.

Garrison, former assistant dean of Emory University and president of McKendree College, died a few years ago. 

In the conclusion of his book, he urges families to read these stories aloud and share them together because storytelling combines art with instruction and entertainment. 

“Tell your stories” is the advice of many working in social media today.  Reading and sharing great stories is a great step towards being able to share your own stories.

I highly recommend Garrison’s books to anyone who enjoys a great story, who wants to gain greater insights into our history and traditions.


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