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The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time: Timeless Classics That Celebrate the Season

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The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time is a treasury of short fiction by great writers of the past two centuries — from Dickens, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy to Willa Cather, Damon Runyon and Beatrix Potter. As a literary subject, Christmas has inspired everything from intimate domestic dramas to fanciful flights of the imagination, and the full range of its expression is r The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time is a treasury of short fiction by great writers of the past two centuries — from Dickens, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy to Willa Cather, Damon Runyon and Beatrix Potter. As a literary subject, Christmas has inspired everything from intimate domestic dramas to fanciful flights of the imagination, and the full range of its expression is represented in this wonderfully engaging anthology.


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The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time is a treasury of short fiction by great writers of the past two centuries — from Dickens, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy to Willa Cather, Damon Runyon and Beatrix Potter. As a literary subject, Christmas has inspired everything from intimate domestic dramas to fanciful flights of the imagination, and the full range of its expression is r The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time is a treasury of short fiction by great writers of the past two centuries — from Dickens, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy to Willa Cather, Damon Runyon and Beatrix Potter. As a literary subject, Christmas has inspired everything from intimate domestic dramas to fanciful flights of the imagination, and the full range of its expression is represented in this wonderfully engaging anthology.

30 review for The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time: Timeless Classics That Celebrate the Season

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Collected by the amazing Lucy Maud Montgomery, this book contains a number of classic stories revolving around the holiday season. It was amazing to me to read the original "A Christmas Carol" as Charles Dickens intended it to be shared. I have, of course, seen various movies based on this story, but the original writing is spectacular. There is also the original "Gift of the Magi" which I had not read since my school days, when a brilliant teacher had us read it before the Christmas break. This Collected by the amazing Lucy Maud Montgomery, this book contains a number of classic stories revolving around the holiday season. It was amazing to me to read the original "A Christmas Carol" as Charles Dickens intended it to be shared. I have, of course, seen various movies based on this story, but the original writing is spectacular. There is also the original "Gift of the Magi" which I had not read since my school days, when a brilliant teacher had us read it before the Christmas break. This book is an interesting, historical, and classical collection, great for a read while sipping a cup of your favorite hot chocolate.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tinka

    Well, that's a belated Merry Christmas... POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2019: A Book You Meant to Read in 2018 Actually it is a book I meant to finish in 2018, but whatever. My challenge, my rules. So it counts. I was really struggling with the rating for this one, to be completely honest with you. In the end I decided for really generous 4 Stars (more 3.5 in my head. Maybe this will finally be the year Goodreads gets half stars, though I doubt we're that lucky.) The short stories were a really mixed Well, that's a belated Merry Christmas... POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2019: A Book You Meant to Read in 2018 Actually it is a book I meant to finish in 2018, but whatever. My challenge, my rules. So it counts. I was really struggling with the rating for this one, to be completely honest with you. In the end I decided for really generous 4 Stars (more 3.5 in my head. Maybe this will finally be the year Goodreads gets half stars, though I doubt we're that lucky.) The short stories were a really mixed bag to say the least. Some were really well written and captured the Christmas Spirit perfectly and others just plain weird. I ranked them individually and tried to get an overall feel out of that, but that suddenly seemed way too much like doing Math and I don't speak Math. So, to those who care, here come my individual thoughts and ratings on the stories provided in this collection. At Christmas Time by Anton Chekhov The collection didn't have the best start with this weird piece of...random whateverness. It is a story about and estranged mother and daughter and a letter around Christmas to reconnect them and it provides some disturbing implications that might hint towards the daughter's abusive husband. Joy the the World! Or I interpreted this completely wrong and therefore I am an idiot who missed some true masterful storytelling. Let me know if I got it wrong. 2/5 The Beggar Boy at Christ's Christmas Tree by Fyodor Dostoyevsky This being a classic collection of Christmas story means a ton of religious references. Good for those who care. For me this feels very whatever and sometimes even a bit tagged on. Here we have the story of a poor, yet good-hearted boy with a sick mother at home, who gets some joy out of a magical (?) Christmas Tree. It is alright, but didn't stick with me. 3/5 The Boy with the Box by Mary Griggs van Voorhis Now we're talking! Some good ol' Hallmark feelings right here. The story about a boy who loves ice skating and helps out a poorer friend by learning what it means to appreciate the things you have what sharing means and that sometimes helping others and be kind is the best gift there is. It is an adorable story about friendship and really too cute for its own good. 5/5 The Burglar's Christmas by Willa Cather A Burglar reconnects with his family on Christmas and finds out that his life is not as hopeless as he thought it was. The moral here is that mistakes do not define us and that people who love us tend to forgive a lot and that people deserve a second chance. It is quite nice, starts out very promising, but falls a little bit flat towards the end. 3/5 A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas The narrator reminiscens about his childhood and Christmas in Wales and how much he loved it. That's basically it. It's cute, but not very memorable. Ten points to Slytherin, if you accidentally read the author as 'Dean Thomas' the first time around. 3/5 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Does that need any words? I already this one and I'm pretty sure I reviewed it as well. You know the story, you know its cultural impact, the message of it and probably at least 4 adaptations. 4/5 The Christmas Cuckoo by Frances Browne This feels very much like a classic fairytale in the style of the Brother's Grimm. Two poor brothers help a cuckoo and get rewarded for their kindness. Due to individual choices one is more successful than the other at first. It is a nice read and very well written, but feels a bit convoluted for such a short story. 3/5 Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck A sweet story about a man who remembers how he surprised his father one Christmas Morning and how that turned out to be the best Christmas of his childhood. It is a very simple story about the love of family and the bond between father and son. It's very touching and just put a smile on my face. 4/5 A Christmas Inspiration by Lucy Maud Montgomery On to the Lady who brought us this collection! I love L.M Montgomery and her Anne of Green Gables Series, so I had high expectations when it came to her story. Thankfully, I was not disappointed as this turned out to be one of my absolute favorites in this collection. I just love her writing so much. This story sets place in a girls Boarding House and tells the tale of a group of friends who overcome their prejudice to help a lonely girl celebrate Christmas. It is all about sharing and accepting others or who they are and that sometimes a change of perspective is needed to grow as a person. I adored it so much. 5/5 The Christmas Rose by Lizzie Deas A rather short story (among short stories) about an angel that gifts Baby Jesus with a rose. One of the most religious stories. Didn't really leave much of an impression. 3/5 A Country Christmas by Louisa May Alcott Alcott fans may bring their pitchforks now, for I really did not like this story. It is very well-written, but that's about it. It's the classic tale of snobby city people celebrating Christmas on the countryside and while they first make fun of the simplicity and the people, discover the true meaning of Christmas in the end and become better people. You've heard this before. My problem is, that the characters range from annoying to completely unlikeable and even after their "redemption" in the end they still feel shallow and empty. Something just didn't click with me while reading this. 2/5 Dancing Dan's Christmas by Damon Runyon I gotta be honest, even looking at my notes I hardly remember this one. I know the writing was a bit grading and annoying and that it just wasn't my cup of coffee. 2/5 The Elves and the Shoemaker by The Brothers Grimm Now we have an actually classic Grimm Tale and shockingly one I don't remember. Honestly, I thought I knew them all, but I can't recall this one. It does remind me of another fairytale though, probably because the message is very familiar. It is all about kindness and being grateful and helping others and how that will be rewarded. It's very sweet. 4/5 The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen Hans Christian Andersen is probably my favorite writer of fairytales, simply because of his unique sense of melancholy. Let's be honest, only he could have made a story about a clinical depressed tree work. And he did. It is a very sad story that reminds the reader to cherish what he has and that while wanting more out of life is not a bad thing, but that you should never forget to take a moment to appreciate what you already got before it's too late. 5/5 The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry It took me a moment to fully get this story about a young husband and wife who both make sacirfices to get the other a great Christmas present only to discover their love for each other is the real gift. It's cute, but also didn't leave that much of an impact and the writing was a bit weird. 3/5 The Holy Night by Selma Langerlöf The first half of this story is pretty brilliant. The narrator misses the desceased grandmother and it is all about how grief works and how hard it can be especially around times of the year like Christmas. It is very relatable. The second half gets a bit too religious for my personal taste though. 4/5 A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum Sing with me now: "Kidnap the Sandy Claws lock him up real tight..." You were thinking it too! Admit it! I never read anything by Baum that wasn't set in Oz, so this was quite interesting to me. Well, it didn't disappoint. It was quirky and charming and definitely one of a kind among the rest of the stories. It is a delightful story of the daemons, who represent bad feelings, who set out to kidnap Santa to make the children unhappy and, spoiler alert, it doesn't work out so well. It's just plain fun to read and I absolutely adored it. 5/5 The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Lucy Wheelock This one was another vey short one and it was surprisngly sweet despite some heavy religious undertones. 4/5 A Lette From Santa Claus by Mark Twain I always get the feeling that I should like Mark Twain more than I do. I'm always excited reading his stories and than I end up a bit disappointed with a slight touch of indifference or on some occasions annoyance, towards his writing. This short tale is about Santa writing a letter back to a child and giving him instructions depsite some clear language barrier. Like everything I've read by Twain by now, it has promise but ultimately falls a bit flat. 3/5 Little Gretchen and the Wooden Shoe by Elizabeth Harrison Another one of the shorter ones and also another one I barely remember despite my notes. It was sweet and a bit too Jesus-ey for my taste, but okay. 3/5 The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen You probally know this one. I think everbody knows this one. I mentioned Andersen's melancholy before, but this one is downright depressing. I mean it is beautifully written, but it also ruins your day. And makes you cry. And eat lots of chocolate to cope with your feelings. 4/5 The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffman Now, here we have a famous story I have never read before. I know adaptations of it, but it has been on my list for ages and now I finally read it. In English, which is kind of funny to me because the original is German and I am German. Whatever. It is so imaginative and wonderfully written, though I was irritated by some of the character's ages. I admit I am maybe a bit too attached to the first movie adaptation of it I have ever seen and the one that introduced me to the story, to fully enjoy it the way I would have without a previously formed opinion (talking about The Nutcracker Prince btw). 4/5 The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dike The story of a fourth Wise Man on his way to meet Jesus (that also reminds me of a movie) who goes through a lot of detours to finally reach his destination. I'll be honest, though it is competently written, I just didn't care for it and started to skip pages. Papa Panov's Special Christmas by Leo Tolstoy Another story about kindness and gratitude. It sweet, though not the best of this kind within this collection. 3/5 Reginald's Christmas Revel by Saki One of those I started to forget while reading it. It didn't feel very Christmassy to me and sort of random. 2/3 The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde First of, I love Oscar Wilde. Second, this is not my favorite of his stories. It has a heavy focus on religion and yet doesn't feel Christmassy at all. It feels a little bit out of place within this collection and the only thing remotely about Christmas seems to be that it is set in winter. It is an okay-ish story, but sadly nothing more. 3/5 The Steadfest Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen Let the torture begin anew! Again, this is a very popular and well-known fairytale, so I don't feel the need to explain it. I have this weird attachment to this story. When I was a kid I owned this VHS with several fairytale cartoons on it and this was one of the stories and I watched it a lot. I don't even know why, but something about it just touched me. Like I said, I'm an Andersen Masochist. 5/5 The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter I will sound like the worst Literature Student in history now, but she wrote other things than Peter Rabbit? Honestly, that's the only stuff she wrote I know. Anyway, it's a sweet little story about a kind Tailor who is rewarded for his kindness when a bunch of mice comes to his help. It strangely reminded me of Disney's Cinderella. Very sweet story. 4/5 Tilly's Christmas by Louisa May Alcott My dearest Alcott Fans, you can put your pitchorks away now, I liked this one! Hooray! The story of a sweet and good-hearted, yet poor girl who helps a hurt bird on Christmas and it turns out to be a fairy bird who rewards her for her selflessness. It is just a very sweet story with a great message. 4/5 So, that's it. If you took time to read all this...why? Don't you have better things to do? No, j/k, thanks for reading this, hope it helped you decide if you want to read it or whatever. Also, I hope you all had a very nice Christmas and a good start into the New Year.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Not the 'Greatest' - in fact some of these are downright ... weird. If you want uplifting Christmas stories to put you in a festive mood, best avoid this collection. Best thing about it was that it was free to download.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shawneequa Sims

    Christmas Stories I chose this rating because the stories are childhood memories. A few I recalled, but the ones that were new to me made me thoughtful. Christmas is a beautiful time and the stories reminds us of that. It is truly better to give than receive.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Baird

  6. 5 out of 5

    Başak Aytekin

  7. 5 out of 5

    Arctic Flamingo

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sue Habib

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Jean bradbury

  10. 4 out of 5

    Judith Jenkins

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Toni

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jay Butcher

  15. 5 out of 5

    Henry S Schmid

  16. 4 out of 5

    Terri Cloherty

  17. 5 out of 5

    L.Hulse

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard D. Hilton

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Ames

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rp

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jinx:The:Poet {the Literary Masochist, Ink Ninja & Word Roamer}

  22. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Mosha

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tiruvalam Gopaal

  24. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linda Murdock

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Sakulich

  27. 5 out of 5

    Neva Gogoi

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Whittenberger

  29. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Wika

  30. 4 out of 5

    Viktoria

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