Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Journey into Christmas

Dickens' A Christmas Carol doesn't blunt the edginess of the season. Is your family having a fit of major sulks while you entertain a ragtag group of friends who have appeared out of nowhere because their own families have rejected them? Is your perfectionist sister on the edge of nervous collapse because she burned the turkey? ("And, no, you can't start over again with a new turkey," you all have to insist). Is it possible that your husband and cousin are really going to spend all day playing foosball in the basement? ("IWe're not hungry," they say casually.)

Dickens particularly depresses me. I have two copies of his Christmas books, purchased at sales, in case I am suddenly infused with the Dickensian Christmas spirit, but I honestly believe these slapdash novels are sub-standard and setimental. The longer the better for Dickens: lest you think I am a philistine, I am very fond of Our Mutual Friend, Bleak House, and Dombey and Son)

This year, I have, however been delighted to find excellent Christmas stories in Bess Streeter Aldrich's collection, A Journey into Christmas and Other Stories. The title story is especially good and can be read at:

A Journey into Christmas


Ellen said...

I read story and will tell the people (mostly women) on WWTTA about it. I think Trollope's "Christmas at Thompson Hall" is a cheering story to read at Christmas. It tells of the comic trauma of a woman trying to reach her family for a Christmas dinner. Have you read it?

I loved that cover.


Mad Housewife said...

Dear Ellen,

I'm glad you liked the story. I'll look for Trollope's.