NIU scholar studies popular Christmas stories - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

NIU scholar studies popular Christmas stories

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Whether it's curling up on the couch, or lounging in bed, families around the world read Christmas stories during the holidays.  But one woman wanted to see exactly what stories top the list.

Emily Kingery of Pecatonica, is a doctoral candidate at Northern Illinois University.  She has grown an interest in finding out the most popular Christmas stories from the past 200 years.  Clement Moore's "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" or better known as "Twas the Night Before Christmas" was the most popular, with Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" coming in second.  The dissertation itself was started November 2011.  It has 4 chapters and is so far, 200 pages long.  The fourth chapter focuses on two themes reoccurring in stories over time.

"Some of the anthologies tend to focus on stories of Santa Claus and others try to focus on the story of the birth of Jesus.  You can see that pull trying to put the nativity stories back at the center.  So there's kind of some tension that you see over time with the anthologies and how they collect stories."

 Emily hopes to finish the dissertation next month and graduate in the spring.

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