The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith is a very heartwarming Christmas tale. It will renew your faith in mankind. I had heard about this book and wanted to read it. When I noticed it was on sale ($2.99 on Amazon.com), I quickly purchased it and read it. It is a non-fiction story but reads like fiction. It is well written and very enjoyable. The family has recently lost Rick, Joanne’s husband. Joanne and the children have been just getting but not really living. However, the holiday season is upon them and Joanne is being pressured by her sister to “do” Christmas for the children. Joanne has three children: Ben, 17; Nick, 12; Megan, 10. Megan is precocious and wise beyond her years, Nick is obsessed with video games (much to my daughter’s dismay, I never bought her video games), and Ben is angry and avoiding spending time with the family. When Joanne tries to purchase Christmas gifts for her children, but it ends in embarrassment and crying.
Then one day a poinsettia arrives on their doorstep with a card. The card has a lovely drawing a cute reference to the twelve days of Christmas. Megan is excited, but everyone else is not pleased. But on each successive night the family finds another gift on their doorstep. These gifts change the family and their perception of Christmas.
The 13th Gift is such a lovely book. The gifts (which were not expensive) got the family together, helped them remember good times (past Christmas’ with their Father), and got the family into the spirit of Christmas. Some kind people made a huge difference to this family. The givers kindness and compassion made a huge difference in their lives. This is a wonderful and inspirational book.
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