Inspired by Joey’s and Kim Smith’s countdowns and Greg Bover’s posts, I was thinking about a GMG countdown of favorite quotable Christmas and holiday excerpts, with an extra bonus for passages with Gloucester ties. Please add or send quotes, passages, and poems that we can delight in and share.
I’ll start with a description of jubilant awakening — children bursting through doors early Christmas morning — from a 1939 book by Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, which for me is also a sweet reminder about my folks as they followed a similar “stocking first-presents after” routine and were beloved.
A little background: Struther’s book stemmed from her popular fiction column begun in 1937 and published every two weeks in The Times. Following the book’s smash reception, the classic William Wyler movie, Mrs. Miniver, starring Greer Garson was released in 1942. The movie is based on the book but its own story. The movie was nominated for 12 Oscars and garnered 6 including best picture. The music is by Herbert Stothart who won an Oscar for his work on the Wizard of Oz.
Mrs. Miniver on embracing positive enthusiasm:
“It began in the same way every year: the handle of her bedroom door being turned just loudly enough to wake her up, but softly enough not to count as waking her up on purpose; (her child) Toby glimmering like a moth in the dark doorway, clutching a nobbly Christmas stocking in one hand and holding up his pyjama trousers with the other. (He insisted upon pyjamas, but he had not yet outgrown his sleeping-suit figure.)
‘Toby! It’s only just after six. I did say not till seven.’ ‘But, Mummy, I can’t tell the time.’ He was barefoot and shivering, and his eyes were like stars.