About the book:
Where had it come from? Whose money was it? Was I to spend it? Save it? Pass it on to someone more needy? Above all else, why was I chosen? Certainly there were others, countless others, more needy than me...
Her reporter's intuition insisted that a remarkable story was on the verge of the front page. Newspaper reporter Hope Jensen uncovers the remarkable secret behind the "Christmas Jars", glass jars filled with coins and bills anonymously left for people in need. But along the way, Hope discovers much more than the origin of the jars. When some unexpected news sets off a chain reaction of kindness, Hope's greatest Christmas Eve wish comes true.
The first time I read The Christmas Jars I liked the premise, but didn't think too highly of the writing. I enjoyed the book, but it didn't move me all that much. I thought it was a nice Christmas book, but that was all.
This year when I reread it, I reacted differently. Perhaps it's where I am in my life now, as opposed to where I was the first time I read it. Who knows? This time around I enjoyed it even more. Oh, I still didn't love the writing, and it's got all the hallmarks of a good Christmas story: enough sweetness, some predictability and the requisite sentimental cheese. Some have said it's forced and contrived. But, I think it also has a wonderful premise: the joy that comes from serving others. And that premise is what touched me this time around.
Christmas stories, by nature, are short and easily read in one or two sittings. It's difficult to have fully developed characters in these short stories. The point of Christmas stories is to help the reader feel the Christmas spirit. The Christmas Jars does that. As you follow Hope's quest to find out who gave her the Christmas jar and, along the way, meet the almost too perfect Maxwell family, you have that involuntary, tender tug at your heartstrings: could you really not only start, but also give away a Christmas Jar yourself?
A sweet book you can read in an hour or so. I'm glad I picked it up again, and I see myself rereading this each Christmas.
You can purchase your own copy here. You can learn more about Jason Wright here and true stories of Christmas Jars here.
Personal copy reread 12/09
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I am having vision issues which are terrifying to someone whose work and interests lie in reading and writing. Because of this, I am falling behind in some of my reviewing commitments and ask for your support and patience.