Friday, December 22, 2017

Dear Great Book Guru,  I have a confession to make:  I feel like the Christmas Grinch- please, please recommend a good book or two to get me in the Christmas spirit. 
A Grinch in Search of Cheer
Dear Grinch, Never fear- redemption is at hand.  First, I am going to make an unusual suggestion:  THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT by renowned playwright and local resident Fred Stroppel. Far from the usual sentimental holiday fare, this play deals with death and redemption in a darkly humorous manner. Julia Dowling finds herself sitting in her cozy living room on Christmas Eve engaged in a fight for her life. The Christmas Spirit in the title is actually Death and he has come for Julia.  She begs for more time and in exchange offers Death the chance to celebrate a family Christmas with all the trimmings. Her assortment of dysfunctional family members plus the local priest, some troubled young guests, and the Christmas Spirit- who calls himself Jack Frost- gather at Julia’s invitation to celebrate the holiday. Life-altering secrets are revealed that offer hope….for a moment. Our friends and family love gathering every year for a reading of this monumental work. It is available in many formats but the Amazon Kindle version is the one we use.                                        

If you prefer a more traditional approach, I suggest A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens. We read a beautifully illustrated and abridged version by Stephen Krensky on Christmas Eve afternoon - it takes about an hour with each of us taking a page or two. Get out the eggnog and gather around with your friends and family for a wondrous weekend!

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