Well with Christmas under out belts there is time for the review of one more seasonal themed book. Snowflake Sweethearts by Carrie Turansky was a great book for a taste of Christmas. A single mom returns to Fairhaven, Washington just in time to help where she is greatly needed in the home of a past friend (Alex Jameson, who she had a secret love for) and his suddenly ill grandmother (Irene, owner of Jameson’s Bakery). With daughter Emma (age 5) in tow, Annie Romano has her own skeletons in the closet to deal with as she helps Alex return to his faith and Irene embrace the healthier lifestyle her heart attack has necessitated.
So with romance and healing hearts there is a bakery to save, friendships to grown and pasts to reconcile with. My only dispute with this book is Annie’s views on believing in fantasy. I understand that Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy are all a financial burden but her needs to say truth is an absolute must with raising children and that to let them have that fantasy was to lie to them was a bit extreme to me.
Otherwise, I found this to be a lovely emotional journey of two people who need to learn to let go of the past and grasp the future with both hands, uncertainty and all. I do so enjoy a romantic Christmas story.
We have a Christmas tradition that was started here in Minnesota… every year we head to the big Macy’s in the cities and see the Elves Village and then visit Santa. The display has not changed much in the past years BUT the kids always find something new to spot in it. This year it was kitties. We think some were new to the year but additionally the kids really hadn’t noticed them in the past.
Extra special treat, after missing last year THIS year Baba was able to take the time off work and join us there. So we had lots of photo opportunities and fun with BOTH grandparents!
Can you spot the sleeping kitty?
I have to say our Santa is lovely. The kids had a great time talking with him, getting their Macy’s I saw Santa pins. Nana even treated them to Christmas themed candy! YUM!
Of course, we chose the personality rich Santa picture. At least this year the photo elf got it. In past years they seemed confused why we wouldn’t want the more “perfect” photo. And yes, I am aware that if you look back at LAST year’s picture the boys are wearing the same sweaters… what can I say, dressy clothes are at a premium here for the males in our family. Now the girls, dresses for days.
Anyway, great family experience… another tradition checked off our list!
Well, after that rather dramatic magical book (The Magician of Hoad) it is time to return to a different sort of magic – the magic of love and faith. All wrapped up with a Christmas bow. The Cowboy’s Christmas Courtship by Brenda Minton (6th book in the Cooper Creek series) is a wonderful tale of redemption and release. The knowledge of when to let someone in and when to stand strong and independent is also examined.
Faith is a strong theme in this story. The faith of a woman tested time and time again with the death of her parents leaving her to raise her younger brother. The lost faith of a bull riding cowboy, sent home after a bad injury who has yet to forgive himself for past actions and accept that he can be more than his past.
Layla Silver has been standing along for a long time. With time running out on bills and her brother what is she to do when ex flame, ex friend Gage returns post bull riding injury? I love that while their past was not pleasant the book really begins with Gage attempting to make reparations for using Layla to get to her best friend (in high school no less) that is not really where it ends. There is so much more going on.
Again this is a book where faith in God is at the very core of it all. There are some discussions about abuse in the past and a teenager out of control, but in Christmas there are miracles. If you just have faith and are open to change and love. All in all a great seasonal read.