If you're ever looking for a short and sweet Christmas tale, I always recommend "The Christmas Angel" by Abbie Farwell Brown. It was first published in 1910, but it's an oldie that's a real goodie. I discovered it last year. It's available online here
, and if you like audiobooks, there's an audio version here
. Here's the synopsis:
"Disagreeable old Miss Terry spends her Christmas Eve getting rid of toys from her childhood toy box. One by one she tosses them onto the sidewalk in front of her house, then secretly watches the little scenes that occur, which seem to confirm her belief that true Christmas spirit does not exist. Then the Angel from her childhood Christmas tree appears to show Miss Terry that she has not yet witnessed the final act of each of those little dramas...
magazine in 1910 observed of The Christmas Angel
, "Not since Charles Dickens laid down his pen forever has there been a prettier Christmas story written, one more full of the real spirit of Christmas or conveying a more seasonable lesson."