Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Twelve of the weirdest stories of Christmas

R. Clifton Spargo is the author of the novel Beautiful Fools, The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald (2013).

One entry on his list of the twelve weirdest stories of Christmas, as shared at The Huffington Post:
Leo Tolstoy, "Papa Panov's Special Christmas" (1890)

A widowed shoemaker whose children have moved away is lonely on Christmas Eve, so he rereads the biblical story of Christmas, confident that he would have provided lodging to the baby Jesus and his family. Drowsing, he recalls a pair of tiny leather shoes stashed away, the best he ever made, and vows to give them to the baby Jesus. Jesus appears in a dream to say he'll visit the old man on Christmas day. In the morning the streets are empty except for a street sweeper, whom Panov invites into his home, all the while keeping an eye out for his special visitor. Later he retrieves from the street a young mother with infant, preparing warm milk for the child. The infant girl needs shoes, but the mother can't afford any; and Panov must decide whether to save the shoes he's devoted to Jesus or donate them to this bare-footed child.
Learn about the other stories on the list.

Read "Papa Panov's Special Christmas" free online.

--Marshal Zeringue