Continuing with the Christmas theme of my writings, my latest Goodreads review, and fourteenth book read for the year, The Baby-Sitters Club #92: Mallory’s Christmas Wish.
Mallory’s Christmas Wish by Ann M. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s Christmas in Stoneybrook, and the Baby-Sitters Club is celebrating!
Not to sound like a broken record, but leaving off at book #88 and knowing that I never actually got to read a Christmas-centric BSC story during the three years I read this series bothers me just a little. And I come to find out I missed out on three (yes, three) novels that all revolved around the holiday. If these had come out prior to the summer of 1995, I would have had all of them on my Birthday/Christmas list (which was always the same list growing up, since my birthday is in October).
Anyway, this time around, Christmas comes to the Mallory and her family. When her sister Vanessa (the fourth of the eight Pike kids) submits a piece to the local television station about a good old-fashioned Christmas, as part of a contest for the family to be on television, the Pikes never suspect they would wind up winning.
Actually, they didn’t even know they were in the contest until the producer from the network arrives with the check and a contract. Here nor there.
The Pikes are surprised by their prize, and the opportunity to really enjoy a fun, very traditional, old-fashioned Christmas. What wears on them is the constant following around by camera crew, the staging, the public notice the Pikes get when they do something nearly as simple as pick out a Christmas tree or visit Santa. And when it adversely affects her Uncle Joe and his willingness to be involved in the Stoneybrook Manor Christmas Boutique (and possibly affecting the Baby-Sitters Club’s involvement), Mallory begins to fall out of feeling festive. And this is not ok.
As I’m obviously partial to the stories of the ever-enterprising Baby-Sitters Club, this one hit a soft spot for me. I love Christmas, but it is a stressful time of year already. The extra stress Mallory has to endure is unnecessary, especially for an 11-year-old. No one, real world or world of literature, needs the added stress of anything that deviates from normal routine. I can understand (and feel for) Mallory when she doesn’t feel the spirit anymore. I’m not sure anyone could relate to the fantastic opportunity to be on television for a whole news program on family Christmas (may someone can, but I can’t), but everyone could relate to Mallory’s resentment toward the holiday she loved, once it became too chaotic to celebrate.
As a Christmas story, this one is nice. It has a nice message, and definitely has all the appeal of “oooh, what if I had that opportunity?” feeling. Who wouldn’t want their 15 minutes of fame (*raises hand from behind computer*)? But, are you willing to let it cost you all the patience and sanity you are entitled to have at any time of your life?
I’ll make the recommendation – if you like Christmas, stories about Christmas, and the Baby-Sitters Club, this one is worth checking out.
So that’s two out of three so far, on to the third BSC Christmas novel!