Holiday Stories to use in Typing.com Custom Lessons
Below are three holiday stories, pre-formatted to be copied and pasted into your Typing.com Custom Lessons.
If you haven’t tried Custom Lessons before, now is a great time to get started! For instructions on how to set them up, click here.
Twas the Night Before Christmas was first published in 1823 as “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” in the Troy Sentinel, later attributed to Clement C. Moore and renamed.
This is a great exercise for practicing “Return”.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house⏎Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.⏎The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,⏎In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.⏎The children were nestled all snug in their beds,⏎While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.⏎And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,⏎Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.⏎When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,⏎I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.⏎Away to the window I flew like a flash,⏎Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.⏎The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow⏎Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.⏎When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,⏎But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.⏎With a little old driver, so lively and quick,⏎I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.⏎More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,⏎And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!⏎”Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!⏎On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!⏎To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!⏎Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”⏎As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,⏎When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.⏎So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,⏎With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.⏎And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof⏎The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.⏎As I drew in my head, and was turning around,⏎Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.⏎He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,⏎And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.⏎A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,⏎And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.⏎His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!⏎His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!⏎His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,⏎And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.⏎The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,⏎And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.⏎He had a broad face and a little round belly,⏎That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!⏎He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,⏎And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!⏎A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,⏎Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.⏎He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,⏎And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.⏎And laying his finger aside of his nose,⏎And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!⏎He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,⏎And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.⏎But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,⏎”Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
An Adventure With Wolves. Please note this story may be a bit too long for beginners. You may want to consider it for your more advanced typists!
Some forty years ago I passed the winter in the wilderness of northern Maine. I was passionately fond of skating, and the numerous lakes and rivers, frozen by the intense cold, offered an ample field to the lover of this pastime.⏎Sometimes my skating excursions were made by moonlight; it was on such an occasion that I met with an adventure that, even now, I cannot recall without a thrill of horror.⏎I had left our cabin one evening just before dusk, with the intention of skating a short distance up the Kennebec, which glided directly before the door. The night was beautifully clear with the light of the full moon and millions of stars. Light also came glinting from ice and snow-wreath and incrusted branches, as the eye followed for miles the broad gleam of the river, that like a jeweled zone swept between the mighty forests that bordered its banks.⏎And yet, all was still. The cold seemed to have frozen tree, air, water, and every living thing. Even the ringing of my skates echoed back from the hill with a startling clearness; and the crackle of the ice, as I passed over it in my course, seemed to follow the tide of the river with lightning speed.⏎I had gone up the river nearly two miles, when, coming to a little stream which flows into the larger, I turned into it to explore its course. Fir and hemlock of a century’s growth met overhead, and formed an archway radiant with frost-work. All was dark within; but I was young and fearless, and I laughed and shouted with excitement and joy.⏎My wild hurrah rang through the silent woods, and I stood listening to the echoes until all was hushed. Suddenly a sound arose. It seemed to come from beneath the ice. It was low and tremulous at first, but it ended in one long wild howl.⏎I was appalled. Never before had such a sound met my ears. Presently I heard the brushwood on shore crash as though from the tread of some animal. The blood rushed to my forehead; my energies returned, and I looked around me for some means of escape.⏎The moon shone through the opening at the mouth of the creek by which I had entered the forest; and, considering this the best way of escape, I darted toward it like an arrow. It was hardly a hundred yards distant, and the swallow could scarcely have excelled me in flight; yet, as I turned my eyes to the shore, I could see several dark objects dashing through the brushwood at a pace nearly double in speed to my own. By their great speed, and the short yells they occasionally gave, I knew at once that these were the much-dreaded gray wolves.⏎The bushes that skirted the shore now seemed to rush past with the velocity of lightning, as I dashed on in my flight to pass the narrow opening. The outlet was nearly gained; a few seconds more, and I would be comparatively safe. But in a moment my pursuers appeared on the bank above me, which here rose to the height of ten or twelve feet. There was no time for thought; I bent my head, and dashed wildly forward. The wolves sprang, but, miscalculating my speed, they fell behind, as I glided out upon the river!⏎I turned toward home. The light flakes of snow spun from the iron of my skates, and I was some distance from my pursuers, when their fierce howl told me they were still in hot pursuit. I did not look back; I did not feel afraid, or sorry, or glad; one thought of home, of the bright faces awaiting my return, and of their tears if they never should see me, and then all the energies of body and mind were exerted for escape.⏎I was perfectly at home on the ice. Many were the days that I had spent on my good skates, never thinking that they would one day prove my only means of safety.⏎Every half-minute a furious yelp from my fierce attendants made me but too certain that they were in close pursuit. Nearer and nearer they came. At last, I heard their feet pattering on the ice; I even felt their very breath, and heard their snuffing scent! Every nerve and muscle in my frame was strained to the utmost.⏎The trees along the shore seemed to dance in an uncertain light, my brain turned with my own breathless speed, my pursuers hissed forth their breath with a sound truly horrible, when all at once an involuntary motion on my part turned me out of my course.⏎The wolves close behind, unable to stop, and as unable to turn on smooth ice, slipped and fell, still going on far ahead. Their tongues were lolling out, their white tusks were gleaming from their bloody mouths, their dark shaggy breasts were flecked with foam; and as they passed me their eyes glared, and they howled with fury.⏎The thought flashed on my mind that by turning aside whenever they came too near I might avoid them; for, owing to the formation of their feet, they are unable to run on ice except in a straight line. I immediately acted upon this plan, but the wolves having regained their feet sprang directly toward me.⏎The race was renewed for twenty yards up the stream; they were almost close at my back, when I glided round and dashed directly past them. A fierce yell greeted this movement, and the wolves, slipping on their haunches, again slid onward, presenting a perfect picture of helplessness and disappointed rage. Thus, I gained nearly a hundred yards at each turning. This was repeated two or three times, the baffled animals becoming increasingly excited by the moment.⏎At one time, by delaying my turning too long, my bloodthirsty antagonists came so near that they threw their white foam over my coat as they sprang to seize me, and their teeth clashed together like the spring of a fox-trap. Had my skates failed for one instant, had I tripped on a stick, or had my foot been caught in a fissure, the story I am now telling would never have been told.⏎I thought over all the chances. I knew where they would first seize me if I fell. I thought how long it would be before I died, and then of the search for my body: for oh, how fast man’s mind traces out all the dread colors of death’s picture only those who have been near the grim original can tell!⏎At last, I came opposite the cabin, and my hounds (I knew their deep voices) roused by the noise, bayed furiously from their kennels. I heard their chains rattle (how I wished they would break them!) then I should have had protectors to match the fiercest dwellers of the forest. The wolves, taking the hint conveyed by the dogs, stopped in their mad career, and after a few moments turned and fled.⏎I watched them until their forms disappeared over a neighboring hill; then, taking off my skates, I wended my way to the cabin with feelings that may be better imagined than described. But even yet I never see a broad sheet of ice by moonlight without thinking of that snuffing breath, and those ferocious beasts that followed me so closely down that frozen river.
The Shoemaker and the Elves, a Grimm Brothers Fairy Tale
A shoemaker, through no fault of his own, had become so poor that he had only leather enough for a single pair of shoes. He cut them out one evening, then went to bed, intending to finish them the next morning. Having a clear conscience, he went to bed peacefully, commended himself to God, and fell asleep. The next morning, after saying his prayers, he was about to return to his work when he found the shoes on his workbench, completely finished. Amazed, he did not know what to say. He picked up the shoes in order to examine them more closely. They were so well made that not a single stitch was out of place, just as if they were intended as a masterpiece. A customer soon came by, and he liked the shoes so much that he paid more than the usual price for them.⏎The shoemaker now had enough money to buy leather for two pairs of shoes. That evening he cut them out, intending to continue his work the next morning with good cheer. But he did not need to do so, because when he got up they were already finished. Customers soon bought them, paying him enough that he now could buy leather for four pairs of shoes. Early the next morning he found the four pairs finished. And so it continued; whatever he cut out in the evening was always finished the following morning. He now had a respectable income and with time became a wealthy man.⏎One evening shortly before Christmas, just before going to bed, and having already cut out a number of shoes, he said to his wife, “Why don’t we stay up tonight and see who is giving us this helping hand.”⏎His wife agreed to this and lit a candle. Then they hid themselves behind some clothes that were hanging in a corner of the room. At midnight two cute little naked men appeared. Sitting down at the workbench, they picked up the cut-out pieces and worked so unbelievable quickly and nimbly that the amazed shoemaker could not take his eyes from them. They did not stop until they had finished everything. They placed the completed shoes on the workbench, then quickly ran away.⏎The next morning the wife said, “The little men have made us wealthy. We must show them our thanks. They are running around with nothing on, freezing. Do you know what? I want to sew some shirts, jackets, undershirts, and trousers for them, and knit a pair of stockings for each of them, and you should make a pair of shoes for each of them.”⏎The husband said, “I agree,” and that evening, when everything was finished, they set the presents out instead of the unfinished work. Then they hid themselves in order to see what the little men would do. At midnight, they came skipping up, intending to start work immediately. When they saw the little clothes instead of the cut-out leather, they at first seemed puzzled, but then delighted. They quickly put them on, then stroking the beautiful clothes on their bodies they sang:⏎“Are we not boys, neat and fine?⏎No longer cobblers shall we be!”⏎Then they hopped and danced about, jumping over chairs and benches. Finally, they danced out of the house. They never returned, but the shoemaker prospered, succeeding in everything that he did.