Exception story quality

what are the best Christmas Stories, and is the functionary’s confidant worth it? no major spoilers please

How do you define “best”? Writing? Lore? Echos-per-action pay off? Possession gain?

I’d like the story with the best writing quality, good lore is a bonus

I very much enjoyed the writing of the only one I’ve played, which is The Ceremony.

The Gift has very good writing and absolutely essential(, shocking, horrifying) lore. I always recommend it as the one story you should play if you ever buy Fate. I played it when it was originally released 9 years ago and still vividly remember it.

The Empress’ Shadow is basically a sequel to it, also good (and quite funny), but less essential.

A Trade in Faces offers very interesting glimpses into the lives of some well-known NPCs.

The Ceremony is definitely something else. If you’re a fan of Rubbery Men, you should go for it.

Personally, I found The Marriage of Feducci and The Brass Grail rather disappointing.
While The Brass Grail has some interesting lore about Hell, it’s a basic click-through story that didn’t engage me at all. It also leaves you with an extremely silly permanent storylet at Mrs Plenty’s Carnival that I’ve done my best to ignore ever since.

If you’ve progressed far enough to have access to it, I’d also recommend The Poisoner’s Library at Jericho Locks, especially if (like me) you don’t want to miss out on anything connected to the Second City.

To also answer your question about the Functionary Fate-story (which is not Christmas-related unless I misremember):

I think it’s worth its price. It really has quite a lot of text. No action, just dialogue - you basically sit down and let the Functionary talk about his life. The plot is a very good example of the price people pay for falling in love in Fallen London. You’ll see the Functionary with different eyes afterwards.