Welcome back to another day of Blogmas Advent Calendar fun.
As we speak my car is warming up so I can make the perilous trek to the mall in order to pick up the last few Christmas presents still haunting my dreams.
Wish me luck friends, and enjoy my thoughts and opinions on the short story that is day twenty-two.
The Christmas Banquet by Nathaniel Hawthorne
First Appeared: Mosses From an Old Manse (1864)
Print Length: 24 pages
My first thought upon reading The Christmas Banquet was whether or not Hawthorne’s thesaurus got a workout while he wrote his anti-Christmas Carol story.
The Christmas Banquet tells the story of how, every year, the ten most miserable people in the town, that narrator Roderick speaks of, are invited to a Christmas banquet in order to both share their misery and come to an understanding that their brief afflictions will inevitably pass.
As this short story is told over several Christmas seasons, there is only one character that is shown through out, Gervayse Gastings. He was really a grumpy old bloke. One who, even though he had everything that a person hopes and dreams for, chooses to wallow in his misery.
I rather enjoyed reading a Christmas story that didn’t gloss over the fact that the holidays are not always jolly for everyone. But, even with the negative, I think Hawthorne was able to create an expert balance of going through the years and showing his readers that life’s hardships can get better if you only want to change.
However, I felt the inclusion of the skeleton bit, while it does work in say A Nightmare Before Christmas, to be a little strange. I understood what it was suppose to represent but when reading felt as if it made me picture something besides what Hawthorne was trying to get at.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
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