Let’s take a break from politics with a few seasonal short stories that I have found on SalonTV. Only three are posted here, but you can read more if you want. (https://video.salon.com/)

“The Skirt”

It had been in her family for years, made by the grandmother of a grandmother or some such, no one was sure anymore, sometimes stories of the maker were embellished just like the skirt itself, trimmed with long-dull sequined Santas, stars, and snowmen. It had been a loved and cozy welcome under the tree for decades of gifts, and then somebody had the bright idea to give the kids a kitten for Christmas.

Elizabeth Crane’s latest novel is “We Only Know So Much”

It’s possible, he cried finally, closing the book and setting it aside, Because twelve months a year, slave-driven little men work 60-hour weeks nailing together a host of shit in his factory, plus he orders some stuff online—these warehouses are huge, you couldn’t conceive—and the way it all fits in his sleigh is MAGIC, and how he gets to all those houses in one night is MAGIC, and all you have to do is rip open the goddamn things, because he doesn’t even ask for gratitude!

Liquid amber sloshed from his raised glass onto her fingers, gripping the sheets; she didn’t find its taste as bad as you might think.

Katie Chase’s fiction has appeared in the Missouri Review, Narrative and Best American Short Stories

The child–eleven years old and the only child in her extended family–still seemed to believe in Santa, and this had caused the adults to divide into two acrimonious factions: wholesome Christmas cops who guarded the child’s faith with a zealous sense of sacred duty and a band of grumps who were irritated both by the pressure to participate in the charade and by the child herself for failing to see through it. So it came to pass that, early on Christmas morning, the child, who did not really believe but knew adults found innocence charming, watched from an upstairs window as her father, who had spread enough round black droppings from God knows where across the snowy lawn to suggest a visit from eight reindeer, and her uncle, whose lawn it was and who was finicky about things, came to blows beside the mailbox.

Maggie Shipstead is the author of the novels “Seating Arrangements” and the forthcoming “Astonish Me”

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