Christmas with Anne is a delightful book of cheery holiday stories written by the late Lucy Maude Montgomery. Two of the short stories were excerpts from the Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Windy Poplars, respectively, while the rest were republished from magazines and newspapers. The collection celebrates the holiday spirit with a theme of generosity, giving and kindness.
The first story, from Anne of Green Gables, is the beloved tale of Matthew surprising Anne with a dress with puffed sleeves. Those who have enjoyed the initial Anne story will recall her excitement Christmas morning to receive such a gift from the quiet, reserved Matthew despite the misgivings of Marilla who preferred serviceable dresses.
The other story that I was familiar with was Katherine Brook Comes to Green Gables. In this section, Anne invites her fellow teacher, who is very lonely, home to Green Gables for the holidays. The two share a special time at Green Gables and the visit helps Katherine refocus to a more positive, happy existence.
The remaining tales celebrate a spirit of giving. The characters may be poor, lonely and far away from family but generosity improves their holiday experience: a girl makes dinner for her estranged Uncle and amends are made, siblings are struggling with poverty after their parents die and an Uncle takes them in to support their studies, a poor family takes in stranded travellers to find their table laden with gifts for their children in the morning. Each tale is a quick read and leaves the reader with a happy feeling.
I have reread the first 6 books in the Anne series over the last couple of years. L.M. Montgomery’s books are Canadian classics that everyone should read. The book cover shared that she had written 19 other novels (not including the Anne series) over 500 short stories and 500 poems. She died in 1942 leaving a wonderful legacy of writing for generations to come.