Home for Christmas is a lovely, literary collection of stories, old and new, that highlight the “spirit” of Christmas.
Home for Christmas: Stories for Young and Old, edited by Miriam LeBlanc and illustrated by David Klein. Plough Publishing House, 2021. 339 pages.
Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12
Recommended for: Ages 10 and up
An unknown carpenter built a miraculous staircase for a chapel in the Southwest. A curmudgeonly cribmaker had a Scrooge-like vision one night and changed his ways. Three young men helped a town see the true meaning of the three kings’ gifts. A young man opened his home to the poor and destitute.
This lovely anthology includes stories from older, well-known authors, such as Elizabeth Goudge and Pearl Buck, and more recent well-known authors, such as Madeleine L’Engle and Katherine Paterson, alongside stories from authors you may not have heard of before, such as Ger Koopman. Most stories are short enough to read aloud in one sitting, and all are deeply resonant with books like A Christmas Carol: many characters come to understand the “spirit of Christmas” in a new way as their eyes are opened to the influence of the Christ Child, to the way their own actions have been affecting others, or to the worth of the stranger in their midst. View the entire table of contents on Plough’s website.
Highly recommended if you’re looking for some seasonal reading, especially if you have older children at home. Read a few each year, re-reading old favorites as you return to the book year after year.
Of possible interest is the distinct Catholic undertone to several stories; priests, mystical visions, and Mass appear. Other stories are more broadly Christian with relevance to both Protestant and Catholic traditions. All of the stories are very much in keeping with traditional Christmas fair, particularly older Christmas stories.
Overall Rating: 4.5
Worldview/moral value: 4.5
Artistic/literary value: 4.5
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Related Reading at Redeemed Reader:
Review: Easter Stories, also from Plough Publishing, is a similar collection; consider acquiring them at the same time!
Resource: Christmas Books Round-Up (lots of Christmas book ideas in one place!)
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