Another Christmas

A Story

by William Trevor
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This is a heart-rending story, not a typical heart-warming Christmas one. It is so because Christmas is not always good for everyone, whether they have been shunned, or have shunned their own selves. In this story, we see a lonely man avoid camaraderie and Christmas cheer because he took offense at something said about the violence in Northern Ireland, a complicated and touchy subject, even more so for the Irish in England. A good man might have said what Dermot said, and then apologized, realizing it might well be the truth, but hurtful to their landlord and friend. Realizing finally that perhaps he'd caused Mr. Joyce's absence, he should rise above his bitter "truth be told" rationalizations. It's an Irish story, that it is, and sad as many are, but a thought-provoking tale. Indeed, the "troubles" could be said to have been prolonged and worsened by attitudes like Dermot's, however objective he thinks he is being - meaning: how we are ourselves.