by Elizabeth Goudge
Boston: David Godine, 2008 (reprint)
"Christmas in July" is a commonplace expression but Christmas in May is even better if it shows up in the form of Elizabeth Goudge's timeless story. Polly Flowerdew wants to leave the doors open at her aunts' house for Christmas Eve so whoever comes may enter (they always left them open in the country when her parents were alive). The Aunts, having no man about the house to protect them, refuse. But Polly figures out a way to let three wise men in, even though the door is bolted against them and when Christmas morning arrives, so do three ships, bearing a most remarkable gift. Lovely in its telling, I Saw Three Ships is a tender, cheerful delight, any time of year.