• Various/Onna Carr

Bidding the Tapers Twinkle

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Post by Onna Carr

Bess Streeter Aldrich, best known for A Lantern in Her Hand, wrote a beautiful collection of short stories called Journey into Christmas . This work is one of my favorite of her works as it showcases Mrs. Aldrich's ability to create a beautiful and heartfelt short story featuring the people of the plains she knew so well.

One of my favorite stories from this collection, "Bid the Tapers Twinkle," is the tale of a matriarch, Sara Atkin, who prepares for her family's holiday return to the manse and in the midst of her plans finds that one-by-one each of her children cannot come for the holiday.

However, she continues to decorate, bake and in general prepare as she has always done because it is her tradition and she cannot bear to not do so as everyone in town from the grocer to her servant believes that the "troop" is coming as usual and she cannot bear to say that they are not.

At the end of the story, the family does arrive to surprise to surprise Sara as they did not want her to go to the usual trouble of preparation and did not realize the belief that they were not coming was far more tiring than any of the usual preparations. The story ends with the family laughing again at how one of them said "bid the twapers twinkle taire" rather than "bid the tapers twinkle fair," and all is as it should be in the Atkin home. To read this and other stories from this beautiful collection, click here.

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