The U.S. was in the grip of the great depression. December 1932, two families were still reeling the devastating loss of loved ones the year before. Julia and Samuel Wortham and their 3 children felt very blessed. A sweet elderly woman named Emma Graham had brought them into her home. Just a few days before Christmas, 1931 Emma and Wila Hammond tragically died. Wila left 10 motherless children. George, their alcoholic father was so filled with grief he disappeared and tried to take his life. One year later at the same time both families are still in heavy in grief. George goes missing again and everyone fears the worst. All 10 children appear or the Wortham’s doorstep. Three of the children are ill. As Christmas quickly approaches, Julia courageously works to nurse the sick, feed the brood, and entertain 13 children, trying to keep their minds off their father and the anniversary of their mother’s death. With no money she directs their focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Please don’t be put off by the sadness. This book is a beautiful story of the simple times and joys of life. Though most were in poverty, the church and community pulled together to share what they had. Your heart will be warmed and inspired. The children had no toys but Julia had paper, crayons, glue and scissors. With these small things she helped the children create a paper nativity that became their daily center of attention. Her strong faith in the Lord brought hope. Meager supplies became cookies, fruit bread and meals. With the patience of Job, Julia loved, comforted, and consoled each one although she herself struggled. Her creativity out of scraps and odds and ends provided gifts for all the children. Such a difference in the expensive presents expected now. It all centers on God’s miraculous provision at all times. This is a beautiful Christmas story. A keeper and a 5 star book! You want to read it, trust me! The story that leads up to this one is Emma’s Gift by the same author. Another great book!