Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Book Review: The Three Christmases of William Spencer, by Derek Blount

Christmas-themed stories make lovely gifts for the holidays, and I recently came across a book that fits this bill nicely. It’s called The Three Christmases of William Spencer, by Derek Blount. As the title implies, this is actually three stories in one. All are narrated by William Spencer at three periods of his life when he celebrates his birthday on Christmas day.

The first story takes place in 1930 when “Billy” is just seven years old. That year, he asks Santa for a beautiful sled he saw in a store window. But when he opens his gifts on Christmas morning, he finds a homemade sled that doesn’t look at all like the sleek model he’d coveted at the store. When he gets to the sledding hill, he discovers that Vernon Williams had received the fancy sled from Santa! But when a sweet little girl named Gracie comes up to Billy and asks for a ride, he realizes that his sled is just perfect for two people.

In the second story, it’s 1963, and Billy (now called “Bill”) is married to Gracie and they have a son. It is not a great Christmas/birthday. The hot water heater breaks, his mother-in-law falls down the stairs, the Christmas tree falls over, and the dog steals the turkey! Bill remembers another Christmas long ago when he was fighting in World War II, and his friend is killed. These thoughts put things in perspective, and Bill realizes how blessed he truly is.

In the final story, William is an old man. Both his wife and son have passed away, and he is living alone. He prays that God will make this his last Christmas as he is tired of life and feels there is no purpose to remaining on Earth. But a surprise visit from his grandson with his family, including a newborn great-grandson, makes William realize that perhaps he has a little more living left to do.

Throughout all three stories runs a common theme: “Happiness is an attitude, not a condition.” It’s a timeless theme that most of us need to be reminded of from time to time, especially when the holidays roll around. The Three Christmases of William Spencer is a wonderful gift book for sharing the joy of the season and the meaning of life. Visit www.threechristmases.com to learn more about this book.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate this review. No compensation was provided. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission on sales made through the Amazon links in this post.


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