Patricia and Mark Addison have long given up the hope of having a meaningful Christmas. But this year, Patricia’s job as a social worker will lead her to a very special five-year-old: Emily. Against her better judgement, Patricia bends the rules and takes the little girl into her own home. Through the presence of Emily in their house, and her penetrating questions about heaven, the Addisons will learn that there is no sorrow so great that faith cannot help you find your way through. And Christmas will once more be a time of warmth in their home.
The Christmas Hope is a story of love in the face of loss, joy when all seems hopeless, and how light can shine into the darkest places.
The Christmas Hope is book three in a series, but it’s not necessary to read the books in order (obviously, I didn’t). Each once stand by itself as a wonderful story of the miracle of Christmas.
Patricia Addison is a social worker who hasn’t celebrated Christmas for the past four years, and is slowly losing the connection she had with her husband. After she breaks a rule and brings home foster child Emily for the holidays, she and her husband Mark are thrown back together in the desire to make this the best Christmas for Emily. It is through Emily that Patricia re-discovers the magic of Christmas, and the love that comes from being around family during the holiday season. It’s through Emily that she and Mark re-connect and learn to live again.
Donna VanLiere writes wonderful Christmas stories. This one is full of so much love and hope, and the magic of Christmas. I found myself cheering for Patricia and her family, and even though you know that everything will turn out again and that Patricia and Mark will adopt Emily (it is a Christmas story, after all), you still can’t help but be anxious for them. The story just invokes such a sense of warmth and fuzzy Christmas feelings in the reader. Patricia starts out the book as a fairly broken character, who has lost the love of Christmas and is losing her marriage. Through her social work, and the holiday magic floating in the air (plus, some help from her wonderful co-worker), Patricia manages to completely turn her life around and re-kindle the spirit she had long ago lost. And Emily is just the cutest kid ever. You really feel for her situation and just want everything to work out perfect. Thankfully, this is a Christmas book, so everything does!
If you’re looking for a great Christmas read, you can’t go wrong with The Christmas Hope. The first two books are The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing. Both fous around a character named Nathan, who shows up in this book three as well. And, if you’re like me, you’ll already know The Christmas Shoes! I’ll leave you with the music video, but the movie is well worth watching, too.