Most people have their Christmas traditions. It could involve going to church, being with family, volunteering to work the Christmas shift while others celebrate, eating a sumptuous meal, going out for Chinese, exchanging presents, decorating traditionally, or enjoying seasonal music. For writers, one traditional thing to prepare for the season is to write a Christmas story. There are probably more Christmas stories centering around Jane Austen’s world than could be read in the entire month of December, and Summer Hanford and I have written three of them.
The Forgiving Season – a Pride and Prejudice inspired novella
Sometimes, expectations are not met… and sometimes, that’s a good thing.
When Elizabeth finds herself increasingly in the company of Mr. Darcy, she expects her dislike of him to grow. Instead, she begins to see a different side of the one man she never dreamed to care for. Meanwhile, Wickham plots ultimate misery for Darcy, but his plans lead him in a direction he never guessed he would go.
Miss Bingley’s Christmas – a Pride and Prejudice inspired short story
The weather outside is frightful, but that doesn’t stop Miss Bingley from dragging her sister off to a trendy new flower shop in a slightly less than modish part of London. What could be so important as to bring two socialites out in the cold? Why, Mr. Darcy is coming for Christmas dinner.
Unfortunately for Miss Bingley, a winter storm and her own arrogance combine to ruin her Christmas plans, but maybe the Christmas she ends up having will actually turn into the Christmas of her dreams.
Epiphany with Tea – a Pride and Prejudice inspired short story
Who would think tea at Rosings could be enlightening? Not Mr. Darcy. At least, not until the moment he realizes how to win Elizabeth Bennet’s heart.
Even after years of marriage, the memory of tea at Rosings is still fresh in Darcy’s mind, but can lessons learned then help him come to terms with the trials of today?
Epiphany with Tea is a story of love, happiness, understanding and cherishing the season.
To these, I will add an extremely brief Christmas sketch.
Miss Bingley’s Post-Christmas Doldrums
It had been a dismal Christmas for Caroline Bingley. She’d joined the Hursts in visiting Mr. Hurst’s cousin. Miss Bingley had been the only unmarried person of marriageable age. The extended family contained over thirty people, mostly children, who were allowed to be noisier than usual. She had put on a good face and behaved impeccably, but it had been a strain.
Upon returning to London, she learned the Darcys were there for Mrs. Darcy to replenish her wardrobe and learn about their London house. The Hursts took Miss Bingley for their formal visit to the Darcys, which was required by their marriage. Miss Bingley was faultlessly polite to Mrs. Darcy, who returned her politeness in kind. It was impersonal. No observer could have criticized either of them or known if they hated each other.
In contrast, it was obvious to even the most casual observer that the Darcys were deeply in love. Unfortunately, Miss Bingley had relentlessly criticized Mrs. Darcy before her marriage. Since Mr. Darcy had stated that his “good opinion once lost is lost forever,” Miss Bingley assumed that both Darcys disliked her. After the visit, she privately expressed that view to her sister.
“And that is the end of our interchange,” Miss Bingley concluded. “We might meet at Netherfield Park or when some other common acquaintance invites us both, but Mrs. Darcy and I will never be friends.”
“You don’t do her credit,” Louisa replied. “She has what she wanted all along. I believe her best revenge is to see you suffer. She will invite you to triumph over you. You will be able to meet people in their circle. Continue your politeness and make mild overtures of friendship. Don’t let her win completely. I don’t think you will become friends because she has demonstrated she can play the long game, but you are the sister of a close friend of Mr. Darcy’s. She can’t avoid you.”
Miss Bingley mulled over what her sister had said. “She is rather clever, but I won’t leave her an opening. I will talk to and about her in the kindest terms. I will give every evidence of enjoyment in her company.”
The following year, Christmas was at Netherfield Park. Miss Bingley was pleased that Mrs. Darcy greeted her with a smile that appeared genuine. Miss Bingley was surprised at her own pleasure. Did she enjoy Mrs. Darcy’s approval because her strategy had worked or because she liked Mrs. Darcy? Miss Bingley didn’t even know how to explain her own feelings. It was Christmas and she would enjoy the goodwill of the season.
Is it reasonable to assume that Miss Bingley’s behavior changed her own feelings?
What are your favorite holiday traditions, be they yours or those of yore?
From December 20th until December 26th, three of our books will be reduced to just $0.99 on amazon.com and £0.99 on amazon.uk!*
*Those books include The Long Road to Longbourn, Courting Elizabeth (our first amazon best seller), and one of our three Christmas Stories, The Forgiving Season (our other two Christmas Stories are Miss Bingley’s Christmas and Epiphany with Tea).
Click on a cover to view on amazon and Enjoy Today!