Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – The Little Match Girl by Karen Dowdall.

Time for a lovely reminder from Karen Dowdall about a Hans Christian Anderson fairy story which unfortunately still applies today in many parts of the world.

The Little Match Girl by Karen Dowdall.


At this time of year, I think of The Little Match Girl fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. “It was terribly cold. It had snowed that day and it was almost dark”, begins the story of The Little Match Girl who carried with her a little box of matches to sell, but no passerby had stopped to give her even a penny as she walked along, hoping for someone to buy her matches for a penny, but no one even glanced her way.

The Little Match Girl was so terribly cold and her thin little body ached with the cold. She had no coat or shoes. Her old hand-me-down sweater was soaked through from the snow that had fallen earlier in the day. She shivered uncontrollably as the snow started falling again. She saw a place between two houses where she could sit down and look across the street.

There she saw warm yellow lights from windows. She thought she could even smell the holiday goose that was headed for the dining table. She was so weak from the freezing cold and so hungry she could no longer stand again, so she took one of the matches and lit it and she began to feel warm and then she lit another one. She knew she dared not go home, her father would beat her.

She began to dream of her grandmother and lit another match, but this time all the matches came aflame. To her it was like heaven with the sky ablaze and she saw her beloved grandmother as she watched as a star fall from the sky. She remembered what her grandmother told her, when a star falls a soul goes to heaven. “Take me with you Grandmother” she cried, and her grandmother picked her up and flew to heaven with the tiny Match Girl in her arms. The next morning, the little Match Girl was found frozen to death on the street corner where no one had stopped to give her even a penny.

This is more than a fairy tale, it is real because around the world there are many little Match Girls and Boys and they are dying for want of a little kindness from those of us who have shoes, warm coats and Christmas dinner waiting.

©KarenDowdall 2016

We may not be able to reach out and touch the lives of all the children who will not be celebrating Christmas this year.. but perhaps we could find a way to touch just one child’s life. Thanks to Karen for this timely reminder as we prepare for our own magic celebrations.


About Karen DeMers Dowdall

Karen DeMers Dowdall (K. D. Dowdall), born in New England, has a Master’s degree in Nursing and a PhD in Nutrition, spent her elementary-grade school years in the small farming community of Salmon Brook, settled in 1680 by a stalwart group of Europeans.

She grew up exploring its hauntingly dark forest preserve, swimming in Salmon Brook with a plethora of the unexplained, exploring Rock Fall Caves, and ice-skating on a “haunted” pond in winter.

Karen has also traveled abroad and has lived in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England

Books by Karen Dowdall

A review for Garrett’s Bones

Garett’s Bones, a tale of deep friendship, developing feelings, mystery and magic.
A young girl goes missing and the two best friends set out to find her which leads to them unlocking the doors to a spiritual adventure filled with romance, magic, desperation, and mystery.

Karen DeMers Dowdall, does a marvelous job of showing us the surroundings while maintaining a steady pace. Her descriptions of the enchanting forest through the eyes of Anna was decorated with a skilled selection of words that, I think, most Authors or seasoned readers could appreciate. Saying that however, this is not to be mistaken as a book excessively showered with painful words that would have you reading more of the dictionary than the book itself and I know some people love that sort of writing, I don’t, as I find it destroys my reading momentum. I admire Katherine’s ability to articulate the simple everyday words and use them beyond their common uses in a fresh way to define feelings and scenery.

I found story compelling and I truly loved Garrett and Anna’s characters. I connected with Anna, reminding me of myself, who often relied on grandma’s words of wisdom and Garretts access to native American lore which portrayed him to be wise beyond his years. I wondered how the spirits would play their part in the story but it all came together well. The transition of hidden feelings and the situations formed to dig deep and bring them to the surface was written, I would say, with the hand of experience.

I remember whilst reading one chapter I blurted out, “no, don’t do it Garrett!” and everyone present responded with a stare as if I suddenly sprouted chicken wings before they burst into laughter. I always say if a book can get you to respond to the characters to a degree where you are speaking out aloud then the characters were very well developed. The connection to the disturbance in the spirit realm and Anna’s mother’s happiness among other things will have you thinking.

The ending was very touching. The author really knows how to put her full weight and take a swing from one side of the Earth to the other on your heart strings.
The book was an excellent page turner and a quick read that will keep you entertained. I give it a 5/5

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 As always it would be great to receive your feedback.. thanks Sally