“If my Valentine you won’t be,
I’ll hang myself on your Christmas tree.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Well, it’s that time year again – Christmas! While it’s my personal favorite holiday season, with everything going on right now it just hasn’t felt like it yet. We put up decorations, and that was great, but not quite enough. To that end I tried to search out some Christmas related stories by Lost Generation authors and found the following two that I’d like to share. I hope that like me they help you to get into the spirit of the season, or if you don’t celebrate Christmas I hope you can simply enjoy the prose work by two of the greats.
A Luckless Santa Claus by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The story of Harry Talbot, it is an early version of Fitzgerald’s classic formula of a boy who goes above and beyond in order to try to win over/impress a girl. In this case the girl in question is a Dorothy Harmon, who accuses Talbot of never earning a cent, telling him, “Why, you can’t even spend money, much less earn it!” When he is taken aback, she puts forth the challenge to give away $25. Harry takes the challenge but finds it much more difficult than he thought.
The Christmas Magazines And the Inevitable Story of the Snowbound Train by Dorothy Parker
Published by Vanity Fair in December 1916, The Christmas Magazines And the Inevitable Story of the Snowbound Train, is an early piece of writing by the inimitable Dorothy Parker. Written when she was 23 and working her first professional job at Vogue, it had not been republished until done so by the Dorothy Parker Society in 2017.
Full of her trademark wit, sarcasm, and judgment, it rails against sugary-sweet Christmas stories in magazines. While this one did not help me get into the spirit of the season, if you’re jaded on Christmas, this one’s for you!
You can read the full story here.
If you know of any other Christmas stories by Lost Generation writers, please leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org