Thursday, 20 December 2012

Book 90 of 2012: A Little Book of Christmas

A Little Book of Christmas by John Kendrick Bangs is yet another free Christmas ebook that I downloaded from Amazon for my Kindle. This method of finding Christmas reading material has been a little hit and miss so far, but this book fit my requirements exactly.

It’s a collection of four Christmas stories, with a handful of little poems thrown in as well. Most of the stories deal with people who find the spirit of Christmas or find a way to make Christmas special for other people. In one a man who is a bit of a Scrooge finds out that life for someone dressed as Santa collecting money on a street corner isn’t exactly easy; another has a little boy getting lost and a Santa helps him get home; yet another has a group of men stranded at their club in New York due to bad weather, when a frozen orphan is brought in by one of their friends and they set about making a good Christmas for the boy. There is also another one which breaks from the pattern slightly by having a man visited by a Christmas spirit who takes him to the house of a very rich child who is suffering at Christmas.

Three of the stories were very similar with various men assuming the role of Santa Claus and helping out others, but I didn’t find it repetitive. Although the outcomes were often similar the characters were very different and so it wasn’t really something I thought about much until after I’d finished the book and I was trying to write about it. I think the inclusion of the little poems helped as well, because they broke up the book and so you didn’t really notice the similarities between the stories at the time.

My very favourite story was the one that broke from the pattern, ‘The Child Who Had Everything But –’. The narrator of the story suggests that in the past a spirit has visited him and taken him to see the poor and the needy where he has done what he can to help, but this time the spirit takes him to a fancy house where a wealthy child lives. The little boy has everything, all manner of toys, but something is missing for him. It was a sweet little story and kind of sad. That said, I did love the three others as well, I think this one just stood out because it was so different from the others.

It was a very quick read. I started it at bedtime and I think I finished it the following morning. When it comes to books to read at Christmas time, I don’t really want anything that’s too long or that’ll be too heavy going, so this one was perfect. There was a healthy smattering of humour in the book as well, ‘The Child Who Had Everything But –’ had a little in-text nod to A Christmas Carol which was good. I ended up highlighting quite a few little bits as I was going along because they made me smile.

It’s definitely one that I’d recommend. It’s a nice quick read and sums up Christmas really well, it’s a time to be with people you care about and to do your bit for others. Although it was written in 1912, it doesn’t seem to have aged badly and I think it’s definitely one I’m going to hang onto for next year as well.

Whene’er I find a man who don’t
Believe in Santa Claus,
And spite of all remonstrance won’t
Yield up to logics laws,
And see in things that lie about
The proof by no means dim,
I straightway cut that fellow out,
And don’t believe in him.

Location 24

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think. :-)