Sunday, October 10, 2010

The weirdest Christmas stories I've ever read

When Jamie and I got married and started a family we began a number of traditions. Some turned out to be more effort than we wanted, and some we decided weren't as important as we initially thought. But one tradition we kept better than most was to buy a Christmas book each year that could be read with the kids at the holidays. And as the years have gone by we've aquired some really good ones, but it's been tougher each year to find something good and a few have been real stinkers. Our favorites have been The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, Christmas Oranges, The Tale of Three Trees, and The Polar Express. Those stories always get read each year.

The Nativity CollectionSo I was kind of excited to see The Nativity Collection - six short Christmas stories in one little book (I know it's kind of early for Christmas books but I received it from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review on my blog). The first story, "Ollie," is about a family who discovers after they've done all their shopping on Christmas Eve that their car (and all the food and gifts inside) has been stolen. The tone is kind of Norman Rockwell and the ending was nice - not quite what I expected. But it was downhill after that. The story called "Poet Boy" was strange but okay, but the ones called "Over My Dead Body" and "Nativity Seen Smiling" weren't even entertaining. And it finishes with a story called "Sugarplum and the Christmas Cradle" that my friend Todd B. would call a "groaner" - such a lame punch-line ending you groan out loud. It doesn't help that while the stories are entirely fictional some are written as if they were real events. The photos that appear on most pages aren't even particularly inspiring.

I guess coming up with a great Christmas story must be difficult. We loved Richard Paul Evans' The Christmas Box, but weren't as impressed with his second effort so maybe a writer is lucky to get one really good one. I don't expect the kids to get excited over this book so I've also decided to find Dickens’s original "A Christmas Carol" (to go with the always popular Mickey's Christmas Carol). I would recommend the other books I mentioned above, but not this one unfortunately.


  1. Thanks for the recommendations! I have requested them from the library...

    I like "The Christmas Doll" by Elvira Woodruff if you're looking for a good one this year.

  2. I hope you like them, and thanks for your recommendation.

  3. I read "The Christmas Doll" and "The Christmas Box" based on your recommendations. I like them both, but preferred "The Christmas Doll".

    I thought of another Christmas book to recommend. It's a picture book called "Silver Packages" by Cynthia Rylant.