A Scandinavian Christmas – Short Stories

For my Christmas read this year I thought I’d try something a little different – some short stories (16, to be precise) in the form of A Scandinavian Christmas: Festive Tales for a Nordic Noël. I read a few an evening over a week, enjoying the idea of getting into the Christmas spirit in a small way each day.

However. This is where I have to say if you are looking for a heart-warming, happy Christmas vibe then A Scandinavian Christmas is not the book for you.

The other side of Christmas

While themes you might associate with the positive side of Christmas are here – such as family, kindness, forgiveness, religious overtones, relationships with grandparents, the overwhelming focus is actually on stories with a much darker and sometimes quite depressing message.

You might recognise a few of these

The set of stories are written in a timespan from 1845 – 2003, so there is a wide scope in regards to the tone and ideas. I liked how the repeated theme of nature crops up, particularly the Christmas Rose, which featured in two of the short stories and was about as uplifting as these tales got.

I appreciate that these stories tap into the dark side of traditional fairy tales, indeed Hans Christian Anderson does write a few featured in A Scandinavian Christmas including one that I do actually remember my gran telling me. The harrowing story of The Little Match Girl – but I didn’t realise it was written by Hans Christian Anderson. So maybe there is something in generations passing on distressing tales to make you appreciate things aren’t so bad? I mean, it’s heart-breaking. If you’re in need of a good cry, give it a read.

It was dreadfully cold; it was snowing fast, and was almost dark, as evening came on – the last evening of the year.

the little match girl

So, don’t be fooled by its hygge inspired cover – a cheery Christmas read this is not. BUT a delve into traditional fairy-tale style storytelling it most definitely is. A fascinating glimpse into this genre and great if you want an alternative Christmas themed story!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

2 thoughts

  1. I’ve seen this book pop up before, and felt intrigued to know more. It seems like it’s more of a serious read, but I love the idea of reading short stories in the lead up to Christmas. The cover illustrations would really stand out on a book shelf. I read A Christmas to Remember by Anton Du Beke over Christmas, and would recommend it if you like historical romance. 🙂 xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

    Liked by 1 person

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