"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home.”

Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers



"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."

Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express



"This is quite the season indeed for friendly meetings.  At Christmas every body invites their friends about them, and people think little of even the worst weather.  I was snowed up at a friend's house once for a week.  Nothing could be pleasanter."

Jane Austen, Emma