Publication Date: 8 November 2014
Pages: 160 pages
This Christmas, I'm reading the Penguin Christmas Classics. Just like last year, I'll use a special rating system to give you an even better idea what this story is about and if it's for you.
CHRISTMAS FEELS: ★★★★★/5
ROMANCE FEELS: ★★★/5
Just like Trollope's book, this one is also a collection of several of Louisa May Alcott's stories. Though I reviewed each story separately before, these stories are all so similar that I'll post one big review.
The first short story, and the title of the book, is not as much that than it is an excerpt out of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This is by far the most known story in the book and, though I don't think it works perfectly well without the Little Women background, I loved reading it so I could revisit that world. It also sets the tone for all the other stories; this book is a collection about giving, caring and charity.
Almost all of the stories feature a young, unprivileged girl that gets her Cinderella ending. Rosa's Tale is told from the perspective of a horse, who can speak for one hour right before it becomes Christmas each year, and Mrs. Podgers' Teapot features an older and rich woman, but even the horse and the lady find true happiness at the end of their tales.
The cors of Louisa May Alcott is simple writing and a moral that pushes hard work and kindness upon the reader. While this is enjoyable to read (I loved Little Women), it does get tiresome after short story three. You always knows it's going to end happily and the seemingly interchangeable narrators who all want the same thing makes the story uninteresting. The main thing for me was that these stories feel very dated due to those two elements - I can imagine 19th century children loving it, but in the 21st century, there's just a little more that I want.
However, all stories do scream Christmas. They take place on Christmas day and really talk about how Christmas is more about kindness than presents and wealth. If you are able to share whatever you have, you will have a merry Christmas, regardless of where you come from, which is a beautiful message.