I’ve been wanting to share for the past week about this little gem of a Christmas story I re-read last week, and I’m finally getting around to it. 🙂 First published in 1916, The Romance of a Christmas Card by Kate Douglas Wiggin is the sweet story of a how a hand-drawn Christmas card brings home two prodigal sons to their families. Dick Larrabee is a local pastor’s son who could never live up to what his father’s parisioners thought he should be, so he left home to make his own way in the world. Dick’s friend David Gilman followed Dick’s lead and ended up with the same reputation. However, David “married in haste” but only had to “repent at leisure” long enough for his wife to give birth to twins and then die. He promptly left town, leaving his babies under the care of his dutiful and loving half-sister, Letty. This is a very short novel (more of a short story or novella, really), so I don’t want to give anything away. If you like old fashioned stories with a little bit of romance, this is a cozy little story to curl up with and enjoy by the light of your fireplace (or your Christmas tree). I think I first read this story as a an older teenager; I think it would be perfect for girls, especially, from about age twelve or thirteen and up.
I have to mention, too, that Kate Douglas Wiggin is the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, a book I greatly enjoyed as a youngster. I haven’t read it in a while, but I’d like to revisit it. Wiggin also wrote The Bird’s Christmas Carol, a title I’ve heard before but never read. Has anyone read it? The short author biography at the back of my paperback copy of The Romance of a Christmas Card (which looks nothing like the book above, I’m sad to say) states that Wiggin “argued for wholesomeness, not hypocrisy, in fiction.” For all its sweetness, I would say that this Christmas story passes the test, and I can only assume her others stories do, too.