Can you picture this: You’re curled up on a comfy chair covered in soft pillows and warm blankets. The fireplace is crackling as fluttering embers ascend through the chimney and there’s a hot mug of something sweet at the table next to you. Throw in a cute cat or dog, some fuzzy socks, and it sounds complete, right? WRONG! Where the bloody hell is your reading material?! ‘Tis the season to read everything you possibly can in the coziest settings and highest spirits!
If you’re like me and can’t pick a book or two to focus on this season, then keep reading! You just may find what you’re looking for. I’ve come across some pretty magical Christmas tales and short stories over the years and they really do leave you with that wondrous feeling of the possibility and unexpected twists of fate. No, I do not think that is dramatic… And I know I can’t be the only one to feel that way. Check out the list of lovely Christmas stories below and hop on the holiday bandwagon.
1. ‘The Gift of the Magi’ by O. Henry (William Sydney Porter)
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This enlightening short story revolves around a young couple at Christmas time, faced with buying each other gifts with the little money they have. I don’t want to set up any spoilers here, but let’s just say they give away something they really care about in order to make someone they care about truly happy. The plot twist is fantastic, recognizable, and if often seen as humorous…in a sentimental way of course. The true meaning of Christmas lies within this story.
2. ‘A Kidnapped Santa Claus’ by L. Frank Baum
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The classic battle is portrayed here: good vs. evil. When Santa is visited and tempted by five daemons, four of which are undoubtedly bad figures, they underestimate Santa’s morale. Temptation fails and they kidnap him, leaving Santa’s pixies and elves to fight for the good of Christmas and to bring everyone their treasures before the night is through. I think you know which side wins, but it’s not without some vital lessons.
3. ‘A Christmas Memory’ by Truman Capote
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Well jeez, if this makes you cry I am definitely not sorry. It’s good to feel strongly about a story and share in the beauty of what humans do for each other during the holidays! Capote’s heartfelt work does that with a young boy (the narrator) and his elderly cousin who is also his best friend. They spend the month of December taking part in holiday cheer and enjoying the process of gift giving despite they’re authoritative family and lack of money. They spend Christmas in the purest way and really just enjoy each other’s company… That’s before life sets in. I know, I know, such sadness, but this one is a must.
4. ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ by Dylan Thomas
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This isn’t like your average short story in the way it’s composed. It’s detailed, somewhat like prose, nostalgic, and almost autobiographical as Thomas thinks back on winter days and Christmas time as a child. It’s very short, but beautiful in its reflection of the past and how Christmases used to be. I think that’s something we can all relate to; that feeling that the holidays filled you more at a younger age and the world seemed so much bigger with more to offer. Thomas teaches us how to embrace Christmases of past, present, and future. We may all reminisce now.
5. The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home by Charles Dickens
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Oh, the ever-glorious Mr. Dickens. The man is the epitome of Christmas and each of his works encapsulates the cheer of the holidays! This domestic novella of a guardian in the form of a small cricket grants a small family true joy just before Christmas. Although there are some mishaps here and there, all is well in this Victorian household setting, so cheers to that… Am I right?
Before you start reading these make sure you’re ready to set the mood with comfy sweat pants and an unnecessary amount of cookies or something sweet. That’ll do. Get in the spirit quick and don’t forget about what people truly want for Christmas each year: Love… And probably socks.
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