My favorite Christmas story to read around the holidays is A Christmas Carol by Dickens. But this year I was looking for something new and came across this wonderful collection of Christmas short stories by Anthony Trollope.
If you are looking for some lighthearted, warm and entertaining stories to read this holiday season, then I highly recommend this collection of Christmas stories by Trollope. In each one there is a misunderstanding, where human pride gets in the way. But, due the fact that the setting is Christmas time, these misunderstandings are quickly forgiven.
The title story, Christmas at Thompson Hall, is my favorite of the collection. In this tale, a husband and wife are traveling back to England to spend Christmas with the wife’s family in her ancestral home, Thompson Hall. The couple usually spends Christmas in France, but the wife is determined to make it back to England by Christmas Eve this year and is dragging along her reluctant husband on the journey. While they are at a hotel in Paris, they accidentally meet the wife’s soon-to-be brother-in-law. The circumstances under which these new relatives meet, however, is rather embarrassing and hysterical.
Two of the stories tell of young couples in love whose pride is getting in the way of their happiness. In Christmas at Kirkby Cottage, Maurice Archer mistakenly says to his beloved that “Christmas is a bore.” Can Isabel forgive Maurice for saying such a crass thing about a holiday which she holds so dear? The Mistletoe Bough has a similar plot in which a man and woman in love are brought together for Christmas and must decide if they can get over their past transgressions.
I found The Two Generals interesting due to the setting of the American Civil War. I have never read a story about The Civil War written by a British author, so I found Trollope’s perspective enlightening. Two brothers, who grew up in Kentucky, each find themselves on opposite sides of the battlefield. They say some regretful words to each other before they depart on Christmas. But can another holiday force these the brothers to set aside their differences and put family first?
These stories are an easy and delightful read and just the thing to get us all in the Christmas spirit. Happy Holidays!