A gift from The Zephyr — a dozen holiday stories

The Zephyr Theatre’s 12 Stories of Christmas

Read for The Zephyr in his calm, lyrical voice by the St. Paul actor Charles Fraser.

One story a day beginning December 19, 2020

Charles Fraser has tackled this project with gusto, researching and choosing each reading.  He gravitated toward old stories and poems that portray Christmas as less commercial than do many contemporary tales.

The project begins with the very familiar “A Visit From St. Nicholas”, and includes, among others, American writer Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s poem “The Christmas Ball,” an 1800s Russian folktale  ‘The Snow Maiden,’ and the French writer Alphonse Daudet’s  “A Christmas Supper in the Marais.”

Click here to read more about the production of this series.


Day 7: THE GOSPEL OF LUKE: Appropriately timed for Christmas Day, here is the Biblical account (King James Version, Luke 2:1-20) of the birth of Jesus. The story is read by actor Charles Fraser.


Day 6:  “CHRISTMAS TREES”: One of America’s most celebrated poets, Robert Frost writes this poem about a country man who ponders selling his young fir balsams. The poem is read by actor Charles Fraser.


Day 5: “GOODY SANTA CLAUS ON A SLEIGH RIDE”: Poet Katharine Lee Bate creates a vivid portrayal of a feisty Mrs. Claus who is weary of all work and no fun. The poem is read by actor Charles Fraser for The Zephyr Theatre’s 12 Days of Christmas project.


Day 4:  “THE THREE KINGS”: The journey of the Three Wise Men is depicted in this 19th-century poem by the noted American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem is read by St. Paul actor Charles Fraser.


Day 3: “A CHRISTMAS SUPPER IN THE MARAIS”: Alphonse Daudet penned this fun little French story about hotel guests who are ghosts. The story is read by actor Charles Fraser.


Day 2:  “PAPA PANOV’S SPECIAL CHRISTMAS”: Leo Tolstoy wrote this short story about a shoemaker in a Russian village who is convinced Jesus will visit him on Christmas Day. The story is read by actor Charles Fraser.


Day 1: – “A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS”: Published in 1823, this beloved poem by Clement Clarke Moore jollies up Santa and names his reindeer. The poem is read by actor Charles Fraser.


Day 8:  “Jimmy Scarecrow’s Christmas” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman. This short story by the prolific 19th-century writer tells the tale of a scarecrow who is heartened by a child.

Day 9: ”The Christmas Ball” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman. Fairy folk romp in this poem.

Day 10: “Christmas at Sea” by Robert Louis Stevenson. In this Victorian-era poem, a sailor recalls the warmth of holidays with family while he is at sea.

Day 11: “The Elves and the Shoemaker” by the Grimm Brothers. A hard-working but poor shoemaker, the focus of this light tale, discovers he has an interesting workforce.

Day 12: “The Snow Maiden” by Alexander Afanasyev. Here’s the retelling of an ancient folktale about a girl made of snow.

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