Christmas and the Classics

‘Tis the season to think about Christmas… and the classics. Christmas was evidently on the minds of many a great novelist. For example, here is the word count for “Christmas” (excluding chapter titles) in the original versions of the four current Cozy Classics titles:

  • Moby Dick – 4 times
  • Pride and Prejudice – 6 times
  • Les Misérables – 7 times
  • War and Peace – 12 times

Below is a sampling of some of our favorite Christmas quotes from the novels above, as well as a few other assorted Christmas quotes (whether festive or melancholy) from other classics. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

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“At last the anchor was up, the sails were set, and off we glided. It was a short, cold Christmas; and as the short northern day merged into night, we found ourselves almost broad upon the wintry ocean, whose freezing spray cased us in ice, as in polished armor.”

~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

“I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings, and that your beaux will be so numerous as to prevent your feeling the loss of the three of whom we shall deprive you.”

                                                                        ~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“The traveller recalled the graceful and immemorial custom in accordance with which children place their shoes in the chimney on Christmas eve, there to await in the darkness some sparkling gift from their good fairy. Eponine and Azelma had taken care not to omit this, and each of them had set one of her shoes on the hearth.”

                                                                        ~ Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

“Christmas came and except for the ceremonial Mass, the solemn and wearisome Christmas congratulations from neighbors and servants, and the new dresses everyone put on, there were no special festivities, though the calm frost of twenty degrees Reaumur, the dazzling sunshine by day, and the starlight of the winter nights seemed to call for some special celebration of the season.”

                                                                        ~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”

                                                                        ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“For they said, it was a shame to quarrel upon Christmas Day. And so it was! God love it, so it was!”

~ Charles Dickens, A Chrismas Carol

“Christmas was close at hand, in all his bluff and hearty honesty; it was the season of hospitality, merriment, and open-heartedness; the old year was preparing, like an ancient philosopher, to call his friends around him, and amidst the sound of feasting and revelry to pass gently and calmly away.”

                                                                        ~ Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

“And if it happened to be a Christmas-night when the great bell seemed to rattle in its throat as it called the faithful to the midnight mass, there was such an indescribable air of life spread over the sombre facade that the great door-way looked as if it were swallowing the entire crowd, and the rose-window staring at them.”

~ Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

“Christmas and the New Year had been celebrated at Gateshead with the usual festive cheer; presents had been interchanged, dinners and evening parties given.  From every enjoyment I was, of course, excluded…”

                                                                        ~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre