All right, here comes the extra-long holiday weekend! Full of festive fun, family, and friends… or a host of other F-words: fatigued, forlorn, fractious. Maybe it’s just a blessed break from work or school. Or maybe you are working, either because you’re indispensable or just happy to take the overtime when things are quiet. Maybe it’s not really your favorite time of year, but what real choice do you have other than to keep your head down, avoid anyone who’s overly cheerful, and wait it out? No matter what, you’ll need something to read.
And since it’s pretty hard not to give at least a small nod to the season, I suggest this fine collection courtesy of MobyLives: 12 Christmas Stories That Don’t Suck. Leading off, wisely, with Alice Munro’s “The Turkey Season” (“When I was fourteen I got a job at the Turkey Barn for the Christmas season. I was still too young to get a job working in a store or as a part-time waitress; I was also too nervous.”), the sampler goes on to include:
“Christmas Eve” by Nikolai Gogol
“A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty
“Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor” by John Cheever
“The H Street Sledding Record” by Ron Carlson
“At Christmas Time” by Anton Chekhov
“The Burglar’s Christmas” by Willa Cather
“Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story” by Paul Auster
“The Loudest Voice” by Grace Paley
“Christmas Morning” by Frank O’Connor
“Crèche” by Richard Ford
and of course the Christmas story that maybe most universally doesn’t suck, “The Dead” by James Joyce
A little something for everyone here, be you Grinch or Herald Angel. Twelve stories for twelve more days until you have to start thinking about how you feel about New Year’s Eve. Happy reading!
(Photo from NYC Photo News’ coverage of Santacon 2011.)