“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
“It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
“I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
“We’ve got Father and Mother, and each other,” said Beth contentedly from her corner.
~From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott~
One of my favorite stories to read and watch at Christmas time is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Though technically not a Christmas novel, this story of four sisters growing up in 1860s New England begins at Christmas and features some pretty great Christmases over their years together.
As one of four sisters myself, I instantly fell in love with a story of sisters growing up together & navigating life—through sunshine & tea parties, harsh poverty, unrequited love, youthful follies, teen adventures, heartaches & disappointments, deaths, careers, marriages, babies, sorrows & joys.
I love how the book begins with Marmee giving each girl a copy of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress for Christmas—they’re too poor that year for anything else.
The girls read the book together and attempt to follow its lessons.
In part one, many of the chapter titles even refer to Bunyan’s book.
I also appreciate the types of relationships on display in the story—
- Friendships between neighbors, buddies, and BFFs
- Unrequited love
- Those who have loved and lost
- Old, settled married love
- Sweet, young love
- Love and respect for elders
- Sacrificial love for the poor and needy among us
Of course, at the center of the story is the relationship among sisters and all that goes with it—the confidences, fights, sighs, tears, laughs, scrapes, adventures, and love.
And I’m sure that all of us who read the book as young girls spent time pondering the question: Which sister am I?
Now looking back at the story, I’d say that . . .
Too often I’m shallow like Amy was, without being beautiful.
I have some of Jo’s impulsiveness & sense of adventure and too much of her temper.
I think at this age, I can finally say that I’m as responsible as Meg.
And I’m still wishing to be as gentle, kind, and giving as Beth.
How ’bout you? Have you read the book? Which sister are you?
If you don’t have time to re-read Little Women this Christmas Season—or have never read it—I’ve compiled some of my favorite quotes here for you to enjoy.
(Feel free to share—tweet, pin, download, etc.)
I hope they remind you of the simpler times and sweet memories of Christmases gone by.
Follow the links below to access whatever version of Little Women you might need or enjoy. These make great gifts!
- Free Kindle Version
- Signet Classic paperback for $3.95. (“This version of Little Women is augmented with text and illustrations that explain some of the period social customs, clothes, entertainments, etc. Also included are some bits of information about Louisa May Alcott’s life.”)
- Little Women Collectors Version DVD. My favorite movie version from 1994 (Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon, Christian Bale, Gabriel Byrne, Kirsten Dunst, etc.) Under $10!
- The 1994 film version is also available on Amazon Prime.
Thanks for stopping by today, sisters & storylovers! Blessings, friends!
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