How to keep Christmas alive

"I don't think I can do this."  What do you do when a love one can no longer love Christmas?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Title:  Keeping Christmas
Author: Dan Walsh
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: September 1, 2015



For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure, the ornaments were strange-looking--some were downright ugly--but they were tradition.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan's only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments . . .

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


This is my first book of Dan Walsh's and judging by this book, it won't be my last. With 215 pages, this was an easy and quick read.  I thought the premise was refreshing, focusing on empty nesters and their emotions, especially during the holidays, widely known as "time for families."  Depression among elders and especially during their early years of "empty-nesting" are quite common and I do understand where the main character, Judith is coming from.  However, it was hard to empathize with her and even like her. She reminds me of someone I know whom I always find annoying. (Sorry, I really can't help it. This person's nuances just doesn't sit well with me.)  I think it's this mediocre (at best) thoughts about Judith that pulls me from really loving this book straight out.

Even for that, I can honestly say I did enjoy it. Stan was it. From early on, a reader can probably figure out the outcome or what Stan will do to cheer Judith up. Yet, reading it when it was first revealed still put a smile on my face and when the plans finally unfold, I had tears in my eyes!  That's when I realize that even though I say I'm not too fond of Judith, it is the combination of both characters' interactions and actions that brings this story to a level of warmth and the meaning of Christmas.  Yes, Christmas is about family and by the end of Keeping Christmas, we see it, we feel it and we loved it.  With Keeping Christmas, I felt the true theme was not family time during Christmas, but a sacrificial love. And then it hits me with the analogy of the ultimate sacrificial love we've all encountered, the love of our Lord Jesus. What better way than a story set during His birth to bring parallels to His gift to us. And with that, I end with the recommendation for you to pick this up, enjoy and while you're at it, give your parents a hug or a call.

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Revell for an honest review.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley, as well as The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and The Reunion. He has won three Carol Awards, and two of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year for 2011 and 2012.  A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years.  He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. 

CONNECT WITH DAN:  website,  facebook,  twitter  



  1. I can't imagine my kids not being around for Christmas and i would not know what to do. Jenny

  2. I agree Jennifer. This year, everyone in my family came over for Thanksgiving and it was amazing! I can't imagine not at least seeing some of them during the holidays.


Thank you for commenting. If you don't have any of the accounts listed in the pull down menu, just comment using "Anonymous" and put your name/nickname in the comment. Happy reading!