Saturday, December 22, 2012

Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace

Rather than a feel-good Christmas story, Find Christmas is a collection of short stories, without much of a happy ending. There might be some hope, some glimpse of the light, but there isn't much in the way of the traditional happy ending we've come to expect.

The book has seven chapters and one preface, all of them short, unrelated stories. And like the book says in the foreword "most of the stories in this book end at beginings". If you're the sort that likes everything wrapped up neatly by the end, this might fustrate you a little. But think about it this way, you've been given the chance to dream of the ending yourself.

In all of these stories, you can see characters that are real. They might be annoying, with how flawed they are, but after a while, you realise your annoyance is because they're relatable. I've definitely felt like some of the characters some time or the other.

And with each of their stories, you see them just as they get a glimpse of the true meaning of Christmas. Most of the time, this glimpse is limited to them, others remained unchanged. But that's how changes come about. They start with one person. And the characters all learn a different lesson, so put the pieces together, and you might start too see a greater glimpse.

My favourite passage comes from the last story"The Snow Fall".

"He came for those who need him, not because they are poor or slovenly or unable to care for themselves. He came for all those who need him, even some like me, the elitists, self-satisfied with the arrogance that insists they really need nothing at all. He came for me because I too - in my annoyance and pride - am very much amoung the needy."

This is a fairly short book, but there's not way you can call it shallow.

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