Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books

Here are some Christmas-themed quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books. I hope you enjoy them!

1) It's hard to imagine, from our 21st-century perspective, anyone losing track of the date this close to Christmas. But Roger had a lot of other things on his mind....
"What's the occasion? For our homecoming?"
She lifted her head from his chest and gave him what he privately classified as A Look.
"For Christmas," she said.
"What?" He groped blankly, trying to count the days, but the events of the last three weeks had completely erased his mental calendar. "When?"
"Tomorrow, idiot," she said with exaggerated patience.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 33 ("Home for Christmas"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
2) Here's a quote from one of my favorite scenes in DRUMS, when Claire comes to find Jamie in the snow:
"What if I tell you a story, instead?"
Highlanders loved stories, and Jamie was no exception.
"Oh, aye," he said, sounding much happier. "What sort of story is it?"
"A Christmas story," I said, settling myself along the curve of his body. "About a miser named Ebenezer Scrooge."
"An Englishman, I daresay?"
"Yes," I said. "Be quiet and listen."
I could see my own breath as I talked, white in the dim, cold air. The snow was falling heavily outside our shelter; when I paused in the story, I could hear the whisper of flakes against the hemlock branches, and the far-off whine of wind in the trees.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 21 ("Night on a Snowy Mountain"). Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
3) I think it's interesting--and rather sad--that Lord John should seek out Nessie, rather than the company of his own family, on Christmas Eve:
“Aye, well, it is Christmas Eve,” she said, answering his unasked question. “Any man wi’ a home to go to’s in it.” She yawned, pulled off her nightcap, and fluffed her fingers through the wild mass of curly dark hair.
“Yet you seem to have some custom,” he observed. Distant singing came from two floors below, and the parlor had seemed well populated when he passed.
“Och, aye. The desperate ones. I leave them to Maybelle to deal with; dinna like to see them, poor creatures. Pitiful. They dinna really want a woman, the ones who come on Christmas Eve--only a fire to sit by, and folk to sit with.”

(From AN ECHO IN THE BONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 24 ("Joyeux Noel"). Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
4) The next quote is a reminder that Christmas was viewed differently back then than we think of it today. But of course many of today's Christmas traditions date from the 19th century or later:
Catholic as many of them were--and nominally Christian as they all were--Highland Scots regarded Christmas primarily as a religious observance, rather than a major festive occasion. Lacking priest or minister, the day was spent much like a Sunday, though with a particularly lavish meal to mark the occasion, and the exchange of small gifts.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 34 ("Charms"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.) 
5) Speaking of Christmas traditions, here's a quote from Diana Gabaldon's latest novel, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.  (No spoilers here, I promise!)
They’d brought down the Yule log to the house that afternoon, all the household taking part, the women bundled to the eyebrows, the men ruddy, flushed with the labor, staggering, singing, dragging the monstrous log with ropes, its rough skin packed with snow, a great furrow left where it passed, the snow plowed high on either side.

(From THE SCOTTISH PRISONER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 43 ("Succession"). Copyright© 2011 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
6) And what would the holidays be without sweets? <g> Check out The Outlander Kitchen's recipe for molasses toffee, as described in this scene from THE FIERY CROSS:
With a certain amount of forethought, Mrs. Bug, Brianna, Marsali, Lizzie, and I had made up an enormous quantity of molasses toffee, which we had distributed as a Christmas treat to all the children within earshot.  Whatever it might do to their teeth, it had the beneficial effect of gluing their mouths shut for long periods, and in consequence, the adults had enjoyed a peaceful Christmas.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 34 ("Charms"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
7) I love this quote, even though things didn't turn out the way Roger had expected:
She'd wanted to go to the Christmas Eve services. After that...
After that, he would ask her, make it formal. She would say yes, he knew. And then...

Why, then, they would come home, to a house dark and private. With themselves alone, on a night of sacrament and secret, with love newly come into the world. And he would lift her in his arms and carry her upstairs, on a night when virginity's sacrifice was no loss of purity, but rather the birth of everlasting joy.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 17 ("Home for the Holidays"). Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Wishing all of you the best in this holiday season!

3 comments:

Michelle Kelly said...

Oh you make me want to go back and re-read all over...again. I loved the scene with Claire and Jamie when she told him the Christmas Story.

Great post!

Deborah said...

Sigh.............

Netherland said...

I am an avid reader of the Outlander novels. Like many people, I've read and re-read the previous 4 books and have waited breathlessly for the continuing adventures of Claire and Jamie Fraser and their remarkable family. I finished The Fiery Cross in three days and was sad to see it end. The book was wonderful and magnificent and absolutely heart-wrenching.