Realism and Imagination in Christmas Everyday
Imagination is a concept in literature where individuals enhance their ability to form mental images or concepts although not necessarily through any of the sense. Imagination as a part of learning in human beings allows the mind to create images which are virtual hence allowing people to make sense of the world. Imagination is an innate capability such that not all people posses the same degree of imaginative thoughts or abilities while others can carry out exceptional imagination.
Realism on the other hand is seeing everything or every aspect as it is in the world without having to carry out any form of fantasizing. It involves taking all as they exist without entertaining other thoughts regarding their nature. In the narrative “Christmas Everyday” there is a wide range of realism and imagination narrator such that this essay strives to identify these figures of narration as they have been used in the narrative.
Christmas everyday is a story about a little girl who had engaged in a habit of asking her dad to tell her stories everyday before breakfast. It seems that most of the stories were based on small pigs hence on this particular morning she declined an offer of the story with the same character and instead asked for a different setting. She hurriedly obliged when her father decided to share a story on a small girl who had wanted to be granted Christmas everyday.
This was a turn for the little girl who sat patiently as she listened to a story that involved a fairy tale granting the small girl her wish of having Christmas everyday. The celebratory mood which was evident during the first day turned out to be misery as the Christmas period went on for about six months and everyone was desperate (Howells, 1870).
The desperation was due to lack of meaning of Christmas as people go tired exchanging presents while resentment for the small girl when the secret leaked was traumatizing as her greedy nature made other townsmen suffer. However, after she had learnt her lesson, she asked the Christmas fairy to reconsider the present in exchange of one Christmas per year. As a concluding remark, the father told the young girl that the entire story was all a dream although the lesson had been perceived by the young girl hence she stopped probing her father for more stories (Howells, 1870).
Imagination in “Christmas Everyday”
The first instance of imagination in this narrative is the Christmas fairy that is seen as the sole giver of Christmas to those wishing to have extraordinary celebration days throughout the year. Fairies and more so Christmas fairies are imaginations of gentle creatures that are thought to posses a pair of wings hence they can move from one corner of the world to the other to fulfill the wishes of young children.
Fairies are used to demonstrate gratitude and to award children who are exceptional at home or at school. Hence the fairy rewards them for their good deeds as in the case where the small girl had to send letters which were elaborate as compared to those she had written earlier on. This seemed to be a good idea as the Christmas fairy eventually answered the letters by granting her wish (Howells, 1870).
The other element of realism is incorporation of Santa Claus in the narrative as ways of enhancing the dreams come true for the small girl. Santa Claus is often depicted as a white man with a very long white beard, a red hat, riding on a sledge that is pulled by dogs and holding a large stocking full of presents for good children.
This figure is said to appear on Christmas Eve after children have gone to sleep and he drops the presents into the stocking that is placed by children on the chimney stack. Santa Claus is an imagination as parents are often responsible of placing the presents as a way of ensuring that the children’s imagination of Santa does not diminish (Miles, 1876).
Consequently, the idea of having Christmas everyday is an imagination that is way beyond comprehension as it would be quite unreal to have each day as Christmas. Usually all the days of the year are the same and the activities that people engage in are what determines the nature of day it is. In this case, has the presents stopped flowing, Christmas could have ended within a few days.
However, the natives of that town had to proceed with exchanging presents despite the fact that they did not need them hence most of them were strewn all over while poverty crept into the town due to increased purchase of presents. Thus in the real world, the citizens of that region should have absconded their purchase of presents after they realized that it would be Christmas everyday hence avoid making unnecessary expenditures (Restad, 1995).
Similarly, it would be difficult to fathom the nature of damage which had been caused by the excess Christmas shopping as the people had to buy presents for each other everyday. The extent to which the purchases were bought led to reduced trees such that in the course of time the people had to use rags to make the Christmas trees while the presents were put in barns or thrown out of the streets.
Consequently, it would be difficult to imagine poverty that is caused by the intense purchasing of presents which were not needed by those who were given. Though the duty of police is to maintain law and order, it is hard to understand their new role as cleaners or in arresting those who could not dispose their presents properly (Howells, 1870).
Disposing presents is an illusion which is far fetched as with the eradication of Christmas everyday, the natives of the little girls country could have withheld some of the presents while the children could have stored the candy for future consumption. Human beings are known to be in control of major scene and events that occur in life yet this one proved them as weaklings as they were unable to control their actions in the period during which there was Christmas Everyday (Miles, 1876).
Realism in Christmas Everyday
Christmas is an event that occurs one every year and it is characterized by plenty of celebrations, exchanging presents, as well as, Santa Claus visiting children with hordes of presents. There are various items or themes which must be present at any Christmas day celebration such as a Christmas tree that is mostly cut from he tips of conifers then laced with candy and snow balls.
Presents are also a major fete during this period while turkey is one delicacy that characteristic of Christmas. Hence the real Christmas is depicted as a harmonious combination of these elements coupled with joy and happiness (Restad, 1995).
The conduct or behavioral aspect of the young girl when she was promised of a Christmas the next day and each other day that followed was quite in place for young children. Children are always excited of having to celebrate Christmas as there is a sense of exchanging presents while expecting more from Santa Claus. The elders are however not amused by the tradition hence their actions are only aimed at striving to make the children happy (Miles, 1876).
Consequently, stomachaches and other ailments are common during this period due to increased consumption of food, as well as, over consumption of high fat or food with plenty of sugars. This makes people and especially children unwilling to wake up early the day after Christmas. Fatigue is also common while disappointment for children who lack present is also a common phenomenon (Restad, 1995).
The other element or realism is the moral lesson learnt by the small girl after subjecting an entire town to such a humiliating episode. This is exhibited by the move by the small girl to contact the Christmas fairly to revert to the normal way of life. This makes the narrative significant to children who are always requesting for items they cannot handle (Howells, 1870).
The narrative discussed above demonstrates how human beings are able to mix realism and imagination in their daily lives to make life interesting. Consequently, it is a crucial way of executing moral lessons to the young children who may possess the personality traits of requesting for unreasonable presents.
Howells, Dean W. “Christmas Everyday" retrieved on September 30, 2010 from: http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/wdh/xmaseday.html. 1870
Miles, Clement A, Christmas customs and traditions, Courier Dover Publications, 1976
Restad, Penne L. Christmas in America: A History. New York: Oxford University Press. 1995.