Welcome to the fifth of this festive season's Tales for Our Time by L M Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. Tonight's story is The Falsoms' Christmas Dinner - a good lesson in not counting your turkey before it's hatched, or at any rate served. Thank you for all your kind comments on these selections. John Wilson, a First Week Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, is ready to move to Prince Edward Island - but would prefer if it first seceded from the Dominion of Woke:
Mark, thank you for more L. M. Montgomery. It's even more special this year, since I made a long-awaited trek to PEI this summer with my family and explored everything "Anne". We all fell in love with the island and see why L.M. spent her life longing to return. The only thing that keeps me from wanting to move there is that Canada seems further down the road to Wokeville than the U.S. Sad, that.
Very sad, John. These are tales of a pre-woke land, and all the better for it. Following Elizabeth Bakoss' observations on the "thoughtfulness" of these stories, CrossBorderGal, a cross-border and indeed transcontinental Steyn Club member, adds:
Elizabeth has captured my sentiments, too, in her comments. I love the 'manners' taught and exhibited by the characters in these stories... the respectful, articulate communication between children and adults, and the values reflected in those interactions. Thank you, Mark, for the choices you've made for your Christmas Tales and for keeping the cultural values they represent in our consciousness.
That's a lot to do with why I picked them, CB. I'm not one to bang on about the consumerization of Christmas, but I was touched by these tales and by the fortitude of these characters in the face of life's vicissitudes. Thus in tonight's episode:
When Stephen had gone out Alexina cried a little, not very much, because she didn't want her eyes to be red against Stephen's return. But she had to cry a little. As she had said, everything was so different from what it had been a year ago. Their father had been alive then and they had been very cosy and happy in the little house at the end of the street. There had been no mother there since Alexina's birth sixteen years ago. Alexina had kept house for her father and Stephen since she was ten. Stephen was a clever boy and intended to study medicine. Alexina had a good voice, and something was to be done about training it.
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read The Falsoms' Christmas Dinner simply by clicking here and logging-in. Our earlier Montgomery Christmas tales can be found here - and a whole bunch of other Yuletide yarns by Dickens, O Henry, Conan Doyle, Louisa May Alcott and some fellow called Steyn can be heard here.
It's the Christmas season at SteynOnline, which means not just Yuletide yarns before you lower your lamp each night, but also this weekend's edition of The Mark Steyn Christmas Show, which includes a little bit of Dickens as well as the talents of comedy legend Orson Bean, Canadian rocker supreme Randy Bachman, and many more old friends.
Meanwhile, if you've yet to hear any of our Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. For details on membership, see here - and, if you're seeking something for a fellow fan of classic fiction this holiday season, don't forget our Christmas Gift Membership, which this year includes a set of three of our most popular Tales for Our Time (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Time Machine and The Thirty-Nine Steps).
On the other hand, if you'd like a book in old-fashioned book form, over at the Steyn store there are bargains galore among our Steynamite Christmas Specials - as well as an extra-festive gift for your loved one: a deluxe berth on next year's third annual Mark Steyn Cruise.
See you on the radio with the great John Oakley tomorrow, Wednesday, live at 5pm Eastern on Toronto's AM640 - and shortly thereafter with the sixth of our L M Montgomery Christmas stories.