Close to her pioneer ancestry in Iowa of a generation ago, Bess Streeter Aldrich still retains some of that earthy, homespun flavor of storybook Christmases of not so long ago, the kinds of Christmases that make even the most hardened acknowledge the pull of sentiment. Here is a collection of her Christmas stories,- some of them contemporary, many with old people (kindly, warm- hearted, rich in memory) as central characters, some of them might-be-true stories of the past, going back to the soddies of the western prairies, the mushrooming small towns, the spirit of Christmas integral to each one, no matter how simple. Short stories for family reading aloud. For their essential flavor try two or three of them,- Star Across the Tracks, Another Brought Gifts, The Drum Goes Dead. A final I Remember gives an autobiographical feel to the whole. Sentimental- some will say; yes, but isn't Christmas the season for it?