Christmas Stories: The Bachelor’s Christmas

December 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.


  1. This sounds positively delightful! I must read it.

  2. I read this one and it kind of bugged me; I guess I kept thinking about all the serving class folks that had to work on Christmas to ensure his party was a success. But at least he seemed to pay really well. Also, his romantic issues were of his own making, which should seem adorable, but not really. He is, however, an entirely awesome uncle.

    • I agree on both points — the thing about making the servants work on Christmas bugged me at the time, and I should have mentioned it. And I think you’ve put your finger on why the romance bugged me — it’s entirely his own fault. But I love his family, and would probably read an equally long story that consisted solely of him hanging out with his siblings and their spouses and kids.

  3. I read and enjoyed this last night. I pretty much agree with what Mel said about the serving class who had to work on Christmas and yes, he did pay well and didn’t begrudge anyone the money he paid. All in all, it was a fun Christmas read.

    • Yeah, I think we’re all agreed on that. Part of me feels like if he was a real person he’d think about the fact that he was making them work on Christmas, but that it never occurred to the author.

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