Melody Carlson’s Christmas books have become a yearly tradition with me. The holiday is not complete without reading her latest one.
Christmas is going to be hard for elderly Vera Swanson in more ways than one. She sold her family home with all the sweet memories and moved across the state of Oregon to be near her daughter and grandchildren. Shortly after her move, the family had to relocate to California. While her new condo was nice it didn’t hold a candle to her large home she had sold. The holiday there included lots of family, friends, Christmas baking and over the top Christmas decorations. To add to her sadness, she didn’t know anyone nor could any of her family could make it home to celebrate.
Purposing to make the bests of things she decorated as best she could. While she was pondering over her dilemma, there was a knock at the door. Her neighbor’s daughter was standing there frantic. Her mother was sick and she needed help. Rushing over she finds the mother seriously ill. Vera takes over and drives her to the hospital.
This leaves her to care for 4 year old Fiona and her siblings when they return from school. The father is working out of state and cannot come home. Fascinated by all the decorations the little girl explores condo. She spots a handmade quilt is in awe. She exclaims that it is exactly what her mother would want for Christmas. She asks if Vera can make one for her and no amount of explaining the logistics of time and labor deters her.
Vera concedes and decides to advertise for other ladies to help. The group that responds not only has never quilted but was as diverse in background and personality as you could ever imagine. Suddenly her quite life is filled to the brim; teaching, quilting, and caring for 3 young children.
The story expresses the true spirit of Christmas in such a warm and loving way. All the character’s involved moved past their heartaches and problems to truly give and care about others in need. Vera gave not only gave of her time but of herself and in the process influenced others by her actions to do the same. The ripple effect she had on the other lives made me smile. We may all picture what our perfect Christmas looks like and we know it seldom is a reality. Ms. Carlson shows that no matter how flawed our holiday appears, opening our hearts can make it better than we ever imagined. After all Christmas is about giving. A beautiful story.
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.