December 2022 Book of the Month Club - Christmas Short Stories ๐ŸŽ„

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rubysmama

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gilmargl gilmargl : You must have been in a weepy mood when you read The Gift of the Magi, because, yeah it was sad, but at least they still had each other at the end. And, hey, I kept figuring maybe they could save up and eventually buy the watch back.

BTW: I googled and found a children's adaption of the story. It's very short, if anyone wants to read it and compare with the original.
The Gift of the Magi Story ~ A Holiday Story for Kids
 

Mamanyt1953

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Just some ponderings on "The Gift of the Magi." It is a quite old-fashioned story, to be honest, but that somehow, to me, adds to its charm. I have heard people say that it is "too sentimental" or "sappy." Perhaps it is. I don't think so. Real, deep love requires a healthy dose of sentimentality. Too little, and it is more a joining of habit and convenience, too much and it can border on obsession. However, Love wants what is best for the object of that love, equally to itself. It is balanced. It does not mind sacrifice, and expects, rightly, to be sacrifed for, in turn. And so, two people willingly and happily sacrificed one of the material things that they valued most, each for the other, and learned that the most beautiful gift of all is that willingness. It did not matter that he no longer needed a watch fob, and she no longer needed the hair comb. What mattered was the willingness to bring each other joy.

I have had a love like that, and lost him while we were still in college. He left this world too soon. But the memory of that love keeps me warm, some 48 years later. Merry Christmas, David.
 

verna davies

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I have had a love like that, and lost him while we were still in college. He left this world too soon. But the memory of that love keeps me warm, some 48 years later. Merry Christmas, David.

That brought a tear to my eye Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 . So lucky to have experienced that but so sad that you lost it. Life seems so unfair at times.
 

artiemom

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Just some ponderings on "The Gift of the Magi." It is a quite old-fashioned story, to be honest, but that somehow, to me, adds to its charm. I have heard people say that it is "too sentimental" or "sappy." Perhaps it is. I don't think so. Real, deep love requires a healthy dose of sentimentality. Too little, and it is more a joining of habit and convenience, too much and it can border on obsession. However, Love wants what is best for the object of that love, equally to itself. It is balanced. It does not mind sacrifice, and expects, rightly, to be sacrifed for, in turn. And so, two people willingly and happily sacrificed one of the material things that they valued most, each for the other, and learned that the most beautiful gift of all is that willingness. It did not matter that he no longer needed a watch fob, and she no longer needed the hair comb. What mattered was the willingness to bring each other joy.

I have had a love like that, and lost him while we were still in college. He left this world too soon. But the memory of that love keeps me warm, some 48 years later. Merry Christmas, David.
Ohhhhh... I just want to reach across the miles and give you a huge hug....(((HUGS)))
 
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rubysmama

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I have had a love like that, and lost him while we were still in college. He left this world too soon. But the memory of that love keeps me warm, some 48 years later. Merry Christmas, David.
So sad that you found your soul mate while so young, only to lose him so soon after. ๐Ÿค—
 
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rubysmama

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Just a reminder that our abbreviated book club month means that tomorrow is the last "official" discussion day.

Boris Diamond Boris Diamond : any thoughts you want to share on the ones you read?
pearl99 pearl99 : did you ever get a chance to read any of them?
gilmargl gilmargl : you posted that you weren't enjoying any of them, but still hope you'll have a chance to post more reviews
Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 and artiemom artiemom : did you get time to read any besides Magi?
 

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I read one and then there has been a whirlwind of ukulele, euchre, and other things going on and yesterday the last of it, so am settling in today to relax and get things caught up ๐Ÿ˜. I will be chiming in.
 

artiemom

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I started the Beatrix Potter one, the other day.. May finish it tomorrow, or later today.
It is just a real busy, time of the year; for me to read.. got a late start to Christmas things.
I do like the idea of short stories.
 
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rubysmama

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I read one and then there has been a whirlwind of ukulele, euchre, and other things going on and yesterday the last of it, so am settling in today to relax and get things caught up ๐Ÿ˜. I will be chiming in.
Glad things are settling down for you, and that now you'll have some time to relax and read. And don't worry, if you're past the 15th when you post your reviews. We'll still be here.

And what's this about the ukulele. Do you play?

I started the Beatrix Potter one, the other day.. May finish it tomorrow, or later today.
It is just a real busy, time of the year; for me to read.. got a late start to Christmas things.
I do like the idea of short stories.
It is a busy month, and the closer it gets to Christmas, the faster time seems to fly. Hope you can finish the Beatrix Potter one, as it is a cute story.
 

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I have had a love like that, and lost him while we were still in college. He left this world too soon. But the memory of that love keeps me warm, some 48 years later. Merry Christmas, David.
Oh my, Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 , a warm hug to you. I'm sorry for that.
I feel I'm in one like that now- it's several months old now and has never been like this before (and this late in life!). I can imagine the pain if he was gone. But having it now is a gift.

The Gift of the Magi- enjoyed it very much. The love present was heartwarming. And I agree, they still have each other and their devotion to each other. I also hoped maybe the watch would be in the pawnl shop or with the new owner still in the future!

The Tailor of Gloucester- illustrations beautiful. I like reading little stories like this even if they are predictable and cutesy- some warm feelings bubble up. I'm a sentimental goof. Too sappy and I don't like it much- but the cat was a good character, and simple stories are enjoyable to me.

I plan to read the other two tonight or tomorrow but thought I'd get started.
 
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rubysmama

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Yes I do! I'm in a group that plays at some things several times per year, especially at Christmas. ๐ŸŽธ
That must be so much fun! I played the ukulele when I was in elementary school. All I really remember, though, is "my dog has fleas" to tune it. ๐ŸŽธ

I feel I'm in one like that now- it's several months old now and has never been like this before (and this late in life!). I can imagine the pain if he was gone. But having it now is a gift.
Oh, how wonderful, pearl99 pearl99 . :redheartpump:

I also hoped maybe the watch would be in the pawnl shop or with the new owner still in the future!
It's not impossible, right. โŒš
 

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A Country Christmas - by Louisa May Alcott

I really tried to read this. My brain seemed to shut down while reading it. I did read the part with Saul and the man on the battlefield and I found that interesting. Not much of a review, except to say I did not enjoy it. ๐Ÿ’‚โ€โ™€๏ธ stars

A Kidnapped Santa Claus - by L. Frank Baum

This is the kind of silly story that would be nice for kids at Christmas. Since I'm a big kid, I did enjoy it. It was short enough that it did not become trite. ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿคถ๐ŸŽ… stars

The Gift of the Magi - O. Henry

I am very familiar with this piece. The author was born thirty miles away and his stories are popular here. (My father had his collected works and I tried reading all of it. His notes and letters got boring.) This is a story of sacrifice, the husband and wife each giving up something they loved so that the other could have something. As a youngster I enjoyed it, but it seems overly sentimental now.
๐Ÿงญ๐Ÿงญstars

The Tailor of Gloucester - Beatrix Potter

Another silly piece, but good for children. Once again, it was short enough that it did not get too silly or trite. And it was an easy read.
๐Ÿญ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿญ stars

Not much in the way of reviews, but the stories were short and for the most part, I did not connect very well.
 
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Mamanyt1953

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Just a reminder that our abbreviated book club month means that tomorrow is the last "official" discussion day.

Boris Diamond Boris Diamond : any thoughts you want to share on the ones you read?
pearl99 pearl99 : did you ever get a chance to read any of them?
gilmargl gilmargl : you posted that you weren't enjoying any of them, but still hope you'll have a chance to post more reviews
Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 and artiemom artiemom : did you get time to read any besides Magi?
I am ashamed to say that I have not, and may well not before the end of the year. My computer is giving me fits. Drew is sending me a new one for Christmas, but has to wait until after the first of the year, when he gets his first check from the new job. I certainly do not mind waiting in the least!
 

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Well! you've all given me lots to think about. Perhaps our own experiences play a huge part in deciding what stories we enjoy, and which are unbearable. I've deleted my life/love story here - it was far too long and out of place, suffice it to say, a love lost for ever is sad but leaves a warm feeling behind: a love being lost over decades through mental illness is like a stone to carry about. Occasionally one catches a glimpse of what used to be and hope never really dies.

A Country Christmas was for me unbearable. The meeting between Rosalie (?) and I-forgot-his-name in fancy-dress could have been part of a silly operetta and the whole story taken from one of my mother's women's magazines from the 1960's. (Please correct my apostrophes - I've already made one mistake - it's glaring at me in this thread but too late to repair!)
No stars at all for LMA just a ๐Ÿ‘Ž

I finally read A Kidnapped Santa Claus and have no idea why I found it so difficult to get into. Another moral tale but almost acceptable.:)
I'm not sure if those children, willing to listen to, or read for themselves a story about Santa Claus, would be old enough to understand the terms "Selfishness", "Envy", " Hatred" and "Repentance". By the time they were able to differentiate between these feelings, my own children, and grandchildren would avoid stories about Santa Claus, Father Christmas, fairies, and elves like the plaque! So, perhaps this is another story written for children but now appreciated more by adults.
I'll give it one elfin โญ

Both books for January's Book of the Month have arrived - but I'm not opening the parcels till Christmas! :):)
 
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rubysmama

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Not much in the way of reviews, but the stories were short and for the most part, I did not connect very well.
Sorry none of the short stories really connected with you, but it's really hard to find ones that everyone will like.

I, for example, seem to be the only one who enjoyed A Country Christmas. Maybe because it was written by the same author as Little Women, which I loved.

I am ashamed to say that I have not, and may well not before the end of the year. My computer is giving me fits. Drew is sending me a new one for Christmas, but has to wait until after the first of the year, when he gets his first check from the new job. I certainly do not mind waiting in the least!
Oh, no worries, especially since it's computer issues that are keeping you from reading.

Well! you've all given me lots to think about. Perhaps our own experiences play a huge part in deciding what stories we enjoy, and which are unbearable.
I'm sure you're right that our own experiences play a huge part in deciding which stories we enjoy and which we find unbearable.
 
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