Mistletoe and Holly

Classic Christmas Stories


Book Description

To help stoke the Christmas spirit and provide a respite from the annual blizzard of commercialism and family obligations, these twenty tales offer a heartwarming and enlightening look at Christmas from the perspective of some of America's most gifted and well-loved writers of the early twentieth century and before. 

Some celebrate traditional Yuletide sentiments while others present surprising twists on the Christmas theme or portray alluring characters involved in unexpected circumstances. Many take place in America, but some are set on foreign soil, such as in Italy and the Arctic. A wide range of social situations is represented (i.e., not all are about New York socialites discovering the true meaning of Christmas), and not every one has a conventional happy ending, but all offer compelling and original insights into the human condition within the context of Christmas.

There are well-known tales of love and sacrifice such as O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" but also more obscure stories from other celebrated but perhaps less-well-known authors. Writers represented include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jack London, Frank Stockton, Mary Agnes Tincker, Robert Grant, Edward Eggleston, Sarah Orne Jewett, Bret Harte, and many others. This compact collection of Christmas literary gems is a perfect gift and will be a treasure for years to come.

About Livshin, Julia

Julia Livshin is a staff editor at the Atlantic Monthly, where she evaluates fiction and nonfiction works submitted for publication. She is a graduate of Duke University and received her MA from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.