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:
For a full review, please go here.
The Christmas Angel
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
For a full review, please go HERE.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
A full review to come.
A Christmas Memory
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
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
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
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!