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1808 PD: New book prompts readers to reflect on the hope enjoined in the Christmas season

Published on 09 December 2008

“Emma unwrapped herself from the faded patchwork quilt, picked up the last ornament off the coffee table and went to place it on the tree.

She held it up, using the tree lights for background illumination, and examined it closely. This one had always been her favorite because it perfectly melded all that was important about the season. She ran her finger along the trestles of the delicate glass shelter that housed Santa kneeling reverently, hat in hand, by the Christ child’s manger. Jolly Old Saint Nick – who’d been created through the hope and innocence of giving and believing in miracles – looked upon the babe with adoration, respect, gratitude and tender love.”

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“Emma held on to it for just a moment longer before whispering almost inaudibly to no one in particular as she placed it in its customary eye-level position on the front of the artificial tree, ‘If only it could be so simple.’”

Stacy Gooch-Anderson, a skillful storyteller, shares a glimpse into her own life by giving us the gift of her newest book. “The Santa Letters” is a beautiful story about how the lives of Emma Jensen and her children were changed overnight by the death of her husband, William, killed by a hit-and-run driver. As Christmas Eve approaches, marking the anniversary of his death, she finds herself sinking into a deep depression where nothing can reach her – not her job, not the love of her family and especially not the season. Her youngest child, McKenna, is the only one who still believes in the magic of Christmas and in miracles. When an ornate letter and mysterious package appears on their doorstep and one continues to arrive every day, Emma and her sons begin to experience the same magical journey to Christmas that McKenna feels and believes in. As the meaning of the letters unfolds, the whole family comes to realize that William is still playing a part in their lives and the joy of Christmas need not be forever lost.

As you prepare to celebrate Christmas traditions with your own family and friends, visit www.thesantaletters.org to learn more about the inspiration behind the book and how to share your own Santa Letters experience. May we all feel the spirit of love and hope throughout the coming year and learn to give something back to those around us. Maybe it really is simple after all! PD

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