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6 Of The Most Loved Christmas Stories Of All Times To Be Retold Again And Forever

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By Parvathi Preethan:

With Christmas around the corner, it is the perfect time to recall some of the best loved Christmas tales of all times. Christmas has an almost magical appeal and evokes a sense of nostalgia. Perhaps that is why these Christmas stories are retold again and again, and loved by children and adults alike.

christmas books

Here are some of them:

1. A Christmas Carol — By Charles Dickens
This is one of the most popular stories of all time. Ebenezer Scrooge, the lonely miser is hated by everyone and he prefers it that way. Until his old departed partner Jacob Marley comes to warn him of the consequences of his wicked ways. Scrooge is then haunted by the Ghosts of Christmas who take him on an unexpected journey to make him value the true spirit of Christmas. Scrooge undergoes a change of heart and turns over a new leaf. In his company we are reminded (as we still need reminders) of the importance of generosity of spirit, and the possibilities of worth in ordinary people. And of course, nobody can forget Tiny Tim and his famous line “God bless us everyone!”

2. Gift of the Magi — By O. Henry
This gem of a story shows the Christmas spirit like no other. Della and Jim do not let lack of money deter them from getting each other the dream Christmas gift. For this they each sacrifice their dearest possession, as they feel their ultimate reward will lie in the delight of the other. And they end up buying each other gifts that turn out to be useless in the end. The earnestness and love behind their sacrifices tugs at our heartstrings. O Henry brings home the fact that it is the thought behind each gift that matters the most and celebrates the Christmas joy of giving, to others.

3. A Visit from St. Nicholas — By Clement Clark Moore
‘Twas a night before Christmas and all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.’
The opening line of this immortal poem is familiar to one and all. The poem, also known as “The Night before Christmas” has become the gospel of Santa Claus. It is Moore’s description of Santa Claus that we think of the most today, “He had a broad face, and a little round belly, that shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.” The rhyming theme of the poem keeps it lively and entertaining, and it is indeed baffling to know that Moore never intended for this poem to be published at first!

4. The Polar Express — By Chris Van Allsberg
The narrator is an old man who shares his experience of a magical journey he had when he was a little boy. The dream-like narrative tells us of the little boy who continues to believe in Santa Claus despite all his friends telling him that there is no Santa. The boy goes on an incredible journey aboard the Polar Express. He travels to meet Santa and gets a little bell that epitomizes the magical beliefs of all children, as his parents are unable to hear the sound of the little bell. The concluding lines of the story stays on with all the readers. “At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

5. Christmas Every Day — By William. D. Howells
This is one of the lesser known stories but it portrays a very powerful message. A little girl badgers her Papa for a new story and he tells her the story of another little girl who asks a Fairy to make it Christmas every day of the year. People soon get bored and the specialness of Christmas soon vanishes with its monotony. The little girl ultimately begs the Fairy to get Christmas to come just once a year, like it normally does. For all those who wish Christmas came more than just once, this story is a perfect read to remind them that Christmas is all the more treasured because of the wait associated with it!

6. The Mouse and the Moonbeam — By Eugene Field
This is written in pompous old-fashioned English and tickles many a funny bone of the reader! The first half is the narrative of the mouse, who tells the story of his sister who met a sad end because of her disbelief in Santa Claus. It is filled with very witty dialogues, like Santa saying, “in all his experience he had never known of a mouse or of a child that had prospered after once saying that he didn’t believe in Santa Claus.” The second half is the moonbeam telling his story about Christmas which focusses on the religious beliefs of Christ. This is one of the rare tales that combine both the magical element and the religious sentiments associated with Christmas.

So if any of these stories are unfamiliar to you, or even if they have already been read, now is the perfect time to read them and celebrate the festive Christmas mood! Merry Christmas!

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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