Category: Short Stories
Synopsis: A Vintage Christmas is a collection of short stories that encompass the highs and lows of the festive season. It features a pretty elite mix of authors including Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle. There is something for everyone in this collection, whether you’re a Christmas grotto-seeker or a complete grinch!
I am stuck as the one Christmas-lover in a family who won’t put the tree up until 2 weeks before December 25th then take it down on Boxing Day! So I decided to retreat to my sparkling, ornament-bursting, obscenely tinsel-draped room, where I could seek my festive fix in the realm of literature…
If I’m such a Christmas-lover, you’re probably wondering why I only gave this collection 3 stars. The reason lies not in the stories themselves, but the fact that my expectations were very different to what they provided. Some of the stories were quite dark, so this is not the book to read if you’re hoping for some fluffy reindeer. Nevertheless, they form an important reflection on the difficulties faced by many people at Christmas.
- Extract from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol has to be my favourite ever Christmas tale! I know of no other story that embraces the Christmas spirit so completely and gives me that heart-warm, soul-cosy festive feeling.
- Extract from The Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle
This was my first experience of the Sherlock Holmes stories and I am converted! I loved the unpredictable mystery, as well as the fact that, unlike many modern mysteries/ thrillers, it manages to stay light-hearted and not take itself too seriously. I am now looking to read some more of Arthur Conan Doyle’s books so would really appreciate some recommendations!
- Obadiah Oak, Mrs Griffiths and the Carol Singers by Louis de Bernieres
For such a small-scale story, this one had me almost immediately invested in its quirky characters, especially Mrs Griffiths. She is a grumpy and snooty village woman trying to overcome her loneliness on the first Christmas since her husband died. This story’s version of Christmas spirit is not over-the-top but rather quietly understated and the more emotional for it.
They were not a handsome family; they were not well dressed; their clothes were scanty…But they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another and contented with the time.
Read if: you would like a varied collection of realistic festive tales.
Cover image courtesy of Goodreads.
What is your favourite Christmas story? Please do let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!