Blogmas 2017: Short Story Advent Calendar Day 1

For the better part of four years I have traveled into Calgary for Wordfest, a 10-day literary festival held every October.

This year I had the pleasure to take in the Happy Hour: Can Lit Unbound event on October 10th where I learned that there was a company that put out short story advent calendars.

A twist on the childhood chocolate boxes, Hingston & Olsen Publishing procures shrot stories throughout the calendar year and curates a box for readers of all ages to enjoy during the month of December.

When my totally rad best friend over at Token Thoughts on Tolkien purchased the calendar for my birthday I knew that my December was going to be busy blogging all the goodies that I was about to unwrap!

So grab your favourite hot beverage and find a comfy spot to read because the Spirit of Christmas Reads is about to take over!

Day 1: 

The Face by Laird Hunt

First Appeared: The Brooklyn Rail (July 11, 2011)

Print Length: 13 pages

The Review

My first thought of this short story is it was intended as a transitional piece. A transition of seasons, a transition of priorities, and a transition of ages.

What was once important at the beginning of the story became trivial as Mr. Aurelius unraveled the mystery of how one person recognizes another. Is it the hair? The eyes? The shape of one’s face? Or is it the way someone carries themselves that truly distinguishes them from another?

While the story is by no means jolly, given the fact that Mr. Aurelius is recalling a murder he worked on during his days as a police officer, it still held a surreal quality in the writing that made me look at it as an almost morbid take on a holiday classic (think more Die Hard and less Miracle on 34th Street).

All in all, a bizarre and yet attention catching outing for the Short Story Advent Calendar, check back tomorrow for my thoughts and opinions on Day 2.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

_ _ _

Purchase Links for Short Story Advent Calendar

Hingston and Olsen 



  1. midnightamythest

    The start of this charming story, with leaf raking on a cold windless day transitioning to story time with the elderly, leaves one feeling wistful. [In complete opposite to this story, the windy weather outside here gave me a headache that prevented my reading of this tale until now.]
    The murder mystery was an unexpected centre point of the story with an interesting twist and a cute ending (though I can say that I saw it coming). I enjoyed the simple interactions between boy and old man, and it gave just enough backstory to give depth and understanding to each character.
    4 stars just for the ending.


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