Monday, December 5, 2011

'Tis the Season for Holiday Reading

December is here, and Christmas is right around the corner. I always enjoy listening to holiday music, watching Christmas movies, and reading Holiday stories to get me in the holiday spirit. If you want to get into the holiday spirit, try out these titles.

Gaby Summerhill has a unique plan for getting her grown children together for the Christmas holidays. Since her husband’s death three years ago, Gaby’s family has not been together for Christmas. That changes, however, when Gaby contacts each of her grown children and tells them she will be getting married on Christmas Day. She tells them that the groom will remain a secret until Christmas day. The plot thickens as Gaby tells her children about the three (yes, three) wonderful men who proposed to her. Needless to say, her children are all intrigued, and their arrival marks a family reunion three years in the making.

Rather than a traditional Christmas story, this book focuses more on romance. However, the book also places special emphasis on the importance of families and the Christmas spirit. Also, if you are a loyal James Patterson fan, this book will definitely be on your holiday reading list.

Theodora has lived in her family’s Charleston home for 93 years, and she’s seen many Christmases during that time. However, she’s noticed that Christmas these days is pre-packaged, rushed, and not at all like the magical Christmas holidays of her childhood. She misses her parents, brother, and her feisty housekeeper and friend, Pearl. Pearl was the real leader for the Christmas traditions, and Theodora needs her now more than ever.

Theodora’s family includes her grown daughter and son, in addition to their spouses and children. Theodora loves her family, but believes they have no idea how to get along with one another, much less work together to have a true family Christmas. Christmas is the time for miracles, though, and Theodora realizes this the moment Pearl comes back to make sure this Christmas is as magical as Christmases long ago. 

Anyone who enjoys the memory of Christmas past will relate to this tale of rediscovering the true meaning of the holidays. The Christmas Pearl has just the right amount of humor, conflict, and optimism to make the story come alive.

If you want a story to get you in the Christmas spirit, this is the one for you. The story is based on the biblical story of the Prodigal Son. The story is narrated by Luke Crisp, the main character. He is the logical successor for his father, who founded a successful copy center business.

When Luke goes away to pursue his Master’s Degree, he becomes friends with people who steer him farther and farther off course. He tells his father he doesn’t want to run the family business. He joins his friends on a trip around the world (at his expense).  Unfortunately, the more he sees of his friends, the less he likes them and himself. Eventually, Luke’s  money runs out and so do his friends. Luke rapidly descends from a successful college graduate to a homeless vagrant .

Luke sinks to the very bottom and only starts to make his way back due to the kindness of a stranger. Luke learns the painful lesson about life and how choices affect him and the people around him. The themes in the story are part of Christmas- humility, gratefulness, generosity and love. Luke has to lose it all to realize how blessed he is. Of the three stories reviewed, this one is my favorite by far. 

Additional holiday reading you might enjoy: