Hello Tule readers, today we have Lynne Marshall writing a guest blog on her favorite holiday reads!
Thanks so much, Tule, for inviting me to blog on this very special day – the release of Their Christmas Miracle, my first Christmas book in seven years. Why did I wait so long? No clue, but I’m so glad I finally wrote another.
Enough about me. Tule has asked me to blog about some of my favorite Christmas books, of which there are many, so hang on to your Santa Clause stocking caps and enjoy the wild holiday sleigh ride.
The book that first influenced me was a very short one, and it wasn’t really a book, but a poem—a poem that had all the delights, magic and excitement of Christmas from a kid’s perspective. You know what I’m talking about – The Night Before Christmas by C. Clement Moore. That small book influenced me so much, when I grew up, I used to write a new letter each year mimicking the poem, but filling in my family’s news and send it off with my Christmas cards. Isn’t copying the highest honor?
Another book that illustrates the true meaning of Christmas, besides, of course, the story of the Nativity, was The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. What better way to drive home the point of sacrificial giving and the joy it brings. Out of love Della cuts off her hair, her one prized possession, to buy a platinum fob chain for Jim’s prized possession—his father’s watch—and Jim sells that heirloom to buy tortoise shell combs for her gorgeous hair. The story taught me about the joy of giving over getting, and I am happy to report I love to give gifts far more than receive them. Though don’t get me wrong, no gift given to me has gone without appreciation!
In my tweener years, one book that frightened the dickens out of me—notice the subtle segue—was another classic, The Christmas Story by Charles Dickens. In the three stories of Christmas past, present and future, through an extremely frugal guy who hated Christmas and felt forced to give, which made him spiteful to anyone who questioned him about it, and who needed to be shown the hard way, I was riveted, frightened, amazed, and washed with emotion. Make your kids read it, not just watch the movies.
As I got older, I was so enchanted by the classic Capra movie It’s A Wonderful Life, I wanted to read the short story that inspired it. The Greatest Gift (there’s a theme here, see?) by Philip Van Doren Stern came to him in a dream. A guy so down on his luck he wants to die, but an angel shows him what life would be like without him in it. Why can’t I have dreams like that?
One December, I decided to read as many books set at Christmastime as I could. I discovered Maeve Binchy’s wonderful book of stories, This Year it Will be Different. The lovely stories ranged from widowers traveling to France to get away from Christmas, to a young woman getting stuck taking care of “the old folks” in a nursing home on Christmas Eve. Each story found its way to the true meaning of Christmas. Such a delight.
Debbi Macomber has written so many Christmas books, all of them good, but one I especially liked was Starry Night – A Christmas Novel. The story focused on romance, of course, but also second chances and finding love and the spirit of Christmas in the least expected places. In this case, Alaska!!
Which brings me to my current favorite contemporary Christmas romance book – A Bramble House Christmas by Tule’s very own C.J. Carmichael. This poignant story’s theme was love and forgiveness at Christmastime. A family’s motive isn’t a good one for sending Finn to Marietta to find out why their father gave $50,000 dollars to a woman when he died. What he discovers is a little boy named Scout and his mother Willa, with an extra special reason to celebrate this Christmas.
These are only a few books I’ve read and loved over the years. Why not leave a comment with your favorites? I’d love to hear your recommendations.
Wishing everyone an extra early fabulous holiday season!