Sunday, March 12, 2017

*Review* Politically Correct Holiday Stories by James Finn Garner

Genre: Holiday Humor
Published: October 1, 1995
Pages: 99


Whether your favorite holiday story is "A Christmas Carol", "The Story of Hanukkah", or "'Twas the Night Before Christmas", you'll find it transformed to reflect current sensibilities in Politically Correct Holiday Stories. Injecting our popular holiday fables with a modern perspective is no easy task, but someone had to do it -- and who better than the proven master of cultural sensitivity? James Finn Garner joyfully frees these holiday tales from sexism, ageism, religious imperialism, and every other sorry vestige of our flawed, low-consciousness past.So gather the family (whether traditional, dysfunctional, co-dependent, or otherwise) around the hearth, and read aloud these tales as they should have been told the first time.


This is a collection of stories that I read back in high school and really enjoyed. Rereading it as a very liberally minded adult immediately following the 2016 election, it provided just the levity I needed, while also fulfilling my need for holiday cheer. 

So I understand that these stories are actually making fun of political correctness, which should leave me feeling appalled right? But it doesn't. Because when political correctness is taken to the level that it is in these stories, it should be made fun of. Also, I have a sense of humor and can laugh at myself. 

My favorite tale from this collection is easily "'Twas the Night Before Solstice." I even used this poem for poetry readings for forensics in high school (which is like dramatic speech competitions. Other things you could compete in included dramatic monologue and improvised duet acting, as well as several other things.) I think I probably like this poem best because it sticks to the original most closely. The rhyming is on point, and it flows well while making "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" uber politically correct. 

Garner's take on A Christmas Carol was quite enjoyable as well though. Honestly, I think he ended the story far more realistically than Dickens did, at least for a current miserly businessman like Scrooge. Seriously, would one night of ghosts suddenly make you change your ways when you could wake up believing that it had all been a dream all along? I don't think it would make me change my ways, and I like to think that I'm a fairly decent person. So Garner's take is just better, in my not-so-humble opinion. 

Overall I give Politically Correct Holiday Stories 5 out of 5 stars because I enjoyed it just as much upon rereading as I did the first time around. Any book for which that is true must be a winner. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

James Finn Garner is a writer and performer whose last two books, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories and Once Upon A More Enlightened Time, are international bestsellers. Called "a master of the tour de force" by The Washington Post and a "smart-alec, mealy-mouthed creep" by The London Daily Telegraph, Garner feels the truth lies somewhere in between. He lives in Chicago with his wife/lifemate and their pre-adult.

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