Book Review: This collection of Christmas inspired stories will surely put every reader into the spirit of the season.

The Thursday Night Club and other Stories of Christmas Spirit

By Steven Manchester

Author Steven Manchester dons the hat of Father Christmas to bring the world his messages of selfless giving; the true spirit of the Christmas season.

The first of this collection is, The Thursday Night Club. A tale of honoring the memory of a beloved friend by giving selflessly to others. A group of college friends meet weekly on Thursday nights. They gather on the front porch sharing food, drinks and stories of high-jinx. It becomes a contest to see which prank out-pranks them all. It’s all fun and games until one week one of the boys will no longer be joining the group. It’s in his memory that they change from pranks to finding ways to serve others. A new competition is arranged to see who can give of themselves the most before Christmas Eve. It certainly inspires readers to ask themselves what they would do and what can they do to give of themselves?

The second story is: A Christmas Wish

A reunion with the love of Mama, A Christmas Wish revisits the characters from award-winning Goodnight Brian. Mama, Angela DiMartino, takes Brian through Little Italy to shop for the Christmas dinner wares and a trip down memory lane. She tells Brian of old world traditions that made their way to America and some that began as families merged into new ways. Her granddaughter, Steph, needs Mama’s heartfelt advice to finally accept herself as she is. Mama may cherish the ways of the Old country, but would never shun her adult granddaughter for preferring women over men. She tells Steph to make a Christmas Wish with a wink, a cherished family tradition. Steph follows Mama’s lead, now if only she can have faith it will come true. Sometimes all it takes is being comfortable in yourself and believing some wishes do come true, especially Christmas wishes sprinkled with a little extra love.

The final story of this spirited collection is: The Tin-Foil Manger

Christmas around the world in every conceivable way brings back the distant memories of a Dementia suffering woman. Nancy Guillmette is waiting to die. Forgotten by her family and forgotten by herself she wastes away in an assisted living center waiting to join her loved ones in the afterlife. Her middle aged daughters come for a visit but she doesn’t recognize them except for a short moment of clarity when she chastises them for not visiting enough. Jeanne, a caregiver at the facility believes engaging Nancy in long term memories may help Nancy regain the will to live. Christmas is the reason for that will. Nancy re-tells the stories her father used to tell her of how the world celebrates this special season. Just as the eyes of a child light up at seeing Christmas decorations, so does Nancy as the Christmas spirit rekindles her love for life. A wonderful look at how even though we are all different, we are similar in so many ways. A celebration of how the magic of this season touches everybody around the world.

Be sure to visit Steven’s website to see all of his award winning titles, there is something there for everyone to discover:

FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title by The Story Plant publisher for review purposes only; no other compensation was awarded.

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