Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Home for Christmas: Stories for Young and Old

This is the time of the year I like to read Christmas stories. A short story a day helps me get in the spirit of the season. I was happy to say yes when I was asked to review Home for Christmas, a collection of twenty Christmas short stories.

Some of the stories were familiar ones, like Henry van Dyke's “The Other Wise Man,” Pearl Buck's “Christmas Day in the Morning,” and Madeleine L'Engle's “Transfiguration.” Many of the stories and authors were new to me. Some are little-known European tales not available in English anywhere else. They were selected for their literary quality and their spiritual integrity. They are illustrated with original woodcuts by David G. Klein.

I found each story to be a treasure. It was fun to read again the ones I remembered from childhood. It was enlightening to read those coming from Europe and places like Siberia and Cuba. Some of the stories are much more serious in nature than we may be used to in America. Yet each story emphasis an aspect of Christmas, such as sacrifice, sharing or giving.

Some of the stories are like fables and may be a little different than what evangelical Christians are used to reading around Christmas time. In a couple of stories, the Christ child appears. Some stories are decidedly Roman Catholic in nature, with bleeding statues. These stories are not ones that necessarily share the gospel. They are literary stories about Christmas (or the Christmas spirit) from around the world.

I was disappointed that there was no information about the background or author of each story. A little history would have helped me enjoy them more.

This is a good collection of stories that will give a broader appreciation of the worldwide meaning of Christmas through short story.

Plough Publishing House, 339 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Handlebar for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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