A Holly-Jolly Book Box

I love planning.

Planning is my favorite.

When you have a book box biz, loving to plan is convenient because part of your job involves reading ahead, scouting the literary horizon for stories that hit the literary sweet spot - like the lovely collection of them I'm highlighting inside December's Holly-Jolly Book Box.

"Holly" because it's full of Christmas.

This year's Pretty Literate book box for December centers around a collection of short stories by one of Victorian England's beloved novelists - Anthony Trollope. In addition to penning a whopping 47 novels, the satire-wielding writer also enjoyed writing short stories, five of which are featured in this month's December Book Box.

Christmas at Thompson Hall (1877) is the title short story, a witty tale about a husband and wife traveling home via rail to spend the holidays with their family. A series of mishaps ensues, leading the reader on a fun misadventure in the process.

Christmas Day at Kirkby Cottage (1870) is "a gentle story of misunderstandings, pride, generosity and the true spirit of Christmas," according to Jacqui at Jacqui Wine's Journal. This one is a soft love story set in the most wonderful season of the year.

The Mistletoe Bough (1861) is a fun look at courtship gone awry during what is supposed to be the jolliest time of the year. 

The Two Generals (1863) is a heartbreaking Christmas story of two brothers, both generals on different sides of America's Civil War. 

Not if I Know It (1847) is a Christmas story centered around forgiveness and reconciliation, a theme we readily associate with the season in which it is set.

"Jolly" because the stories will keep you ho-ho-ho-ing until the end.

Christmas at Thompson Hall is the short story that introduced me to Anthony Trollope's writing and I still shake my head and give a giggle when I think about that train ride home to Thompson Hall.

And I know you will, too!

If you're fond of Christmas classics full of family, misunderstandings, travel, love, and a half-dozen other Christmas Story Tropes, you will love the assortment this Penguin Christmas Classics offers!

What's Inside?

In addition to featuring five of Trollope's beloved Christmas short stories (He penned eight, in all.) presented in a beautiful hardcover edition (complete with dust jacket), December's Book Box includes

  • two clever novel treasures from the title short story
  • a couple of tidbits and treats to make your Christmas reading cozier
  • a bonus keepsake to remember your time with Trollope for years to come

Set yourself up for a holly jolly holiday to remember and gift yourself a little reading self-care this holiday season with December's Book Box.


  • I guessed what was going to happen pretty early on in the Thompson Hall story- talk about an awkward family gathering! I LOVED the Kirkby Cottage story so much- it reminded me of some of my favorite romance writers. I loved the beautiful treasure and have incorporated it in my decor already.

    Lynda A.
  • I am enjoying reading this special Christmas book. I am taking a month off from writing so I am immersing myself in Christmas stories. I am saving the bonus keepsake to open on Christmas morning and also the gift from you. Thank you so very much for taking such good care of all of us. Prayers sent for all blessings you need and want this special season. Love you dear Ericka.
    Happy birthday time for sweet Jesus.


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