Published by Vintage Classics
Another short story, this time from the Stella Gibbons collection “Christmas At Cold Comfort Farm“.
Rhoda Harting is a writer, and spinster who chooses to spend Christmas on her own in her little cottage rather than going up to London to spend it with her friends. On Christmas Eve she shops for a chicken, a Christmas pudding and decorations for her little Christmas tree.
On Christmas morning a knock at the door brings three small children asking to be hidden from their wicked step-mother. Rhoda isn’t entirely convinced by their story, but can’t work out where they live, so she takes them in a spends the day with them. They eat dinner, light the candles on the tree and play games. Inevitable their father eventually turns up to collect them after a frantic day of searching.
This was first published in 1940, and feels free of all the pressure to have a perfect Christmas overflowing with presents and food. It is so full of nostalgia it might just be a bit too much after a big Christmas lunch!