Book Review: The Christmas List

Author: Richard Paul Evans


Genre: Christmas Tale

Format: Audiobook, Narrated by John Dossett

Source: Public Library

My Rating: B

I’m sure you are familiar with Scrooge, the star of Dicken’s A hristmas Carol. He was a ruthless, hateful man until he met the Ghosts of Christmas’ Past, Present, and Future. His meeting with the ghosts helped him take a good look at his life, as well as what his future would be if he continued.

The author of The Christmas List has done the same thing with his main character, James Kier. This modern day scrooge was a wealthy real estate developer who had hurt and alienated so many people. His son didn’t want anything to do with him. He abandoned his wife when he learned she had cancer. The only person who was his “friend” was his lawyer who was payed handsomely to do so.

One weekend he agreed to meet his girlfriend (also not a nice person) at an inn in the mountains. The snowfall kept her from coming and water killed his cell phone. James was alone at the inn and with no cellphone coverage. On Saturday he saw a newspaper headline announcing his death.

When he went to the newspaper’s webpage to correct the story but discovered a lot of comments from people who were happy he was dead. The only commenter who was sad about his death was his wife. James decided to let everyone think he was dead for a few days while he decided what to do. He, like Scrooge, took a serious look at himself and didn’t like what he saw. He knew he needed to make amends. His long-time secretary helped him develop a list of those he had hurt. This he called his Christmas List. He set out to set things right before Christmas.

My thoughts:

From the first time I heard the story of Scrooge, I’ve been skeptical about a person’s ability to change the way he or she lives, especially so quickly. My mind tells me that our personalities are formed early on and they tend to stay that way until we die.

Stories like The Christmas List and A Christmas Carol tell my heart something different. I still want to believe that it’s possible, that anyone who wants to, can change their behavior. My faith tells me the same thing. I think that change is what God had in mind that very first Christmas.

So I’ll stifle my urge to be skeptical and open my mind to this story. It made for a nice addition to my Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.

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