Australian Christmas stories were an early specialty for Mary Grant Bruce. She was responsible for the weekly Children’s Corner section of The Leader newspaper for fifteen years.
Mary Grant Bruce also usually wrote one or more special short stories for the Christmas edition. Some tales were just for children. And she wrote yarns for adults as well. She left The Leader after her career as a novelist took off. More of her Christmas stories were published in later years, though.
The overall result is a considerable body of works, including many real gems. Almost all of them have a distinctively Australian flavour, as well might be expected from this most Australian of authors.
Some of these stories have been republished in anthologies over the years:
- Dono’s Christmas and Her Little Lad appear in Mary Grant Bruce: The Early Tales;
- A further six are to be found in Australian Christmas Yarns, Volume 1; and
- The Hammock is in The Peculiar Honeymoon and other writings.
The remaining stories
Unless stated otherwise, these stories were all first published in The Leader:
A Christmas Cinderella
A Christmas Fairy Tale
A Christmas Misadventure
A Christmas Peacemaker
A Coastwise Christmas
A Gift Exchange
A Pantomime Princess
Behind the Scenes
Brother Santa Claus
How Grandfather Woke Up
In Great Waters
Miranda Jane’s Christmas
On Christmas Stockings
Santa Claus, Helper
Santa Claus, Junior
Santa Claus, Mediator
Scared of Santa Claus
The Christmas Cook, published in The Woman, 18 December 1908
The Queerest Christmas, published in Woman’s World, December 1926
To Find Christmas, published in The Southern Sphere, November 1910
War and Christmas
A New Year’s Dawn (later rewritten as A Rider of the Sixties) is set at Christmas time as well, but it was published as a three-part serial, so it’s not a short story.
The Trustee of The Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust owns the extant copyrights on Mary Grant Bruce’s short stories.