"Festive Treats "is a compendium of tales about the Yuletide.
As with any selection box there are those that do not appeal so much, but like the last coffee cream in the tin, ultimately you find that it is in actual fact quite tasty when you get down to it!
I had read the Jeremy Clovenhoof stories by Heide Goody and Iain Grant previously in their collection “Mythfits”. Here they bookend this collection rather wonderfully. Fun and darkly funny, they are cheeky and cheerful!
Some of the stories are moving and heartwarming. The story of Mary’s lone Christmas, standing above the rest in the bunch, I feared another outcome, which is testament to the cleverness of how made the story unfurl, the resolution made me joyously happy! Margaret Egrot has written a truly beautiful story.
There is actually quite a fair amount of social commentary at work here too as we consider the darker side of the festive season, when family fractures, loneliness and hopelessness intensify. We try to create and live a “perfect Christmas card” holiday, coerced into enforced socialisations we would not ordinarily choose to engage in, or exacerbating our isolation when making comparisons with others.
Some authors cleverly play with familiar traditions or figures of the festive season.
Warning: Some very twisted minds are at work here, the Christian in me comically aghast at Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn for suggesting such a thing
All the stories are infinitely readable and all without fail are excellent advertisements for the further work of the contributors.
I suggest this to anyone who is jaded by the saccharin annual dose of Dickens or as an antidote to stale traditional Christmas stories of miracles and butter cookies, these stories have bite but are still delicious.
PS. I actually Adore Dickens and read A Christmas Carol every year…. Sickly sweet can be desirable in a Christmas ghost story!!