As I did the research for this collection I read old collections of Christmas legends and folklore. I also read more modern Christmas encyclopedias. I found many tantalizing tidbits. They usually started “According to legend...”. Sometimes those one or two sentence summaries were all I found.
The story of “Carter and Bridie” links back to legends of St. Brigit (or Brigid, Bridget, Brihgit, Brid, or Bride) and stories of the Celtic goddess Brigid. Special thanks to Barra Jacob-McDowell for sharing her version of the story.
The medieval legend “Christus Natus Est” features vocals by Jodi Penner.
“The Stork” is based on an old English ballad.
“A Cradle Song” features Jodi Penner on penny whistle.
“The Friendly Beasts” is performed by the Edmonton Young Voices Children’s Choir. Arrangement by Sheila Wright, pianist. Conducted by Josie Burgess, Artistic Director. Soloists are Selma Hammad and Madalyn Mandziuk.
With “Troublemakers” I was greatly assisted by the late Chuck Larkin’s collection of tales he’d collected orally.
“Madelon’s Gift” is a retelling of the old legend “The First Christmas Roses”.
“The Holly Crown” is introduced by the first verse of “Green Groweth the Holly” performed by Jodi Penner. “Green Groweth the Holly” is attributed to King Henry VIII.
“The Littlest Camel” is based on a Syrian legend.
“Under the Bethlehem Sky” is an original creation of Jodi Penner.
“Story for the Dog” was inspired by the poem “Christmas Carol for the Dog” by Sister Maris Stella (Alice Smith).
Renee Englot is a professional storyteller based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She began telling stories to the younger Sunday Schoolers in church. Later she told tales to homesick campers, shared Greek myths in a constellation bubble, wove tales in a historic site, gifted her junior high students with stories, and finally made storytelling her career. Renee delivers programs for schools and English language learners and teaches storytelling to graduate students, teachers and tellers. Renee loves to take her storytelling on the road. She's performed right across Canada and in the U.S..