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Title: The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Carol Bird is born on Christmas Day, a wonderful gift to the rest of her family. Her health is rather poor and never improves throughout her childhood. This Christmas, Carol makes it her mission to bring joy to someone else and chooses the Ruggles children who live in poverty in a small house behind her family’s mansion. Carol and her family make grand preparations so that the Ruggles children can have a magical Christmas experience.
I read this book some years ago and it’s one of my favorite Christmas stories. I’ll warn you, it does end sadly. The story is so sweet and old-fashioned, with charming drawings scattered throughout the book. Carol uses her last Christmas to bring joy to other children, and I believe that’s a thought worth sharing during the Christmas season.
Really, you have to take the story at face value or you could get caught up in a discussion about why the Bird family doesn’t provide aid to the Ruggles family the rest of the year. That’s a perfectly valid criticism of the story, but the story wasn’t really written as a manual on civic responsibility. It’s just a feel-good Christmas story which keeps everything surface level. The one redeeming point is Uncle Jack’s proclamation that should something happen to Carol, he vows to take the Ruggles family under his wing. Thank heavens for Uncle Jack!
I recommend The Birds’ Christmas Carol as a touching story that’s perfect for the Christmas season.
- In one scene the Ruggles children play “Deaf and Dumb Asylum”
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…