Thanksgiving is over! Almost. A few families will have leftover food to deal with. Some, like my family, will prepare a turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Saturday or Sunday so that they can experience the joy of leftovers.
Anyway, tis the season and all that. Yo ho ho and a bottle of … No, that’s talk like a pirate day. Ho, ho, ho, with no yo, goes along with tis the season.
I have a collection of Christmas stories on my Kindle that I re-read every year after Thanksgiving. This year I decided to share some of them because we all could use a break from the barrage of holiday-ness assaulting us from every which way.
I found these stories from a wide variety of sources; author’s newsletters, free ebook lists, Kindle special deals, personal recommendations from other readers and authors, and happenstance when I stumbled upon the book.
In no way have I received recompense for touting this book or any other I happen to recommend. I like the story and want to share it. I try to give a broad overview of the story so that you can decide if it something you would enjoy reading or not.
My Christmas Boyfriend by S J Crabb
283 pages, Kindle edition.
One of my favorite Christmas movies is an adaptation of the Dylan Thomas poem, A Child’s Christmas in Wales. It stars Denholm Elliott, who narrates this lyrical piece.
My Christmas Boyfriend could be subtitled; An Adults Christmas in Dorchester. England that is.
This wonderful story follows one of my favorite plotlines; boyfriend/girlfriend needed for the holidays, subtext; to keep the family off my back. Divided equally between his high-society Christmas wedding and her small village family gathering, we are in for a wild sleigh ride through an English Christmas season.
Annie starts the story out by losing her job and her day goes downhill from there. At every turn life gives her a kick and just when you think ‘Oh, the poor dear’ she gives a kick back. On the train to the family home, where she schemes what kind of life story she will make up to account for her current unemployment, her single-ness, and overall lack of prospects for either a new job or man in her life, she meets Liam and they commiserate over a flask of brandy. A rather bleary plan forms.
Annie leads us through the strange world of a high-society English Christmas wedding where she finds that Liam’s last girlfriend was the most beautiful, famous movie star of all Europe. Annie is snubbed by everyone but Liam and a few of his close friends, who know the truth about his former girlfriend. When the new groom, a slezeball of the first order, makes a disgusting proposition, she causes a scene. Liam is only too happy to leave since he never wanted to be there in the first place.
Oh, did I forget to mention? Liam is a high-fashion photographer, for British Vogue no less.
Still filled with her indomitable spirit, Annie leads Liam, with dread warnings and dire tales of her family gatherings, to her childhood home. Now, here there are references to an English TV show or well-known story, that I am not familiar with but will look up at some time or another. It may well be something like Ozzie and Harriet of our past, where her folks pretend to be Ozzie and Harriet. Her folks run a small year round—except for Christmas—vacation resort.
Mom goes all out for Christmas, dad is asking the strangest questions of everyone, her sister is a crime scene investigator with a homicide detective boyfriend, her gram insists on being called Lizzy and refuses to admit to being over 70 … And we are introduced to what I would consider a normal Christmas gathering. Mulled wine and/or brandy at the local pub, Christmas shopping for last minute gifts amid crowds that are all seeking the same must have children’s toy for the season. Decorations that must be found and brought down from storage, dad asking even stranger questions, an alarming amount of Brussel sprouts, mince pies and more mulled wine, a happy surprise among the carolers and odd, early morning sounds that come from Annie’s sister’s room when she is supposed to be alone.
This is a Christmas story that I am adding to my list of To Be Read stack that I open every year at Thanksgiving.