by George D Durrant
About the book:
Sam Edwards isn't looking forward to Christmas, at least not this year. Since losing his job a few weeks before, he hasn't had any luck in finding a new one. He isn't sure how he can give his family a merry Christmas, and the last thing he wants is charity from his neighbors. But when he falls asleep in his living room – with his shotgun accros his lap just to make sure no one attempts to visit him – he wakes up to find his front porch laden with Christmas goodies. But when he tries to find out who left the presents, the freshly fallen snow reveals no footprints.
Years later, Sam's wife has passed away and his children are grown. Old and sick, Sam remembers the kindness of the anonymous stranger from long ago and wishes for an opportunity to bless another's life. So on Christmas Eve, when he sees his neighbor's house on fire, he hopes that he can be the means for another anonymous miracle.
Each year at Christmas our family has a tradition to have the youngest reader in the family read the Christmas Story and this book would be a wonderful addition to that tradition. This story encourages families to think about how they can help others – in small ways or big.
The pictures in Sam's Christmas Wish are illustrated by Dan Burr and show the emotion Sam Edwards is going through as he sits in his chair on Christmas Eve trying to protect himself from the shame of accepting help from his friends and family who might want to help them have a Merry Christmas. He is so adament that they not help him that he has called people and warned them that “I'll be watching to see if anybody comes around trying to leave anything at the door!” His discouragement, disappointment and anger is very apparent.
As the years go by after that Christmas Sam softens until near the end of the book we see him wishing that he could do something for someone else anonymously. His family is gone, he rarely sees his children and he is sick – the end of the book is touching, poignant and a tear jerker.
I only have one warning – be prepared to talk with your younger kids about death if you haven't already. The book ends with Sam's death – but it is a very satisfying end to his life as he receives his greatest wish.
About the author:
George Durrant was born and raised in American Fork, Utah. He's believed in Santa Clause as a child and as a parent. George is a master storyteller and loves telling stores to his 8 children, 34 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.