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Monday, September 1, 2008

The Santa Letters...Review

About the book:
One year ago on Christmas Eve, William died. For Emma, the hit-and-run driver killed more than her husband; he killed her joy in life itself. Now, as Christmas approaches again, Emma Jensen finds herself sinking into a depression that nothing can breach; not her job, not her love for her children, and certainly not the season. Money is tight, and emotions are taut, and this year Christmas will be a meager, empty, and painful experience. Only six-year-old McKenna believes in miracles and the magic of Christmas. The rest of the family knows that Christmas can never be the same. But when a mysterious package and an ornate letter arrive on the doorstep, things begin to change. Each day, a package and a letter signed Santa arrive for the family, and together they come to understand that the joy of Christmas does not have to be lost forever, and that God s love can heal any wound, no matter how deep. The Santa Letters will take the Jensens on a journey through a Christmas experience that will have the power to heal them all.

A truly beautiful story. Emma's husband was killed by a drunk driver on Christmas Eve, leaving his wife and 4 children. A year later, Emma is finding it difficult to find joy in her life, in her family and in the Christmas season. Her young daughter still believes in miracles and in Santa, but Emma, faced with the burden of providing for her young family only sees Christmas as a sad occasion.

One evening, a beautiful letter from Santa arrives on their doorstep, and each day until Christmas another letter and package arrive. Each letter has a purpose and instructions for the family: activities they do together and for others. The letters take the family on a remarkable journey. A journey where they begin to find joy in the Christmas season, understand the Savior and his Atonement, and realize the power of forgiveness and the infinite possibilities of love.

This is a story that will uplift you even as it tugs at your heartstrings and causes a few tears to shed. But, it will warm your heart and soul as you think about those things in your life that are truly important: your relationships with your family, friends and Jesus Christ.

While I do not know the sorrow of losing a spouse, I do understand the grief that comes with the loss of a father. Reading The Santa Letters has made me think and reflect about grief and loss and where I stand in my own healing process.

I collect Christmas stories. My mom always gives a new Christmas book to my sisters and me each year. And each year I manage to find at least one new Christmas book on my own. Throughout the Christmas season, we read stories each day. On Christmas Eve, as we sit around our Christmas tree, each member of our family shares their favorite Christmas story. This is a tradition that we did in my family as long as I can remember. We always finished with my father reading the Christmas story in the Bible. I have continued this tradition with my own family. It was, and still is, always a game to find that special, new story each Christmas. This year, it's The Santa Letters by Stacy Gooch-Anderson. You can learn more about Stacy here, and you can learn more about the book here.

A short, easy read. An uplifting story and one that will capture your attention from the beginning. A new classic and a necessary addition to your Christmas collection.

Thanks to the author for sending me a copy to review.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 8/08

* * * * *
5/5 Stars


  1. Thanks for this great review, Holly!

  2. Holly,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful review and your thoughtful comments. I'm sincerely grateful that you found some peace as you read The Santa Letters. Ironically, I wrote it after I helped my mom deal with my father's death (at age 61). She passed away (at age 63 - both from cancer) this past May.

    Thanks again for being a part of this tour. I look forward to reading more from you...


  3. This sounds wonderful, Holly!!! This is going to be a must read for me for the holiday season coming up. Thanks!!

  4. Great review. I just read this book and totally agree.