Christmas Stories: The Bachelor’s ChristmasDecember 13, 2013
So, everyone here likes stories about spinsters getting back a bit of their own, right? “The Bachelor’s Christmas” isn’t that, but thematically it’s a cross between that and Colonel Crockett’s Co-operative Christmas. As you can probably imagine, I’m super into it.
Tom Wiggin is the rare Christmas story protagonist who doesn’t have any major problems. I mean, he didn’t get to marry the girl he was in love with, and his servants sometimes break things, but that’s about it. He’s also an incredibly delightful person; when we’re introduced to him it’s Christmas Eve and he’s generously tipping his servants for Christmas preparatory to hand-delivering presents to his married siblings and their families. They’re all booked for dinner with their in-laws, and Tom isn’t invited, which is the problem around which the story is centered, but not an actual problem. And Tom is such a mensch that he’s using his lonely Christmas to provide another, less well-off bachelor with a nice dinner.
And then he expands his plan. He knows a lot of other bachelors who have no Christmas plans, and a lot of spinsters, too — all the members of his social set who never got married, including the girl he wanted to marry. And they’re all in their late twenties and thirties now — old enough to take care of themselves, as he puts it on his invitations — so he throws a Christmas dinner party, with a dance afterwards, and everything is great.
The ending struck a bit of a false note for me, but I still recommend “The Bachelor’s Christmas” unreservedly, because the rest of it is pure Christmas story glee.