December 2022 Book of the Month Club - Christmas Short Stories 🎄

Mamanyt1953

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I wish I looked just a little bit like the beautiful girl in the picture!
Look inside, Darlin', that's where you will find her.

I'll start reading very soon. I'm so short on sleep! Only 2 hours yesterday, due to errands, and waiting for the flooring people today to let me know if they will repair my flooring, or replace it.
 
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rubysmama

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Partway through A Country Christmas. It was a bit longer than I expected, but I'll finish it today.
 
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rubysmama

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SPIT! I MISSED THAT! Well, I'll read on Sunday, and post on Monday. Drat and darn, and muddy cat paws!
:lolup:.
LOL. You should be fine, as the 3 shortest stories only take 15 to 20 minutes each to read. A Country Christmas is a bit longer, but still probably only took an hour or so for me to read it.

And, yeah, with December being a busy month, we shortened the reading period to only 10 days, and discussion to 5 days.

So that said, discussion starts now !!! So whenever you're ready, everyone, feel free to post your reviews.
Discussion will run from today till at least December 15th.

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verna davies

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I'll kick this off as I read the books last week and the.

A Country Christmas by Louisa May Alcott.
The longest story of the four books, I didn't find it particularly engaging, found it full of tittle tattle and pointless descriptions and so my mind kept wandering. The only part of the story that held my interest was Saul's account of the two injured men and himself in the trench and for that part I give it ⭐

A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L Frank Baum
A proper fairy tale for children. Simply written and enjoyable as long as you take it for what it was meant to be, a childs fairy story. I could imagine the pleasure it would give to a child having someone read it to them.
⭐⭐

The Gift of the Magi by O Henry
I enjoyed this short story, found it both sad and charming. Sad because they both sold their most treasured possessions and charming because they loved each other enough to do it. Jim lost his family watch forever but at least Della could grow her hair and then use the combs.⭐⭐⭐

The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter
A delightful tale for children, so typical of Beatrix Potter. Easy to read, predictable that the mice would sew the jacket and waistcoat but fun to read how they did it, it brought a smile to my face. Wouldn't we all love a cat like Simkin who would do our shopping for us. My favourite of the four stories.⭐⭐⭐⭐
 
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rubysmama

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A Country Christmas
This was totally different than I was expecting, as when I think Christmas, I automatically think Santa and gifts. So it was nice to see how people marked the day before commercialization took over. I liked all the characters, and was fun watching the romances emerge. I loved the idea of dressing up in the old clothes for the party, but got weepy earlier in the story when Saul was telling his story of being on the battle field.
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A Kidnapped Santa Claus
Not sure what I was expecting with this story, but that wasn’t it. LOL. For starters, the Santa in the stories from my childhood lives in the North Pole, not someplace called Laughing Valley. So right from the get go, it was clear this was going to be a different Santa story. But like the Grinch from Dr. Suess, the daemons discovered that Christmas is more than just Santa and gifts. A cute story, I guess. But I didn’t love it.
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The Gift of the Magi
This is a story I’ve known for a very long time, so since I knew how it would end, maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. However, I am wondering if the story I read as a child was an adapted version, as in my memory the husband bought the wife a hair brush not combs, and the story felt more romantic. Either way, still a good story, with a good twist ending.
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The Tailor of Gloucester
Sweet story about a poor tailor who hand sews garments for his neighbours during daylight hours, and at night shares his house with a cat, and some mice. When the old man gets sick and can’t go to work, the magical mice take up the sewing for him, and the cat, who at the beginning of the story was somewhat mischievous, ends up saving the day, which just happens to be Christmas morning. Cute story, and adorable illustrations. 4 stars out of 5.
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artiemom

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The Gift of the Magi, is a story we all know of.... Sacrificing something we cherish, in order to make someone we love, Happy... The gift of giving and sacrifice and love..
I found it a little difficult to get accustomed to the writing of the time period; but, it is a classic
 

gilmargl

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Well, I'm going to have to take this slowly. I need more time to think positively!
Let's start today with Beatrix Potter. Didn't she appear in a novel we read recently - or was it another book I'd read on my own?

Anyway - I don't think that Beatrix Potter's books were read in my early school days. Perhaps they were considered too middle class for a working class area! I can't remember when I first came across them, but my own children were given the books as presents, and even my grandson has a boxed set of her books. I can't remember reading them to my children but the characters Peter Rabbit, Mr McGregor, Jemima Puddle Duck and Tom Kitten are all familiar to me and the stories - a mixture of ideal family life (all the characters wore clothes, even if it was only a hat) and acted like little human beings but the dangers were real dangers - Mr McGregor, for instance. The stories never interested me but the characters and the illustrations are truly memorable.

I didn't find The Tailor of Gloucester particularly clever. A mixture of mice and a hungry cat is a peculiar combination even in a children's story. But (I'll say it again) the illustrations were lovely! Do children enjoy these stories or does the whole set-up appeal more to adults who send boxed sets to their younger relations?

I seemed to remember my children being given porcelain figures of some Beatrix Potter characters. I looked among the things they'd left behind and what did I find? A Mrs Tittlemouse and ......
mouse.jpg

one of the "Tailor's of Gloucester" standing on a cotton reel!
Sorry that I didn*t find the story so interesting but - it did bring back some memories!

⭐ for the story
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for the illustrations
 

verna davies

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That figurine was a good find gilmargl gilmargl , just look at the eyes, thanks for showing us. Not all stories suit everyone and I think Beatrix Potter wrote all her books so they appealed to children's imagination so they didnt need a strong story and I think the same approach was taken by the author of The Tailor of Gloucester. You read it and that's what counts.
 
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rubysmama

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V verna davies : You and I had basically the same opinion of the stories, except for A Country Christmas, which I really enjoyed. I thought, in fact, it was more like a short book, than short story. The only thing was that it didn't feel very Christmas-y.

artiemom artiemom : Since I follow your Geoffrey thread, I know how busy and stressful things are for you right now, so really happy you were able to join us and read The Gift of the Magi. I agree it was a little hard getting used to the writing style, but the story truly is a classic.

gilmargl gilmargl : First off, love that figurine. It is just totally precious. I'm glad that that even though you didn't really enjoy the short story, that reading it prompted you to look and find that little tailor mouse. 🐭
 

gilmargl

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The Gift of the Magi
Such a sad tale of sacrifice.
It was no doubt one of those stories, very popular over a hundred years ago, where the hero dies trying to save somebody or comes to some other untimely end. Shortly after WWII we children had few books to read, and were willing to read anything from writing on cereal packets, to "The Home Doctor" to Victorian novels about being good, humble and sacrificing what one loved for someone else's benefit. The rewards for acting so selflessly would later be found in heaven.
So - this book was just too sad for words. I've no idea, what the moral of the tale could be. Today, I would say, please talk about it before you sacrifce yourself trying to make someone else happy!
No, I cannot pretend to have enjoyed this story.

😢⭐
 
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