Hans Christian Andersen, master of story tales, contributes a sobering and bittersweet story to the Christmas tale roster in The Little Match Girl. Some of you might be familiar with the story from Disney’s Fantasia, whilst others of you might have heard of the story from the writer’s many famous tales.
This christmas time there are several publications presenting illustrated versions of the famous story on its own, the most famous being the Picture Puffin Book publication. The story is about a little girl who sells matches in the street. As it is winter, she is cold and shivering, already impacting her hungry self even more. She’s quickly running out of matches and all alone, she faces the dilemma of what to do.
As I said, it’s a sad tale that doesn’t finish up with a happy ending where she marries the prince and lives in a big castle against all odds. But it is a story that little children can listen to and understand whilst having some impact. The story not only sends out the message of kindness during this bitterly hostile of seasons, but also about valuing the things that matter to us. Given all the commercialism that surrounds this season, it’s wonderful getting back in touch with the things that matter within us. The little match girl finds delight from the memories that matter to her despite her situation.
The Little Match Girl is a beautiful tale for children and adults alike, reinforcing the important message of Christmas whilst also highlighting the things we should really stop and think about. Once again, Hans Christian Andersen sets our imaginations on fire.
(photo credit: momshieb.files.wordpress.com)