Looking for a Christmas read that will leave your soul feeling comforted, joyful, and bright? Pick up Candy Canes and Christmastime. Compiled and illustrated by Linda Hoffman Kimball.
This is Kimball’s newest book. A real-life take on navigating Christmas, that sifts through all the hustle, bustle, grabbing and giving, to discover what really matters.
Kimball writes, “While I can’t personally show up in your home with my entourage of thoughtful friends, I’ll give you the scene that comes closest to what I hope reading this book will feel like to you. Imagine it is Christmas night. The dishes are all done, the lights are low, and the Christmas tree sparkles nearby. You are gathered with bright, dear, nonjudgmental, sometimes quirky, often passionate, always loving women. One woman speaks, and then another. They share their thoughts about this holy and happy day, and about the insights they’ve received to help them face complex challenges — to forgive, to remember, to cherish” (ix).
Here are a few excerpts:
Every year at Christmas, I think about [Mary]. I honor her, along with women everywhere who bear children, regardless of time and circumstance; women who are fearful, yet plunge into the adventure of motherhood; women who contemplate their children’s futures… and love them, regardless of what they turn out to be (103). Mary and Me, Lisa Ray Turner
I spent five of my very best Christmases at the manger. It happened like this. On the first Saturday in December, sitting in a wonderful Christmas program high above the busy confluence of Broadway and Columbus Avenue in New York City where our church met, I had a revelation: we should produce a living Nativity scene on the ground floor of our church building, which had large windows on two sides. We had many beautiful families, and while other Nativity scenes could boast living sheep and an occasional donkey, we could have a real baby Jesus. We could make a statement that our corporate-looking building was a church, and a Christian one…
Our beautiful young families would arrive bundled for winter, pushing their strollers, go upstairs to change into the timeless Biblical garb, and emerge transformed and elevated into holy families. They moved about the set, but there were no lines. They did not acknowledge those watching them. This was a living tableau. Unlike those Nativities where people carry dolls and ignore them, these babies had to be worked with all the time, which provided a wonderful tension for the scene…
Those baby Jesuses are in college, on missions, married, and parents themselves now The Marys and Josephs are no longer young. But when I see any of them out of the corners of my eyes, I see they are still wearing halos (33-34). Claudia L. Bushman, The Manger in Manhattan
We are poor. All of us. Flannery O’Connor wrote, “I believe that the basic experience of everyone is the experience of limitation… or, if you will, of poverty.
Spiritual poverty is something we must experience if we are to understand our need for a Savior. But ironically, it is when we are truly poor, when we realize how flawed and fallen we are, that we recognize how much we have to offer…
We spend so much of life acquiring, only to learn, sometimes painfully, how to let go (27). Catherine Arveseth, Poor as I Am
The very promise of Christmas is Emmanuel, God with us. He came to earth to demonstrate that He is with us, in and through and below all human need and frailty, greed and sin, shallow busyness and noisy ignorance (15). Kristine Haglund, Merry and Martha
Kimball’s book offers healing, comfort, traditions, wisdom, ideas, and even a few favorite recipes. A chorus of voices sharing different Christmas experiences. All in the name of loving and living for Jesus.
Candy Canes and Christmastime is available here at Amazon.
Other books by Linda Hoffman Kimball: Chocolate Chips and Charity, Muffins and Miracles, Apple Pies and Promises.