Review posted February 8, 2009.
Mira, 2006. 269 pages.
I read one last Christmas book to finish up the season. I actually read most of this book waiting at the dentist office, which was a very good time to have something to laugh about! Christmas Letters is a true romantic comedy.
The book opens with a Christmas Letter from Zelda O'Connor Davidson. She says,
Let me warn you -- this Christmas letter won't be as clever as last year's. My sister, Katherine (whom you may know better as K.O.), wrote that one for me but, ironically, she hasn't got time to do this year's. Ironic because it's due to the popularity of that particular letter that she's managed to start a little business on the side -- writing Christmas letters for other people!...
This year's big news, which I want to share with all of you, has to do with a wonderful book I read. It changed my life. It's called The Free Child and it's by Dr. Wynn Jeffries. My sister scoffs at this, but Dr. Jeffries believes that children can be trusted to set their own boundaries. He also believes that, as parents, we shouldn't impose fantasies on them -- fantasies like Santa Claus. Kids are capable of accepting reality, he says, and I agree! (See page 146 of The Free Child.)
So, this Christmas will be a different kind of experience for us, one that focuses on family, not fantasy.
Zach and the girls join me in wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas. And remember, a free child is a happy child (see page 16).
After reading this letter, when we meet K.O., we easily understand her aversion to Dr. Wynn Jeffries and his philosophies, which she feels have turned her twin nieces into holy terrors. Maybe she's a little over the top in her reaction. Perhaps she shouldn't have ranted at a customer buying Dr. Jeffries bestseller and gotten herself banned from a local bookstore. But we do understand her hesitation when she learns Dr. Jeffries lives in her building, and her sister wants her to get his autograph. She decides to do it, but then give him a piece of her mind.
Then her best friend, who has been taking a class to develop her psychic powers, sees Katherine's future in the kitty litter. LaVonne believes that K.O. and Wynn Jeffries are made for each other. She finds a way to set them up that they can't refuse.
It all adds up to silly, heartwarming fun. Perfect for holiday or after-the-holiday being cheered up at the dentist's, for example.
This book is set on Blossom Street in Seattle, but we only see in passing the characters from Debbie Macomber's other Blossom Street books (at least the ones I've read). Still, it's fun to be in the same setting, feeling like you're among friends. A cozy, feel-good, lighthearted Christmas romance.