Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas and Cynicism

Sometimes I don't understand myself.  On the one hand, I am a total Christmas freak.  Just standing in the holiday section at Wal-Mart makes me happy.  I've nearly worn out my new Michael Buble' Christmas CD, and it's still November.  My DVR records anything containing the words Christmas or holiday without even asking me.  

On the other hand, I'm a cynic.  I punch holes in every conspiracy theory.  I don't believe good always wins over evil (at least in this life).  Dreams don't come true.  The glass isn't half full or half empty - it's just all you get.

Given these conflicting traits, I suppose it's hardly surprising that I pre-order the latest Christmas, feel-good, pretty cover, sentimental story and then whine because it's sappy.  I don't know . . . I'm an enigma.*  But here are my thoughts on The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere.

It has everything a Christmas novel should have - family, forgiveness, and a happy ending.  But problems aren't solved that quickly except in thirty-minute sit-coms.  It gives you a warm feeling of Christmas cheer and hope.  But the real world doesn't work that easily. 
 Well . . . regardless of which side you're on in the Christmas feel-good/clap-trap debate, take that information and proceed accordingly.

Gretchen Daniels has recently moved into an apartment with her two children to be closer to her mother.  Next-door neighbor Melissa McCreary prefers to keep to herself.  One day, a local landlord who is looking for Melissa knocks on Gretchen’s door for assistance.  Melissa’s mother has died and the landlord needs Melissa to empty her mother’s apartment.  Gretchen reaches out and offers to help, but the apartment is a gut wrenching shamble of a home.  There is little worth saving except for a few photos and an unfinished note discovered on the crate beside the bed. In the two scribbled lines, Melissa discovers she has a brother and a sister that she never knew about.  Can two very different women embark on a journey that explores a long-buried need for forgiveness, hope, and redemption?

*West Wing quote alert


  1. I do believe God wins over evil, no matter what, we may not see the effect of that battle won in our lifetime over certain circumstances, but he does win I do believe all the time! This does sound like an intriguing book with an interesting plot. Honestly, I have trouble really getting into Christmas since my mom died before Christmas five years ago. Its really hard to get into the spirit of it, yet I love the fact we celebrate Jesus' birth.

    hope you have a great Sunday!


  2. I'm kind of in the middle when it comes to Christmas. I like making it a special time with decorating, listening to music (must get that Buble CD), baking/cooking special items, getting together, etc. However, the day seems to come so fast and then you have to spend it with people who are possessed, come from other planet, or worse, my family.

  3. Hey, the world needs Scrooges too.

  4. I agree for sure with That Corgi that God always wins over evil! Actually he has already defeated evil, it is a done deal. But I too am a little cynical of late. And Christmas well...I want to love the holiday but... it is always so complicated with family pressures that I dread it.