Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity’s Christmas has two traditional themes.

Atherton combines the theme of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with the theme of Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

Lori Shepard finds a dying tramp outside her cottage door. Aunt Dimity willed the cottage (and her huge wealth) to Lori. Now Lori and her husband Bill hope for a peaceful two weeks before Christmas.

But the tramp calls Lori to something else.

Lori tries to find out who the tramp is. She learns the man’s story, and in the process, has her life is changed. 

Aunt Dimity’s Christmas involves PTSD, the bombing of Dresden, the hatred that sometimes happens in families, the wisdom of the spirit of Aunt Dimity, and the theme that Christmas is about opening our hearts to the poor and disenfranchised.

All the while, the village plans for its Christmas pageant.

For me, this was a perfect book to finish on Christmas Eve. It reminded me again of the joy of Christmas.

So much about Christmas can be difficult. Many hard things happen in this “joyous” season. But, after all, the child we celebrate at Christmas was poor. He cast his lot with those we would leave out.

 So, with these brief comments about a good book to read at Christmas, all of us in our family (even Truman the cat) wish you the blessings of this season.

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