Friday, 6 November 2015

Keeping Christmas - Dan Walsh

About the Book: 

Stan opened the ugly ornaments box and pulled out the top three ornaments, the ones wrapped in green paper, the kids' favorites, and set them on the coffee table. He picked up the first one, the biggest one--Anna's blue pine cone--and began to unwrap it. Without thinking, Judith walked up, stopped him, and gently took it out of his hand. She wrapped it back up, set it carefully in the box. Then picked up the other two ornaments, put them in the box, and closed the flaps.

"What's the matter?" Stan said. "Did I do something wrong?"

"I don't think I can do this."

Nothing is more beautiful than family. For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure, the ornaments were strange-looking--some were downright ugly--but they were tradition.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan's only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments . . .

 My Thoughts:

If you have recent empty-nesters on your Christmas gift list, this could be a book they may be able to relate with. The first part of the book is melancholy and slow, but provides some necessary background. Even though I understand that this depression due to dealing with a stressful time is very real for many people, I was sometimes annoyed with Judith's obsession with wanting her children home for the holidays, it just seemed too drawn out. I appreciated the portrayal of the different feelings of the man and wife, as their dealing with this new step in life. While the wife struggled to the point of being deeply depressed, the husband is taking it in stride and seemingly finds solace and distraction in fishing with a friend. However, he's very understanding and selflessly gives up his dream in trying to help his wife through this difficult stage. Although the end was somewhat predictable, there were some unforeseen bumps in making it all come together. It's still a sweet read and a poignant reminder that the holidays are not always filled with joy and peace.


Book has been provided courtesy of Revell and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

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