Friday, December 31, 2010

Simply Christmas by Pamela Dowd, Wanda Luttrell, & Christine Lynxwiler

I am not a huge fan of Novellas or compilations, but I had some Christmas themed ones and thought they would be good for the holidays. I was right. I enjoyed them both.

Simply Christmas is compiled of 4 stories centered around slowing down during the holidays and savoring the joy and truth of Christmas.

All Done with the Dashing by Pricilla Dowd -- Maggie does it all.. she cooks, cleans, shops.. she is in charge of making everyone's holiday bright. Well, no more! It is her turn to breathe and enjoy Christmas. She is determined to worship this season instead of work. Can it be done? Will her family help and will it really make a difference? This is a challenge to all of us "superwomen" who feel the need to do it all!

No Holly, No Ivy by Wanda Luttrell -- Loraine is spending her first Christmas alone and she is determined to enjoy it. After all she will have no frenzied cooking and cleaning and wrapping.. it will be easy and relaxing. She soon finds that easy and relaxing translates to boring for her.... but not for long.  her neighbor (a feisty Jewish widow),  the owner of a local shop she frequents (who happens to be Muslim) and an intriguing new minister in the area stir the pot and give Loraine a Christmas she will never forget. This story is respectful of the other cultures and beliefs shared without compromising the author's (and this reader's) faith. No Holly stresses the need to reach out to others and show them the love of Jesus, even when it appears they don't want it.

O Little Town of Progress by Wanda Luttrell -- Octogenarian Mary Martha is happy to live out her life in her late husband's dark old house caught up in past hurts and Charlie  Justice (Mommy-to-be) is stressing about her current circumstance... specifically the expectancy of her first child. She and her husband have a plan and a baby is part of it.. but not now! A chance encounter (is there really such a thing?) brings them together and teaches both to look beyond themselves.

My True Love Gave to Me by Christine Lynxwiler -- Penny is Mrs. Christmas.. she is completely organized.. has everything mapped out to a tee! But then her husband decides they are taking Christmas on the road this year... literally!  He has borrowed a friend's RV and is taking Penny and the kids on a cross country trip full of surprises.  He is beyond excited, but Penny and the kids are less than thrilled. In fact, they are wondering what has happened to a normally rational man.  On their journey they all learn that traditions, while wonderful, are not the key to a joyous Christmas. They will learn about true love and sacrifice and the true gift of the season.

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