Posted on December 6, 2012 - by Shari Barr
Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit faster than an inspirational story, especially one that can be read in one sitting, or several hours at the very most. I suppose I feel guilty curling up with a long book when I have so many other things I need to accomplish before Christmas, so I love those quick reads that really pack a punch and make me say, “Aah, that was so good.”
Here are a few of my all time favorites—a story picture book, a middle grade reader, and an inspirational adult book.
The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans is a beautifully illustrated tale for children and adults alike, though I wouldn’t recommend it for kids much younger than eight.
Many years ago on a bitter cold Christmas Eve, young Thomas is on his way home to celebrate Christmas with his family when he notices that the candle in his lantern is almost spent. When he stops in a chandler’s shop to purchase a new one, the candle maker sells him a candle unlike any other. As Thomas continues on his way home, he holds up his new candle to illuminate the face of an old woman begging for money, only to see his own mother staring back at him. Confused, Thomas gives her his coat only to have her face return to that of the beggar woman. The candle continues to trick Thomas over and over until he arrives home, cold and penniless, but richer in learning the importance of giving to those in need.
When sixteen-year-old Scott Reid meets an old man stranded in town the day before Christmas Eve, he invites the elderly gentleman to spend the holidays with his family. Upon hearing the tragic story of Scott’s sister, who has been in a coma for over a year after being struck by a drunk driver, the old man convinces the family to perform an act of forgiveness which inevitably shows them the true meaning of Christmas.
The Last Christmas Ride by Edie Hand with Jeffery Addison is based on the true story of five children growing up in Northern Alabama. Every year at Christmastime, the children ride across the family ranch in search of the perfect Christmas tree. When they reach adulthood and go their separate ways, two of Edie’s brothers are killed in separate car wrecks. The three remaining children grow closer and their grandmother reminds Edie that God is using her sorrows to give hope to others. The family tragedy continues when Edie’s one remaining brother, Terry, is diagnosed with a brain tumor. When Christmas nears, he asks Edie to fulfill her promise to him and take him on one last ride.
This touching story shows how one woman, despite her overwhelming heartaches and trials, remained true to her faith and never gave up.
Comment on any post this week and your name will go in the drawing for a copy of Shawna K. Williams’ Christmas novel, A Hand to Hold and a set of snowman earrings. Deadline: Dec. 8th, 11:59 pm central time.