Dixie Darr

My Literary Advent Calendar, Day Eleven

In Uncategorized on December 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm

cather-christmas

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I have at least one friend who’s a passionate Willa Cather fan, so I chose this story for her. A Burglar’s Christmas is about a young man down on his luck on a freezing Chicago Christmas Eve. Another homeless man suggests that he go home, but he says that isn’t possible. He’s failed at everything and finds himself starving, cold, and desperate, ready to give up.

One thing he hasn’t tried is stealing, and he decides to give this a try before he ends his life. What does it matter if he fails at this, too, now that he won’t be around to face the consequences?

He sees a grand, newly built house that wasn’t there the previous year when he was in Chicago. A servant lets in party goers, and leads them inside to the celebration. When the servant leaves the door unattended, the young man enters and makes his furtive way upstairs far from the party. He helps himself to jewelry, then opens a small bag containing a silver baby mug, which he recognizes as his own. Stunned, he realizes that the house belongs to his family who has moved to Chicago without his knowledge.

One of the themes of Christmas is going home. That didn’t work out so well for Mary and Joseph, but if you find your way home, like the young man in the story, you may also find hope, peace, love and joy, the themes of Advent. It’s worth a shot.

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