Fifteen Tales For Christmastide

by Alan Montgomery
Trafford Publishing

"This is for you. You see, the peppermint melts in the hot chocolate and makes it mint chocolate. Now that's a Christmas drink!"

This collection of fifteen short stories ranging from ten to a little over thirty pages is devoted to celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season. A magical owl who flies down a chimney to give an emotionally shut-off woman some serious advice close to Christmas is one such “magical” Christmas event. A young autistic boy who is a sledding fanatic meets the spirits of other deceased children after crashing his sled into concrete in another interpretation of the holiday. An emotionally troubled orphan boy’s life is interceded upon by a “Santa Claus” figure who magically transfigures his life at Christmas time. A mysterious “Jesus” figure intercedes on behalf of two teenage lovers whose parents beat and exploit them mercilessly, again right around Christmas.

These short stories are mostly religious in tone, with strong emphasis on character development, usually stimulated by some spiritual or magical power that intercedes during the Christmas season. One recurrent theme is that of romantically or emotionally stunted women who undergo transformations caused by a departed sister, talking owl, or faux “love potion” at Christmas that serve as catalysts in enabling them to either find love or the ability to express it. Other themes are the changes in characters who hold resentments towards other family members or even the celebration of Christmas. They undergo emotional healing and redemption through the magical power of the holiday. Churches are a favorite setting, with at least three stories set directly inside them. In the end, these stories serve as a psychological portrayal of human failings, wounds, and emotional scars that the author redeems through a Christian oriented intercession by some supernatural manifestations of the Christmas spirit. It is a unique piece of literature with many inventive and imaginative scenarios exploring this basic idea.

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