Christmas Morning (short story)

Christmas Morning (short story)

Christmas Morning is a comic but poignant short story by Ireland's Frank O'Connor.

The narrator of the story is Larry Delaney, an Irish boy who appears regularly in O'Connor's stories, and serves as O'Connor's alter ego. Larry is a typical mischievous Irish boy who likes to skip school and runs with a rough crowd. Larry fears that, because of his misbehavior, Santa Claus won't be leaving him any presents for Christmas. His fears are stoked by his mother, who scolds him constantly and compares him unfavorably to his smarter, better-behaved younger brother Sonny. Larry resents his mother, who constantly pushes him to excel at school and frets aloud that he will amount to nothing, like his drunken father.

On Christmas morning, Larry wakes up early and finds that Santa Claus has left only a book in his stocking, while there's nothing but a toy gun in Sonny's. Since Larry has no interest in books, he switches the presents, taking the gun for himself and leaving the book to the more studious Sonny. He imagines that no one but Santa Claus will ever know the difference.

To his horror, his mother sees the difference instantly, and weeps that her son is a thief. In that instant, Larry realizes for the first time that there is no Santa Claus, only an impoverished mother who's been striving vainly to raise a decent son under miserable circumstances. By giving Larry a book, his Mother had been trying to steer him to success and a better life. By shunning the book and stealing the toy gun, Larry has broken his mother's heart, and convinced her that he will become a rotter like his father.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Partners in Crime (short story collection) — infobox Book | name = Partners in Crime title orig = translator = image caption = Dust jacket illustration of the US (true first) edition. See Publication history (below) for UK first edition jacket image. author = Agatha Christie cover artist =… …   Wikipedia

  • Miriam (short story) — For other uses, see Miriam (disambiguation). Miriam: A Classic Story of Loneliness   …   Wikipedia

  • Olalla (short story) — Olalla is a short story by the Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson. It was first published in Christmas 1885 issue of The Court and Society Review, then re published in 1887 as part of the collection The… …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas worldwide — Christmas around the world redirects here. For other uses, see Christmas Around the World (Bradley Joseph album). The Christmas season is celebrated in different ways around the world, varying by country and region. Elements common to many areas… …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas with the Kranks — Theatrical release poster Directed by Joe Roth P …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas Island boat disaster — A map of Christmas Island On 15 December 2010, a boat carrying around 90 asylum seekers sank off the coast of Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, killing at least 30 people aboard; 42 survivors have been recovered.[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas Eve (opera) — Operas by Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov The Maid of Pskov (1872) May Night (1879) The Snow Maiden (1881) Mlada (1890) Christmas Eve (1895) Sadko (1896) Mozart and Salieri (1897) The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga (1898) …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas in Connecticut — DVD cover Directed by Peter Godfrey Produced by William Jacobs …   Wikipedia

  • List of Christmas films — Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday[1][2][3] generally observed on December 25 (with alternative days of January 6, 7 and 19[4]) to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity.[5] …   Wikipedia

  • A Christmas Story — For other uses, see A Christmas Story (disambiguation). A Christmas Story Theatrical release poster Directed by Bob Clark …   Wikipedia