The Christmas Banquet. Nathaniel HawthorneDon′t let the title fool you, this isn′t a cheery Christmas story. Published in Hawthorne′s short story collection, Mosses from an Old Manse (1846). This is a story within a story, about an eccentric, melancholy old man whose last will and testament bequested an annual and forever Christmas banquet party "for ten of the most miserable persons that could be found." Every year there attended the guest named Gervayse Hastings.