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The Romance of a Christmas Card by Kate Douglas Wiggin, Fiction, Historical, United States, People & Places, Readers - Chapter Books

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-My door is on the latch tonight, The hearth fire is aglow. I seem to hear swift passing feet -- The Christ Child in the snow.- Reba, the minister's new wife, was spirited, vigorous, courageous, and clever. She was also invincibly, incurably happy -- so that the minister seemed to grow younger every year. Reba doubled his joys and halved his burdens, tossing them from one -My door is on the latch tonight, The hearth fire is aglow. I seem to hear swift passing feet -- The Christ Child in the snow.- Reba, the minister's new wife, was spirited, vigorous, courageous, and clever. She was also invincibly, incurably happy -- so that the minister seemed to grow younger every year. Reba doubled his joys and halved his burdens, tossing them from one of her fine shoulders to the other like feathers. She swept into the quiet village life of Beulah like a salt sea breeze. Now she has a plan -- one involving a few small verses she has penned. For there are rebellious youths and some contention in the church that threatens to split it . . .


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-My door is on the latch tonight, The hearth fire is aglow. I seem to hear swift passing feet -- The Christ Child in the snow.- Reba, the minister's new wife, was spirited, vigorous, courageous, and clever. She was also invincibly, incurably happy -- so that the minister seemed to grow younger every year. Reba doubled his joys and halved his burdens, tossing them from one -My door is on the latch tonight, The hearth fire is aglow. I seem to hear swift passing feet -- The Christ Child in the snow.- Reba, the minister's new wife, was spirited, vigorous, courageous, and clever. She was also invincibly, incurably happy -- so that the minister seemed to grow younger every year. Reba doubled his joys and halved his burdens, tossing them from one of her fine shoulders to the other like feathers. She swept into the quiet village life of Beulah like a salt sea breeze. Now she has a plan -- one involving a few small verses she has penned. For there are rebellious youths and some contention in the church that threatens to split it . . .

30 review for The Romance of a Christmas Card by Kate Douglas Wiggin, Fiction, Historical, United States, People & Places, Readers - Chapter Books

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    I came across this 1916 Christmas-themed novella while on the search for online short stories about Christmas and the holidays, for the Retro Reads December group read. Highly recommended if you like sentimental, nostalgic stories about bygone days, but it has a few fun sprinkles of spice along with its sweetness. The Romance of a Christmas Card involves a spirited minister's wife with a penchant for writing poems and painting pictures, which she decides to turn into a little extra cash (her corr I came across this 1916 Christmas-themed novella while on the search for online short stories about Christmas and the holidays, for the Retro Reads December group read. Highly recommended if you like sentimental, nostalgic stories about bygone days, but it has a few fun sprinkles of spice along with its sweetness. The Romance of a Christmas Card involves a spirited minister's wife with a penchant for writing poems and painting pictures, which she decides to turn into a little extra cash (her correspondence with the manufacturer of the greeting card company is hilarious!), a couple of wayward young men who left town three or four years ago and are estranged from their families, and a selfless sister who's taken care of her brother's motherless twins since the day they were born (he's one of the aforesaid young men). Top it off with a dollop of small town gossip, affection and occasional cattiness. The ending was a bit too abrupt - I really needed a couple more scenes for closure, even though it's perfectly clear what's going to happen - and I wanted to slap some sense into the martyr sister and her irresponsible brother. But overall I really enjoyed it, in a nostalgic turn of the century kind of way. Free online here at AmericanLiterature.com (it' s also on Project Gutenberg, where you can download it). There are some sweet, old-fashioned illustrations for the story on both sites. And yes, I'm going to recommend it to the Retro Reads group. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    In Beulah, New Hampshire, one Christmas Eve, Reba Larabee, the minister's wife, is struck with inspiration seeing her friend Letty sitting by an open window keeping watch over her twin nephews. Reba intends to draw a picture of Letty's quaint sitting room and sell it to a greeting card company. Letty has been burdened with the care of one family member after another for most of her life. For the last three years she has had the care of her wayward brother David's twin babies. Unwanted and unlove In Beulah, New Hampshire, one Christmas Eve, Reba Larabee, the minister's wife, is struck with inspiration seeing her friend Letty sitting by an open window keeping watch over her twin nephews. Reba intends to draw a picture of Letty's quaint sitting room and sell it to a greeting card company. Letty has been burdened with the care of one family member after another for most of her life. For the last three years she has had the care of her wayward brother David's twin babies. Unwanted and unloved by their father, Letty does her best but she wishes David would show some interest in his own sons. As the months change and Christmas rolls around again, surprises are in store for the good folks of Beulah. This is a sweet Christmas tale very similar in vein to Lucy Maud Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott's children's stories. This one is an adult story, told from the perspective of adults, but with all the wholesomeness of the children's stories. It's a little less preachy than children's stories but still tells the tale of the prodigal son. The plot is predictable except the story ended sooner than I wanted it to. I really liked Reba. She seems to have shaken up the town a bit with her energy and liveliness. She and her husband have such a sweet, loving relationship. I felt bad for Letty. She never has an opportunity to be selfish or do anything for herself. The townspeople are amusing for all their narrow-mindedness. They're very much flatter versions of Lucy Maud Montgomery's staunch Presbyterian Prince Edward Islanders. The illustrations are beautiful. This edition has a couple of lovely color plates in addition to black and white drawings. The cover image is important to the story. If you like Victorian moral tales, you will probably enjoy this one too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This was a great story about a minister's wife who made two Christmas cards that brought her son and her friend's brother home for Christmas in this great tale of forgiveness. This was a great story about a minister's wife who made two Christmas cards that brought her son and her friend's brother home for Christmas in this great tale of forgiveness.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Morris

    This was such a sweet and delightful story! I loved the small town feel, the nosy, gossipy neighbors who think everything that happens is there business, the pastor's wife, and Letty. And Dick and David, though I had to think to remember which was the pastor's son, and which was not, pulled at my heart and begged for my sympathy. And the ending–yep, the ending was perfect. All together this was a lovely Christmas story that I plan to read again. This was such a sweet and delightful story! I loved the small town feel, the nosy, gossipy neighbors who think everything that happens is there business, the pastor's wife, and Letty. And Dick and David, though I had to think to remember which was the pastor's son, and which was not, pulled at my heart and begged for my sympathy. And the ending–yep, the ending was perfect. All together this was a lovely Christmas story that I plan to read again.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carolien

    A lovely, sweet Christmas tale to end the year. Reba, the local minister's wife, is a talented artist and has started to create illustrated Christmas cards which are sold by publishers across the country. Her cards are seen and touch the lives of various persons to bring about a hopeful ending. A lovely, sweet Christmas tale to end the year. Reba, the local minister's wife, is a talented artist and has started to create illustrated Christmas cards which are sold by publishers across the country. Her cards are seen and touch the lives of various persons to bring about a hopeful ending.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Reba Larrabee, the wife of the Rev. Larrabee, minister of the Conregational church in Beulah, New Hampshire, effects a heartwarming reconciliation between the generations in this charming Christmas tale, bringing two prodigal sons home to the village through her Christmas cards. The Rev. Larrabee's own son, Dick (Reba's step-son) had long since left the village, tired of his highspirited antics beings judged so harshly, simply because he was the minister's son. David Gilman had also left, after Reba Larrabee, the wife of the Rev. Larrabee, minister of the Conregational church in Beulah, New Hampshire, effects a heartwarming reconciliation between the generations in this charming Christmas tale, bringing two prodigal sons home to the village through her Christmas cards. The Rev. Larrabee's own son, Dick (Reba's step-son) had long since left the village, tired of his highspirited antics beings judged so harshly, simply because he was the minister's son. David Gilman had also left, after a disastrous and shortlived marriage, abandoning his twin children with his half sister, Letty (Letitia) Boynton. Reba's painting of Letty's cottage, used in two very different Christmas cards, brings both young men home, to the satisfaction of all... I enjoyed The Romance of a Christmas Card, finding it, much like Kate Douglas Wiggin's The Old Peabody Pew: A Christmas Romance of a Country Church , an entertaining and heartwarming seasonal read. As a minister's child myself, someone who is well aware that such children are often scrutinized and judged to an excessive degree, I found the story-line involving Dick Larrabee quite interesting. I don't know that the book as a whole really moved me that deeply - somehow, I could never really become that deeply involved in the characters' struggles, emotionally speaking - but it was pleasant and sweet, with a satisfactory ending entirely in keeping with the Christmas spirit. Recommended to anyone looking for heartwarming, old-fashioned Christmas stories with a New England flavor.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sterlingcindysu

    3.5 rounded down. A very short novella that is currently free for Kindle readers on Amazon. Written in 1916 and by the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, this is a sweet (but not too sweet) story of two women who do what needs to be done. The minister's wife has skills beyond picking the hymns and editing the weekly sermon. Not real sure if the moral is to be, or not be, a "prop" to help out the men. Surprised that the "good" card cost .15. That seems like a lot, but google says .15 then is e 3.5 rounded down. A very short novella that is currently free for Kindle readers on Amazon. Written in 1916 and by the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, this is a sweet (but not too sweet) story of two women who do what needs to be done. The minister's wife has skills beyond picking the hymns and editing the weekly sermon. Not real sure if the moral is to be, or not be, a "prop" to help out the men. Surprised that the "good" card cost .15. That seems like a lot, but google says .15 then is equal to $3.75 now. A stamp then was .02, equal to .50 now. I can remember my grandparents receiving hundreds of cards in the 1960s, and my parents receiving dozens in the '70s. Another tradition that is slowly fading. What did Christmas look like in 1916? Well, unfortunately--

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was a sweet, nostalgic story, but some scriptures were misapplied so that took away from my enjoyment. Anyway, I loved the many characters.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danette

    A sweet story of forgiveness at Christmas which all started with a Christmas card. I enjoyed seeing some of the characters from the movie, "Summer Magic." 2018 A book of my choice A sweet story of forgiveness at Christmas which all started with a Christmas card. I enjoyed seeing some of the characters from the movie, "Summer Magic." 2018 A book of my choice

  10. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Turner

    The Romance of a Christmas Card is a quick, sweet holiday read that makes it hard for the reader not to feel festive and appreciative for all the gifts in their life. Taking the reader to a tiny village in New Hampshire sometime in the early 1900s, this story is one of forgiveness, redemption and a powerful kind of love that makes anything, including a popular Christmas card, seem magical. Reba, the minister's wife in Beulah, New Hampshire, was a model of cheerfulness. After seeing a beautific vi The Romance of a Christmas Card is a quick, sweet holiday read that makes it hard for the reader not to feel festive and appreciative for all the gifts in their life. Taking the reader to a tiny village in New Hampshire sometime in the early 1900s, this story is one of forgiveness, redemption and a powerful kind of love that makes anything, including a popular Christmas card, seem magical. Reba, the minister's wife in Beulah, New Hampshire, was a model of cheerfulness. After seeing a beautific view of her friend sitting before her front window, candle burning and door open, seeming to wait for someone one lonely Christmas Eve, she decides to make a Christmas card using the image and send it off for publication. After another Christmas card - this one of the front of the same house and poetically talking about the folks back at home - is published they both serve to bring two wayward son's of the village home, both seeking redemption for the wrongs they have done and both finding forgiveness and love waiting for them where they left it. This short story is very endearing but, for me, the true measure of a great short story is when I leave it wanting more. More from the characters or setting or something. After reading this story I feel it ended well and I don't necessarily feel like I need any more. The characters aren't ones I will miss now that I finished reading about them, although I have to say that it was enjoyable reading this short snippet into a small, religious village blanketed in wintery wonder. The beautiful illustrations definitely added to the whimsical, old time feel, something you don't often find in books nowadays. It thoroughly put me in the giving, festive mood of the holidays, which is always a good thing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    4.5 stars rounded up. A delightful old fashioned story of the Providence of God and love, from the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. A great story for Christmas time. My door is on the latch tonight The hearth fire is aglow I seem to hear swift passing feet The Christ child in the snow. My heart is open wide tonight For stranger, kith or kin I would not bar a single door Where Love might enter in! 4.5 stars rounded up. A delightful old fashioned story of the Providence of God and love, from the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. A great story for Christmas time. My door is on the latch tonight The hearth fire is aglow I seem to hear swift passing feet The Christ child in the snow. My heart is open wide tonight For stranger, kith or kin I would not bar a single door Where Love might enter in!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    3.5 stars & 4/10 hearts. This story is already pretty nostalgic to me, for I’ve read it a couple of times and usually around Christmas, I guess! It’s quaint and very beautiful and humorous in parts, though I do not agree with everything. :) A Favourite Quote: “‘There is always so little spare money in the village that we get less and less accustomed to sharing what we have with others. I want to remind the people that there are different ways of giving, and that the bestowing of one's self in ser 3.5 stars & 4/10 hearts. This story is already pretty nostalgic to me, for I’ve read it a couple of times and usually around Christmas, I guess! It’s quaint and very beautiful and humorous in parts, though I do not agree with everything. :) A Favourite Quote: “‘There is always so little spare money in the village that we get less and less accustomed to sharing what we have with others. I want to remind the people that there are different ways of giving, and that the bestowing of one's self in service and good deeds can be the best of all gifts.’” A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “Winter had melted into spring, burst into summer, faded into autumn, lapsed into winter again,—the same old, ever-recurring pageant in the world of Nature, and the same procession of incidents in the neighborhood life. The harvest moon and the hunter's moon had come and gone; the first frost, the family dinners and reunions at Thanksgiving, the first snowfall; and now, as Christmas approached, the same holiday spirit was abroad in the air[.]” A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘Ossian said to Luther the other day: “Maria ain't hardly to blame, parson. She come from a gloomy stock. The Ladds was all gloomy, root and branch. They say that the Ladd babies was always discouraged two days after they was born.”’”

  13. 5 out of 5

    jenn

    Sweet story that has a classic feel to it. I reaally wanted more to the ending though instead of just eluding to what happened. But otherwise a quick endearing Christmas read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mela

    I did get to the end, and I liked the sweet idea for this story, but it was too short, and the conclusion too abrupt to truly enjoy it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    This Christmas story is the very definition of 'heartwarming' and 'touching.' If you're easily affected by the books you read, you'll certainly get a lump in your throat reading this one. Lonely Letty Boynton, who has sacrificed her own happiness and a chance at love in order to care for her wayward brother's motherless children, unwittingly provides warm-hearted minister's wife Reba Larrabee with inspiration for a Christmas-card illustration she is working on. The minister has his own troubles— This Christmas story is the very definition of 'heartwarming' and 'touching.' If you're easily affected by the books you read, you'll certainly get a lump in your throat reading this one. Lonely Letty Boynton, who has sacrificed her own happiness and a chance at love in order to care for her wayward brother's motherless children, unwittingly provides warm-hearted minister's wife Reba Larrabee with inspiration for a Christmas-card illustration she is working on. The minister has his own troubles—a son who quarreled with him and left home several years before. But Reba's Christmas cards eventually fall into just the right hands to bring unexpected happiness back to both families. Like the best of Wiggin's work, The Romance of a Christmas Card brims with honest sentiment and feeling, with a sparkle of cheerful humor to lighten it at the right moments. A real short gem of a Christmas tale! (Although The Romance of a Christmas Card takes place in a village named Beulah, as in Wiggin's Mother Carey's Chickens, and some of the supporting characters from that book (notable the Pophams) appear, in this story the village is in New Hampshire, not Maine, and there is no other real connection between the stories.)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    I wanted to read something Christmasy and this definitely filled the bill. It wasn't terrible, but it was too sweet for my taste. I'll take a little grit and gore, or even swash and buckle with my syrup, please! I wanted to read something Christmasy and this definitely filled the bill. It wasn't terrible, but it was too sweet for my taste. I'll take a little grit and gore, or even swash and buckle with my syrup, please!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Minks

    Aw so sweet! I loved the parallel story lines of Dick and David, and the pastor's wife reminded me so much of myself that it was awesome reading it! Aw so sweet! I loved the parallel story lines of Dick and David, and the pastor's wife reminded me so much of myself that it was awesome reading it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This was such a fun twist on a Christmas story. It's a short little story yet great fun to read. This was such a fun twist on a Christmas story. It's a short little story yet great fun to read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    This is the picture on my copy of this novella which was originally published in 1916 and this picture shows what it is about perfectly. My copy was part of the Family Christmas Library. 9x6 paper copy, 58pages, with a few illustrations. The author I discovered is the author of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" which probably only women in my age bracket ever heard of but many of us who are readers probably read way back in the day-just an interesting little fact. I'm sending this to someone who would This is the picture on my copy of this novella which was originally published in 1916 and this picture shows what it is about perfectly. My copy was part of the Family Christmas Library. 9x6 paper copy, 58pages, with a few illustrations. The author I discovered is the author of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" which probably only women in my age bracket ever heard of but many of us who are readers probably read way back in the day-just an interesting little fact. I'm sending this to someone who would appreciate it as their Christmas Card but I had to read it first. Quiet story, religious overtones and fairly simple; the ending was a little too short, even though the outcome was obvious it would have been nice if the author had filled in a little more detail.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Literary Chanteuse

    A very unique christmas story based around a small town and it's array of towns people. A christmas card painted of a scene from this town manages to bring it's former residents back and rekindle the love between them and their families. Heart warming and perfect for christmas! 3.5 stars A very unique christmas story based around a small town and it's array of towns people. A christmas card painted of a scene from this town manages to bring it's former residents back and rekindle the love between them and their families. Heart warming and perfect for christmas! 3.5 stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maureen E

    a sweet but fairly forgettable Christmas story from the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Masina

    This is a quick read .. I gave it a four even though it really isn't my type of book. Does all this goodness in people really exist ? Bah hum bug ! This is a quick read .. I gave it a four even though it really isn't my type of book. Does all this goodness in people really exist ? Bah hum bug !

  23. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: It was Christmas Eve and a Saturday night when Mrs. Larrabee, the Beulah minister's wife, opened the door of the study where her husband was deep in the revision of his next day's sermon, and thrust in her comely head framed in a knitted rigolette. Premise/plot: A minister's wife, Reba Larrabee, pens two Christmas cards; the illustrations she's drawn are inspired by a dear friend--and feature her cottage/home. The verses accompanying the pictures--well, one of them at least--is su First sentence: It was Christmas Eve and a Saturday night when Mrs. Larrabee, the Beulah minister's wife, opened the door of the study where her husband was deep in the revision of his next day's sermon, and thrust in her comely head framed in a knitted rigolette. Premise/plot: A minister's wife, Reba Larrabee, pens two Christmas cards; the illustrations she's drawn are inspired by a dear friend--and feature her cottage/home. The verses accompanying the pictures--well, one of them at least--is super sentimental and inspirational. (The other is more commercial and is more being pushed on her than true to her). The theme of this one is prodigal 'sons' returning home. My thoughts: I found the story a bit confusing at times. I'm not sure if the fault is in the writing--so many characters being introduced in tricky ways--or my own for possibly being distracted while reading. But the theme is that of 'lost' or 'wayward' souls finding their way back home to friends and family. There are two men--David and Dick--who make their way home to this community of Beulah during the Christmas season as a result of these TWO different cards. Dick is the minister's son; David is the brother of Letty, the woman featured in the card. He's left behind TWO children that have been cared for by their aunt since their birth.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marci

    My best friend sent me this old book, published in 1916. Old books have a feel to them that paperbacks can't match and that are very different from ebooks. It's the aroma and feel of old pages, the beauty of gold on cloth boards. I don't know. I love old books. Well, this is a very sweet Christmas story about a New Hampshire minister's wife named Reba Larrabee who finds inspiration in the view of her neighbor Letty at her window, so Reba paints and sells the idea to a Christmas card company. She My best friend sent me this old book, published in 1916. Old books have a feel to them that paperbacks can't match and that are very different from ebooks. It's the aroma and feel of old pages, the beauty of gold on cloth boards. I don't know. I love old books. Well, this is a very sweet Christmas story about a New Hampshire minister's wife named Reba Larrabee who finds inspiration in the view of her neighbor Letty at her window, so Reba paints and sells the idea to a Christmas card company. She paints another card that is even more popular, and together the two cards effect changes in the lives of several people connected with the town in positive ways. It's heartwarming and inspirational. You never know the effect you may have on someone else by a small and simple action that's motivated by good intentions.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mel V

    The Romance of a Christmas Card is a nostalgic, sentimental Christmas novella by the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. A Christmas card brings two wayward, prodigal sons home and brings about reconciliation with their families. This is a heartwarming, old-fashioned story, very similar to something by LM Montgomery or Louisa May Alcott. The story ends a bit abruptly, in my opinion, and though the author makes it clear what will happen, I felt that I needed just a few more scenes to close out The Romance of a Christmas Card is a nostalgic, sentimental Christmas novella by the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. A Christmas card brings two wayward, prodigal sons home and brings about reconciliation with their families. This is a heartwarming, old-fashioned story, very similar to something by LM Montgomery or Louisa May Alcott. The story ends a bit abruptly, in my opinion, and though the author makes it clear what will happen, I felt that I needed just a few more scenes to close out this tale. All in all, this story of forgiveness at Christmas time will leave you with a feeling of the nostalgia associated with a bygone era.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Danada

    A sweet old-fashioned Christmas story. You won't find "romance" here like you see in modern stories, no passionate kisses and jumping into bed. What you will find is love. Love between husband and wife, love between father and son, and the great sacrificial love of a sister for her brother and his children. You will find heartache and redemption. Anger and forgiveness. Despair.... and hope.... A sweet old-fashioned Christmas story. You won't find "romance" here like you see in modern stories, no passionate kisses and jumping into bed. What you will find is love. Love between husband and wife, love between father and son, and the great sacrificial love of a sister for her brother and his children. You will find heartache and redemption. Anger and forgiveness. Despair.... and hope....

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sally Andrews

    I listened to this on audiobook in the car. The reader used some crazy pronunciations, and didn't say vocally in character as well as she should have. But it's a decent little Christmas story. Nothing fabulous. Sweet and old-fashioned. I listened to this on audiobook in the car. The reader used some crazy pronunciations, and didn't say vocally in character as well as she should have. But it's a decent little Christmas story. Nothing fabulous. Sweet and old-fashioned.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Donna Huber

    I read the version that is part of A Christmas Treasury. It is definitely not the holiday romance of today but it is full of love and Christmas magic. I'm not familiar with this author and never heard of this story but I'm glad I read it. I curious of its history and what else she has written. I read the version that is part of A Christmas Treasury. It is definitely not the holiday romance of today but it is full of love and Christmas magic. I'm not familiar with this author and never heard of this story but I'm glad I read it. I curious of its history and what else she has written.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Pillatzki

    Heartwarming A tale of young rebellion and Christmas time reunion to warm the heart. God works his wonders throughout the years.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jo Ann

    This is a short, sweet, Christmas novella that is perfect for a holiday evening at home! I was so surprised to find it in Goodreads since it was published in 1916.

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