Christmas Stories 2018 and a Literary Challenge

A Literary Christmas

As many of you know, I participated in A Literary Christmas hosted by Tarissa at In The Bookcase in an effort to read some Christmas stories to bring more Christmas cheer.  Here is a list of the Christmas stories I read:

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol A Literary Christmas

For a full review, please go here.

The Christmas Angel

The Christmas Angel Abbie Farwell Brown


A really lovely Christmas story that has many echoes of A Christmas Carol.  Miss Terry, a crochety old woman receives a package of toys but she refuses to see the sender.  They are toys she remembers from Christmases long ago but the memories brought by them make Miss Terry angry and she swears she will burn all these toys.  After all, Christmas is “Fiddlesticks” and there is no such thing as a Christmas Spirit.  In fact, Miss Terry sets about to prove the absence of goodwill among people.  She leaves each toy out in front of her house and watches as children fight over them, people destroy them and even steal them.  Confident that she has proven that people are selfish and detestable, she places the Christmas Angel out on the sidewalk.  When a homeless man kicks it into the snow, Miss Terry inexplicably rescues the angel and what transpires from there not only renews Miss Terry’s faith but demonstrates to us all that what we see in a moment may only be the beginning of a wonderful journey.


Christmas At Cold Comfort Farm

Christmas At Cold Comfort Farm Stella Gibbons

For a full review, please go HERE.


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

A full review to come.


A Christmas Memory

A Christmas Memory Truman Capote


A heartwarming story, based on Capote’s early life and his friendship with a distant elderly cousin with whom he lived.  Somewhat simple, yet always fun, Capote’s “friend”, as he calls her, makes life interesting by baking fruitcakes, buying whiskey from Indians, going to the furthest reaches of the forest for a Christmas tree and by dancing around the house.  Capote’s memories become our own, as the book itself quickly becomes a Christmas favourite!


The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann

Based on the tale by E.T.A. Hoffman and retold by Renate Raecke, we hear of the classic story of the little nutcracker who is loved by Marie and comes alive at night to fight the Mouse King and his armies, to journey to Candyland and to a castle on an island.  Is it real or is it all a dream?  While I don’t completely remember the original, I felt that this retelling lacked flow and was not particularly cohesive, although the illustrations were lovely.


The Little Match Girl

The Little Match Girl


A wonderful story by Hans Christian Andersen about a poor little girl who is sent to sell matches during Christmastime yet freezes to death during the cold temperatures.  Andersen weaves her death in with dreams of her grandmother kindly beckoning her from the grave.  Yet while the story is poignant, the modern illustrations in this particular edition were rather alarming for a story written in the mid-1800s and set in London.  I would absolutely recommend a different edition.


Christmas Day In the Morning

Christmas Day in the Morning Pearl S. Buck

A farmer’s son overhears words his father speaks about him and decides to give a Christmas present that is beyond all others; a gift of self.

What a fun challenge and by reading these Christmas stories, it helped me up my book count for the year. I hope to participate next year and already have some titles in mind.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas which included much reading!

19 thoughts on “Christmas Stories 2018 and a Literary Challenge

  1. What a lovely collection! I must look some of these up! And I really really want to get hold of Turman Capote’s book….that sounds like one hell of an adventure!

    • They were all great however, the illustrations in The Little Match Girl were just terrible. I try to keep an open mind but, as I think Chesterton said, you don’t want your mind to be so open everything falls out! 😉 I must admit, I enjoyed the Capote book less than I expected. I’d heard so many great reviews and while it’s a lovely book to read, I feel there are certainly others that eclipse it.

      • Hahhaaaa….Yes, an open mind cannot be so OPEN either! I feel very very sad about The Little Match Girl….I know it has a an eternal kind of ending, so it’s kind of ok, but I do like the joy on earth part first to be fulfilled. I am so sorry to hear the Capote book did not work…I will get to it, just not sure if I will now like it! lol!

    • Thanks, Mudpuddle! Chesterton is great! A particular favourite quote which is sometimes attributed to him (and I paraphrase) goes something like, “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.” 😀

  2. Wow! That’s a lot of Christmassy books! And they all sound warm and seasonal. Of what you’ve mentioned, I’ve only ever read A Christmas Carol, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (the Tolkien version which I loved!). I read A Little Match Girl when I was a little kid — I recall the heavy sadness and not ever wanting to read it again…

    Truman Capote’s sounds like something I might like to try.

    I only managed one Christmas-themed reading. But I’m happy I managed that! 😀

    • I’m so happy that I chose to participate in this challenge as it introduced me to one book I’d never heard of and that’s become a favourite (The Christmas Angel) and one book to add to one of my challenges.

      One book is one more book than you would have read otherwise, right? 🙂

  3. So many Christmas tales! I’m glad you were able to end your reading year so well. I never seem to have my act together enough in December to read much that’s seasonal. Maybe next year?

  4. Well, well, well! You got to read quite a bit of Christmas titles. That’s just marvelous.

    “The Christmas Angel” looks good… might have to see if I can read that in the coming holiday season myself. 🙂

    Thank you for participating in A Literary Christmas! (Hope you’ll join us again for Christmas 2019.)


    • The Christmas Angel was excellent! I hope you get the chance to read it next year. Thanks so much for being such a wonderful host for this challenge! I appreciate the time it took and all your comments. I look forward to doing it again next year!

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