'Christmas at Red Butte' by L.M. Montgomery
Short Story (1909)
Theodora, an orphan who lives with her poor aunt, can't bear her little cousins to be disappointed at Christmas. Little does she know what her sacrifice for them will lead to.
Lucy Maud Montgomery has a charming style, which is why she has won so many fans with Anne of Green Gables. This short story contains similar themes to her most famous works, and is like a miniature Anne or Emily of New Moon book, with all the added charm and atmosphere of Christmas. It is a complete little package in which the plot builds beautifully from sorrow, to sacrifice, to hope, and finally to the perfect ending.
'There had been one terrible moment when Theodora had sighed and told them they mustn't be too much disappointed if Santa Claus did not come this year because the crops had been poor, and he mightn't have had enough presents to go around.'
L.M. Montgomery, 'Christmas at Red Butte', Rosemary Gray (ed.), 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and Other Christmas Stories (Wordsworth, 2010), p.255.