The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Merry Christmas

Author: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), 1876

The Horn of Plenty of Home Poems and Home Pictures,  Boston: William F. Gill

Also appeared in the "Independent Statesman," Concord, NH: Thursday, December 23, 1875; Issue 13.


In the rush of early morning,
    When the red burns through the gray,
And the wintry world lies waiting
    For the glory of the day,
Then we hear a fitful rustling
    Just without upon the stair,
See two small white phantoms coming,
    Catch the gleam of sunny hair.


Are they Christmas fairies stealing
    Rows of little socks to fill?
Are they angels floating hither
    With their message of good-will?
What sweet spell are these elves weaving,
    As like larks they chirp and sing?
Are these palms of peace from heaven
    That these lovely spirits bring?


Rosy feet upon the threshold,
    Eager faces peeping through,
With the first red ray of sunshine,
    Chanting cherubs come in view:
Mistletoe and gleaming holly,
    Symbols of a blessed day,
In their chubby hands they carry,
    Streaming all along the way.


Well we know them, never weary
    Of this innocent surprise;
Waiting, watching, listening always
    With full hearts and tender eyes,
While our little household angels,
    White and golden in the sun,
Greet us with the sweet old welcome,—
    "Merry Christmas, every one!"




Another Christmas poem by Alcott is "A Song For A Christmas Tree - Louisa May Alcott" (1867).


Christmas shorts and short-story collections by Louisa May Alcott include:


Other Alcott Christmas works that I'm still looking for:

 * The Christmas Elves. Unpublished. A collection of fairy stories, rejected for publication by Harper's, 1885. Illustrated by her younger sister, May Alcott.
* Christmas Plum Pudding Stories. T. Y. Crowell, 1882. A collection of Christmas stories.
* A Christmas Turkey, and How It Came
* A New Way to Spend Christmas
* A Hospital Christmas
* A Christmas Dream (short stories)
* Effie's Christmas Dream - 1912 - 53 pages

Another Christmas story is "The Quiet Little Women." Published in 1999 by Stephen W. Hines — together with "Tilly's Christmas" and "Rosa's Tale" — it is described as a newly-discovered original Christmas story from Louisa May Alcott. A synopsis of the story states "'The Quiet Little Woman' is about a lonely orphan girl named Patty, whose only desire is for a family to love her. Her tender story will warm the hearts of readers young and old alike." It is widely available at on-line book sellers (ISBN-10: 1562926160; ISBN-13: 978-1562926168).


He has also published an expanded volume, Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury: The Complete Christmas Collection. The second volume contains the three stories from The Quiet Little Woman and includes many other Christmas tales of from Alcott. (ISBN-10: 1589199502; ISBN-13: 978-1589199507)


See: Susan Lank Tolbert's Louisa May Alcott page, (Accessed October 9, 2006)



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