Friday, November 27, 2015

Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Nothing is more beautiful than family
For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure, the ornaments were strange-looking--some were downright ugly--but they were tradition.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan's only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments . . .

My Thoughts:
Name one thing I do that’s  important or essential. One thing I do that makes a difference.”  (p. 45)

Judith really took an extreme view of her role of wife and mother when her children can’t make it home for Christmas.  Depression is a real response to the holiday season for many.  Whether it is the natural progression of children leaving home, the death of a spouse, divorce…there are many things that change the trajectory of family traditions, and the first encounter with that change sometimes hits harder than planned.

I could identify with many of Judith’s emotions, because the first couple of holidays after my divorce – especially when I was alone – were emotionally difficult.  Dan Walsh deals with these emotions realistically in his latest novella, Keeping Christmas.  His solution revealed a selflessness that many wish could be found in their spouse during the holidays! J 

This was a touching story, and a stark reminder that if our review remains focused on our unmet expectations instead of others, we will always be disappointed and depressed by the holiday season.  I know I’ve discovered the only way through many, if not all, of these emotions is to focus on serving others.  That’s what the holidays are supposed to look like anyway.  Merry Christmas!

About the Author:
Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Dance and The Promisewith Gary Smalley, as well as The Unfinished GiftThe Discovery, and The Reunion. He has won three Carol Awards, and two of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year for 2011 and 2012. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit for more.

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